El Cap Report 10/15/07

ElCap Report 10/15/07

 By Tom Evans

Yo... Not bad for a Monday... weather was a little cloudy and cool but everyone seemed to be moving upward on the stone... some good action late in the fall season... So without further fanfare... brought to you from one of the screamers that Dan Oppenheim used on the next to the last pitch on Reticent today is Today’s ElCap Report...

Eagles Way. Did see Josh soloing around the 6th pitch today, the lad was moving right along and is now on the good rock, past that black crud the first 5 go up..


ZM: Saw the team of Ted and Kevin do the 4th pitch and lead off on the 5th.. they have a load of stuff that would to justice to a PTPP ascent, including one of those plastic chairs, with the legs cut off, and padded with foam, as a belay seat for total comfort at the belays... they were moving right along on this Bridwell classic...


LA: Saw a team fix the first pitch... going where I know not... Mescalito: T2 and the other guys came by this morning on their way to the cars.. T2 had a nasty looking finger that he mangled on the route but otherwise seemed in good condition... the other guys were fine too but strangely enough didn’t want a beer after that climb..... oh well maybe all climbers don’t fit the profile! Anyway they were all impressed with the quality of the route and had a memorable climb.


Reticent: Well since the cat is out of the bag I will mention that BW Kate and Dan Oppenheim are just finishing this route as I write this... they have climbed all the pitches of the route swinging leads with each climbing the hard stuff as it came up.. very nice ascent to have watched. Dan was finishing the last A5 pitch as I departed ... he climbed in a steady style with each placement taking about the same time... his style is smooth and steady whether it be 5.1 or A5. Congrats to this team, a couple of our best!


Nose: Saw a team climb above camp 5 this morning and lower down watched Miles and wife climb the great roof and pancake flake. Still sporting the orange and blue outfits they were an impressive target for my camera.. they seemed to be having fun up there... Talked to OK Tony and partner, Colorado Kevin, about yesterdays NIAD in the cafe this morning... they did a 12 hour climb and clicked as partners and had a good time in perfect conditions... Tony is out tomorrow... Nice job guys!!


Salathe: Watched as the Aussies, Lee and Lawrence climbed the pitch above the Ear, working on freeing it and perhaps planning on making the first free ascent of the "Real" Salathe route, without any weird stuff going on.. looked pretty hard to me... maybe that is why all the people who claim to have freed the Salathe seem to forget to mention that they skipped this pitch! Anyway also saw a team lower down... between hollow flake and the ear... might have been Lee and L again, moving up bags... it was kind of dark this afternoon and I couldn't tell.


THE BIG NEWS OF THE DAY, however is that young Alex Honnold, with the support of John Robinson, an old dude with a young mans ambitions, freed the Salathe route with the Monster variation on that crack only!! He did the headwall so fast that I turned to talk to a touron and completely missed the first 200ft of the thing... fortunately KFC was there with a camera to record the event... the man crusied the headwall with little apparent effort and no falls at all... KFC reported that it was totally sick how easy Alex made it look!! SWEET!!!! A little lower down a team of what were reported to me as Euros were doing free rider but I am not aware of how it went..


Horse Chute: Did see PTPP struggling under the weight of a huge haulbag crossing Thanksgiving ledge headed for the west butt and the LF raps.. expect a full report from the overly verbose lad to appear on ST later on...


In other news... a little cooler today.. filming is wrapping up on a NG filming project by Linc inc on the LA Direct and a horde of locals are being used as porters to get the expedition down to the valley floor tomorrow, reminded me of the 1953 Mt. Everest expedition!! There are still a lot of climbers in the valley but most are being rather cautious as the later days in Oct always bring memories of killer storms suddenly striking without warning ... maybe a spot of rain tomorrow? Anyway there is still time and good weather left for you to do that dream climb up the Cap that you have been jonesin over for years... so come on out and step on up... I got your back!! So that's the way it is on this the 15th day of October 2007 always a great day here in the Valley... So long... Tom Evans