El Cap Report 06/30/08

ElCap Report 6/30/08

Yo.. Well it started out really nice today here at the bridge.  Great weather with clear skies and a nice wind from the SE.  But that soon changed and the prevailing west wind did its thing and came along late in the morning with tons of smoke.  I was lucky I got out a little early to shoot the NC lads on Zodiac before the smoke set in.  The bridge was pretty quiet today.  The action on the Cap was quite subdued, as you will read below.
Today’s report is brought to you by Keith Thompson, an old friend and fellow teacher at Fontana High where we both taught until retirement in 2003.  He was in the valley and looked me up at the Bridge this afternoon.  Soon he was telling the Tourons all about climbing even though he is not a climber…
Today’s Report…

Bad Sign:  I did see Kate baby sitting the bags at the top of the huge triangular pillar up which they were dragged yesterday.  Pete was up higher jugging to the high point of their climbing.  I guess they are moving the freight up higher later today and knocking off a pitch in the cool of the evening.

Zodiac:  The NC boys are putting on a clinic!!  Yesterday the made it to the start of the Nipple and by the time I got there today they were just finishing up cleaning the Nipple.  The light was nice and I got some sweet shots of them.  When I left they were headed for Peanut Ledge and that was around 2pm.  So they will most likely be off today late.  A really nice ascent.  I noticed that they were in and out of the belays in 5 to 10 minutes and that sure doesn’t hurt the time on each pitch!
Peyton cleaning the Nipple pitch

Peyton leading the Mark of Zorro

Peyton reaching high on the Mark of Zorro pitch

Mescalito:  The men are working their way up the long right leaning crack heading toward the Molar.  They were making fair but steady progress today.
Hey is there a birdie in there?  Mescalito

Afternoon sun on Mescalito

Nose:  I did see a Korean Team of four climbing to and across the Jardine traverse sporting big packs, and no bags.  “Crazy” Sean said they are a team of 2 men and 2 women.  They are moving right along but Sean says they will not make it today.  I guess they will be in camp 5 tonight.
Part of the Korean team moving up from above Dolt Tower

Korean leader crossing the Jardine Traverse, Nose route

Salathe:  My man Jon Gleason reported that the mystery couple I saw a few days ago fighting with a haul bag above the Hollow Flake Ledge are indeed still on the route.  He passed by them yesterday on ECS late in the evening.  Hope they are ok and having a good time.   Mook was seen high on the headwall trying to work out the moves as many aspiring Salathe free climbers do from time to time…

In other news:  Greg and Fred did make their HD EC link up yesterday in daylight too!  I think it was about 16 hours.  They looked good as they headed out to the meadow this afternoon.  With them was Jon and Dana back from their climb of the Salathe in a day of about 15 hours.  It was Jon’s 35th birthday so he wanted to do a 35 pitch climb!  They also looked none the worse for wear.  Wigball was racking up for the ND to Tribal solo he has in the works.  I gave him OD’s green pants to try on to see if he might want to wear them on the route.  He was psyched!!  Leo Burke was around for a couple hours just hanging out.  He is going with Mash up to Dinner ledge on the Column for the evening to climb and bivy.  “Crazy” Sean is around making final plans to go on his new route, Sea Horse, which spends a lot of bolts wandering around on the SE face near a lot of other routes.  He is not to be dissuaded from this several years in the making route. 
The Hans-Yuji team is going to give another go on Wed morning at 6am.  They are having a pow-wow with the topo tonight to smooth out a few bumps they are having.  Word on the street is that they are going to get the record this time… but good old fate is always waiting to screw with your head so I will be listening for the fat lady’s song before I make any announcements.
Best of luck to them.
So that’s the way it is for this the 30th of June 2008.
Later ECP’s