El Cap Report 09/26/08

ElCap Report 9/26/08
By Tom Evans

Ok Kids.. Here we go! Beautiful here today, not so hot and cooler weather in the forecast. The old Captain was kicking butts and taking names today. The weeding out has begun on the Nose. More about that lower down in the report. So turn off the damn TV, tell everyone to put a lid on it, close and lock the door and come with me to the most sought after big wall climbing in the world. Today’s report is brought to you by several Tourons who parked their cars right in the road on the bridge and got out to take pictures today. Here it is…. Today’s ElCap Report, fresh from the face of the great rock itself…

Eagles Way: Nico and Sean finished up the route early in the afternoon today. I understand from KFC that their particular project is a loaner from Leo Houlding, who abandoned it a while back.
Cleaning the belay on Eagles Way.

Zodiac: Rick and Maribel pushed off from below the Devil’s eyebrow and were headed toward Peanut ledge when I left in the late afternoon. They seem to be doing 2 or 3 a day and I expect them to be off in the afternoon tomorrow.
While fast is not a word I would use to describe this team, they are tenacious and have put to rest a few critics who didn’t think they had the stuff for the task… nice going and we will see you at the bridge for some cheer and beer when you get down.

Kaos: Two experienced wall veterans continue to put the pitches behind them in their usual style. Kate was out on the sharp end on the crux pitch today (the 4th) and made an impressive start with a placement that consisted of 3 crappy pieces equalized just enough to let her pass…. Good stuff Kate!! Of course the most energy is expended on moving the train of bags up the face in the evenings and mornings too. Hey if you are doing vertical camping then you need supplies you know! Kate was styling with the yellow helmet and that nice red shirt! Pete, who knows better, is sporting the white T-shirt. If he wears that thing tomorrow I’m cutting off the pics for them!!!!!!!
Kate leading the crux pitch on Kaos as Pete belays.

The Ranch: Alec is moving right along and dusted off three pitches today on this black pile of dung route. He is way up now and I think has merged with another route by now…. I don’t have a topo of that route with me so I can’t give you details of the pitches. He is looking very strong up there.
Alec at the belay on the Ranch.

Atlantus: Richie made the Sharks Fin this morning with a nice lead. The next pitch involved some nasty looking hooking across a thin dike diagonaling up and left on an otherwise blank face. He looked scared!! That is, of course, a complete fabrication, for those of you who believe everything you read in the report… I’m not going to qualify this stuff anymore so you will have to figure out what is real and what is “fun”! Very cool looking area of the wall. They should be off some time in December, just behind PTPP!
Richie traversing off the Sharks Fin.

Richie giving the ElCap salute.

Mescalito: The two man team finished the long right leaning corner and were getting to the start of the Molar traverse when I departed around 4:30 from the west side. I don’t know what to say about these guys. I don’t know them and have heard that they are French. They are not fast and not slow. They haven’t fallen, and aren’t dropping things. They need some colorful shirts!!
Last Light Mescalito.

New Dawn to who knows where: I hear that an old timer, an excellent climber by all accounts, is going to Lay Lady ledge solo and then plans to launch out into the vastness of uncharted terrain in the Pacific Ocean… and it is not “Crazy Sean”. I’m keeping a line open to Keith and Jack!

The Nose: Man it was a clusterfcuk up there today as 8 parties were fighting for position in the vicinity of Sickle ledge. A German team flung the bag of an Austrian team right off the ledge so they could move up a space in the line… it was brutal!! Jay and Jeanette spent the night on sickle but postponed starting in earnest because an Italian man was trying to romance her in the middle of the night. He looked a lot like Dave Turner, but I hear Dave was bailing off Mt Watkins at that exact same time. Who knows?
Anyway … in the lead of the whole gaggle was none other than Hans subbie Steve Schneider and Yuji who climbed over anyone in their way and were soon just a memory to those left in their wake. They were trying some new tricks, which unfortunately, I am not at liberty to tell you about at this time. They topped out just as the next party in line climbed into the Stove Legs. Later in the day the route looked liked the Drop Zone. Parties were bailing in such numbers that I couldn’t even pick a team for “Bail of the Day.” At the end of the day there was a party at the top of the Boot, a party on Dolt, and a party two pitches below Dolt. I was afraid to even look at Sickle ledge, as my constitution is not as strong as it once was. Oh the Humanity!!!
Piling up on the Nose.

Late afternoon on Dolt Tower.

Boot Flake on the Nose Route.

Yuji doing the King Swing.

3D: I did see a party of two crossing the Muir Traverse, making their way to Camp 4. Below was another party heading up to Grey Ledges and I hear it might be Mash and a woman from SAR, one Chantel. It was getting late and I didn’t scope the teams very closely. I could be wrong about the names, I usually am.

Salathe: I caught sight of a team of two a couple of pitches above Hollow Flake ledge this morning and shot them on the Ear late in the afternoon. A party of three went over the roof and on to long ledge later in the morning. They were gone when I went out west to see what was going on there.

Dihedral: I saw a single climber half way up the 1st pitch around 3pm… it looked pretty hot over there.

Lurking Fear. I saw a climber and a yellow bag at the top of the Window Pane flake pitch and ropes leading upward from him. Much higher I could see a portaledge with occupant hanging out on the skyline. The rest of the route is of course obscured around the corner of the buttress.

In other news: Pretty quiet this morning at the Bridge but things picked up in the afternoon as quite a few climbers and as many Tournon passed through the portal of adventure. Donny whipped up some of his famous “Wall Burritos” and we dusted off some of his wall food from a recent bail for our lunch… very good stuff! I horded the last Cobra from yesterday but around 2pm had to break it out. Several of the young lads gave me a hard look and for a moment I thought I might have to defend myself. But I was saved by threatening to use the Report to slander anyone who made a move toward me and my authority held firm enough to let me finish the thing.
Tonight there are a couple of more shows in conjunction with the Face Lift. Timmy O is giving one of his XXX rated laugh fests to end the evening. I hear he has plans to drag some people from the audience onto the stage and shred what ever dignity they might have left…. Maybe I will hide in the projector room!
Anyway, that’s the way it is for this the 26th day of August 2008.
See you around town…
ECP’s