El Cap Report 10/22/07

ElCap Report 10/22/07

 By Tom Evans

Yo.. Wow another beautiful day and the forecast is for many more in a row... nice!! Monday ... endless Tourons... not a lot of climbers at the bridge today... something about the good weather!! This report is brought to you by our own Ed who showed up with the beautiful Nancy this afternoon and took over my "job" of showing all the Tourons where the climbers were on the Nose... Thanks Ed!!! I told him that the job was his anytime he wanted it! I need the rest. Today’s ECR right now..

On the water front... Aaaaarrrhhhh... well the McNeeley, Ousley Crew stayed below decks all day .... so maybe tomorrow?

Zodiac: KFC and Lance were well into the climb on a ZIAD when I arrived today... I think the objective was a 10 hour ascent...they moved well with the exception of the occasional overdriven piton that I'm sure was frustrating for Lance to clean... but all in all I think they were having fun up there... I last saw KFC on Peanut ledge around 3pm with lance cleaning that pitch.. Nice climb guys. Lower down: Did see Adam climb to his stuff at the top of two and mess around with it for hours it seemed... when I left he hadn't move upward. Lower, Lower Down... did see Gene in the company of NY Neal talking about going to Oakhurst... I think the plan is similar to the one used by the legendary Chongo... always have something else to do at the last minute and maybe the season will close out before you actually have to go on the climb... working thus far!

Trip: The Euros were getting up on the route today and should be at the base of the bolt ladders soon...going a little slow today... Lower down the team going up the regular first 4 made it to the stance as another team, of 3 this time, had only completed 1 pitch of the direct, Virginia, start.. of course the question is who will actually blast first!

Nose: Geeze there were so many groups on this classic that it is impossible to keep them straight. The team of three, two Swiss, one Italian, are in the lead and were last seen at 4pm climbing above camp 6 going out tonight I predict. Below them was a team of two and below them was another team of three at the glowering spot headed up. Below them was a team coming into camp 5 and below them and just finishing the roof pitch was the team of AMGA guides on a one day climb... they seemed to go pretty slow at first but had to pass through a mob of climbers at most belays. Some of their friends came by early today with their guide patches on and ask about them around 10am... they said that they had probably started around sunup and should be almost off the route by now, probably above camp 6... I thought to myself "Yeah Right!" A 4 hour ascent!?.. nothing like the cockiness of the" licensed guide"... in actuality the team was still below Dolt tower!!... But that said the lads did a great job passing the NZ team that was climbing to the boot and did a nifty king swing maneuver to pass... then they make good time to the GR and only have about 10 more people to pass before they get off sometime after dark!! All things considered this AMG team looked pretty good, even to a local eye!! We local types tend to pass judgment on climbers based on their rock climbing skills and forget that these guys operate in a world far removed from the sunny, solid granite of the valley... Most of us would be quickly lost in their world!! So here is to them, the cockiness is probably well earned there!! Another NIAD team chose the Jardine chip route to bypass the slowing NZ team but were stymied when the NZ guys pulled off the king swing after many attempts to land on Eagle ledge before they could get there... no bags and only jackets for this NIAD team... cold night up there lads! Lower down there was a team of 3 getting to Dolt late in the afternoon but pressing on to ECT as I left... below dolt there was a team of two who bailed a pitch below the tower... Around Sickle ledge there was a gate where you had to take a number... supposedly 4 different sets of ropes are fixed to this jumping off point.

Shield: Did see a mixed party of two climb to the pitch above the roof nicely lead by the woman... the guy led the groove in great light for super photos and then she took what appeared to be a little whipper on the triple cracks and scurried back to the belay and he went out on the lead to finish the day... nice looking team with all the right stuff including a nice orange puffy jacket!!

Salathe; Saw a team climb to the alcove today doing the regular Salathe... lower down a team attempting Free Rider was last seen climbing to the ear... they supposedly have stuff stashed at the alcove.

No one was to the west as I did go down there to see what was up and got some great late afternoon shots down light..

In other news:  Heard that Ted and Kevin got off last night on ZM... great route.. good work lads!! In other news... Tourons are here in droves to see the last of the fall colors I suppose... I see Asian Tourons all getting off buses in the morning and walking in a line over to lower Yos. falls as if there was anything to see but a stain on the great wall!! I guess no one told them! Anyway the colors are fading fast now and the trees are getting thinned out... still nice and with the weather like it is .... well it is just beautiful anyway!! American Mountain Guides Association is having some shindig these days that I didn't know about... tonight is the finale with some shows including one by old time Yosemite girl, Lynn Hill, late in the evening... should be fun! Looks like the season will be closing out for the regular big wallers with a week of nice weather... last chance folks!!! Of course there will be good climbing most months to come for those really in the know but I will be out of here soon and will put away my cameras and telescoped for a little R and R down SoCal way at home...

So that’s the way it is on this the 22nd day of October 2007...take care and be nice!

Bye, Bye... Tom Evans