El Cap Report 09/30/07

ElCap Report 9/30/07
 By Tom Evans
Yo... Remember the days when you were a kid and the world was fresh, new and exciting? When the fall breeze rustled the leaves on the trees and all the oaks and maples were turning the most beautiful colors and there was a touch of smoke in the air. When life had not jaded you one bit and the warmth of the sun on your face made you just want to shut your eyes and smell the air. Today, in the most incredible Valley in the world, was that day. It was perfect, all the elements of the physical world combined to make this day almost dreamlike in its nostalgic beauty. Everyone had a smile on their face and nodded or said hello to each other. Even the bailers were happy!!! We all knew that this was a day that would go in the top of the memory bank. So if you were not here and wanted to be, then drag out the best day you can ever remember in your entire life and enjoy how it makes you feel because that is how we all felt today!! Today’s report... brought to you on a red and golden leaf from that beautiful Sugar Maple across from the chapel here in the incomparable Yosemite.

Zodiac: The two man team didn't make Peanut last night but were having the conclusion to a great climb as I watched them top out around 1pm, climbing into the most blue California sky you have ever seen. Lower down on the route the Andy, Karen team and their two Australian friends were on the route late in the afternoon after Andy once again carried Karen to the base of the route. Best of luck this trip you guys.
Lost in America: Saw this team heading for the next to the last pitch when I left this afternoon... they had used a ledge all the days of the climb but today it was stored and I guess that means they are going hard for the top. Haven't seen that big stick in a few days so they may be in touch with the spirit of the climb as they move on out.
Iron Hawk: This team was leading over the big summit block when I last photographed them. A happy time for them I am sure. They really picked up the pace these last days and will be well rewarded for their hard work... nice climb men!!
PO Wall: This team of three literally ran up the route and were going for the top late today... I know not who they are but they made themselves proud doing a great classic in fine style with minimum logistics and steady climbing.
Mescalito: Mutt and Jeff are so lucky to be climbing on this fine route on a day such as this. Both girls were out on the sharp end and both were moving right along. I and many others watched them with envy for we are here and they are where we would like to be. You go girls!!
Nose: A fast team of Americans on a NIAD were well past camp 5 when I left around 4pm. They climbed with speed and competence all day and were really cool to watch on the free climbing lower half of the route. A team of two Croatian women, dressed to the nines, were picked up in the stovelegs with impressive colors and a confident air about their style. A two man team passed them with NO baggage and were well short of Dolt tower at 4pm... what is up with that we wondered? A large party of three with many bags was seen leaving the top of sickle ledge later in the afternoon... it will be a long way to Dolt for them. Last but surely not least. Alex and Thomas Huber took a hard training run at the Nose today with an effort to make good time. I got down there at 10am just in time to see Thomas going over the top on what turned out to be a 3 hour 10 minute climb that did have a few minutes of unusual glitches. So the lads are hitting stride and planning on more dry runs in the next week to solidify their techniques. Hans! Call Yugi!!
Other routes: I didn't get down to the west side again today and was not able to see anyone on the Salathe or on anything west of the nose... assume EE and Bill are getting close to the top on Jolly Roger if not off today..
In other news... the monkeys were in force around the bridge and EC meadow today... many cruised by on the way to and fro... Tom McMillian! You stole my sacred parking spot today...may a wild dog romance you leg during your next slide show! Alex and Thomas and friend Max, (yes, Max is back but now married, sorry ladies!!) came down after their climb and hung out all day here enjoying one of California's very best days. So many others were here too, in a great mood of mellowness and enjoyment. I can't really find the words for this day. The Captain was crystal clear, the sky was dazzling, the air cool and the sun spread the glowing warmth to all here. Sorry.. I was an engineer not a writing major, so you will just have to try to imagine this day. Several solo's and teams are about to get on the big stone as the fall season has now opened with a bag... Ah yes... we live for these fall days... so sweet and too short, enjoy them for they are the days of your lives. The clean up is finishing up with a party in an hour or so at the back of the visitors center... Ken Yeager.. what can I say about this man and his efforts for this function and the preservation of the valley itself... we love you Kenny!!!!!!!!! So that's the way it is on this the most wonderful last day of September I have ever spent here in this magical place.
See you around. Tom Evans