El Cap Report 09/27/07

ElCap Report 9/27/07
 By Tom Evans
Yo... High clouds today and cooler, not the day that yesterday was but not bad either.. I need some rest so this will be to the point. Today’s ElCap report..
Zodiac: The German party bivied on Peanut ledge and was off by around noon.. well done... KFC got a not so alpine start of around 10am on his solo push of the route... the lad climbed will and was even seen taking a 15 min break on the ledge at the start of the Black tower. I left a little after 5pm and he was at the mark of Zorro. He would like to get under 12 hours this time and just might do it. Also another two man team started today and were headed toward pitch 4 when I left.

Straw: Well the team with Andy Kirkpatrick and Karen Darke and the two Australian women was beset with the logistical problems that any team of 4 encounters and were forced to retreat this morning much to everyone’s regret. They evacuated the route in good form and were on the ground and back here at the bridge for beer and cheer a little after 4pm. Best wishes to the entire crew who worked so hard on the preparations.
Lost in America: Rumor has it this is a Korean man and wife team but I don’t know... they did move along well today and were past the free pitch late in the day. Trip: The two French who topped out yesterday came by for a chat this afternoon and the route is now completely empty, although rumor has it that a solo climber is gathering equipment to make a bid... more as the story develops...
Iron Hawk: The Korean team is at the lever of the top of the golden finger of fate and we will soon see if it is indeed Iron Hawk or Iron Sun for this team... they are climbing quite well and are into the groove now.
Mescalito: The Croatian team was seen late in the day at the ramp leading up to the notorious Bismarck... these guys are putting the pitches behind them in rapid order. Mutt and Jeff... well the ladies climbed to Anchorage ledge this evening and would be wise to stay there for the night as the next pitch, the Seagull, is kind of complicated and not one to be fixed very easily. They look fine and are swapping the lead as they go... should be a great time for them.
Nose: A couple of parties around the great roof today and two from the stovelegs late in the day.. most of the route is open.
Shield: The upper team, the one taking the supposed plunges yesterday, moved up to Chicken head ledge and the leader has made a habit of coming down in midpitch to Back clean gear and reuse it higher .... so... maybe.... the "falls" were really just back cleaning as I didn't see anyone who actually saw them logging air time. The lower team, one of the most colorful I have seen of late, and thus one of the most photographed, was dusting off the pitch above the triple cracks when I departed.
Jolly Roger: I hear that it is EE and Bill in this team but no one tells me with any conviction... anyway they pushed higher today and unfortunately I was again not able to get down to the west side to see them more directly... so the photos of them are not going to be so good from where I sit.
Salathe/Free Rider: Did shoot a team going over the headwall and onto Long ledge today and thought I saw some movement down low but didn't investigate too hard..
In other news: I didn't get down to the west side as I mentioned, so anything west of the Salathe is anyone’s guess. It was a quiet day here at the bridge with the usual posse hanging around minus KFC who was doing us slackers proud all day. Several climbers came by later in the afternoon but I am in need of sleep so I will just say it was good to have friends come by and share the beer and cheer...
So that’s the way it is on this 27th day of Sept. 2007, my sons 35th birthday. One could not ask for a better son or friend than my son Tom ... lifting one for you Son!!!
Later Tom Evans aka Ansel