El Cap Report 10/5/07

ElCap Report 10/5/07

 By Tom Evans

Yo... Coming to you a little early today as the weather has caved in down at the bridge and the climbing teams are scurrying for cover in driving snow and sleet. So direct to you from Dave Turners radio comes today’s report... get your warm stuff on and slap that raingear on top of it and hunker down because this is one wet report heading your way...

Surgeon General: Arrrhhh ... McNeeley has battened down the hatches and returned to port for the duration of this little blow we are having today...


Zodiac: In a brilliant stroke of logistical genius Andy and the girls climbed off this route late yesterday and so are avoiding the storm while on the wall... but they just may be slogging it out on the descent which can't be any fun. Congratulations are in order for this team and it looked like Karen was enjoying the experience... ah yes, now on to crossing to the South Pole on surfboards! Lower down the two other teams have ceased operations for the time being.


El Nino and NA Wall... these two teams are getting worked by the weather but all are well as reported to me on the radio just moments ago... blowing snow and cold seem to be the order of the day there.


PO Wall: The Everest guys seem to think this is a good break in the weather and have climbed off the Continental Shelf today and two pitches higher. Did see Conrad make a nice lead into the central latitudes and Ivo was up from the back of the train to clean and aid in moving the bags around various protrusions... this team may be the smoothest on the Cap at the moment... nice stuff guys!!


Mescalito: Mutt and Jeff are now 5 pitches from the top and are settled in their protective portaledges to wait out the storm. KFC talked to them last night on his cell and the report was all good from them... this team has earned an even higher level of respect from the locals than the already high respect they previously had... nice going ladies... you are presently the highest team on the Cap! Lower down I talked to T2 on the radio this morning and he was comfortably installed on Anchorage (Stork) ledge after climbing there late yesterday... he did say he logged some frequent flier miles on that pitch and got to see the world from the upside down falling position.... sure envy him!!! He is fine and just waiting like the rest of the teams.


New Dawn... think I caught a glimpse of Charley and buddy over there on some fixed lines...


Nose: Well the situation there is pretty fluid now... A team of three was just finishing the great roof when the weather went south. I think they have a ledge with them. Lower down what appears to be an Asian team was attempting the king swing as the rain and snow arrived to blast them... the leader was almost across when he just started sliding back across the Tan band like a hockey puck on a sheet of ice... he gave up and was jugging back up when I left. Lower down yet was a party hunkered down on ECTower .... below that I don't recall at the moment... but this is not a good time to be in the middle of this historic classic.


Further west... didn't get over there but did talk to Aussies Lee, and Lawrence, of the recent send of El Nino and they were off Golden gate for the moment as Lee was feeling a little sick... nice timing guys... be sick when it rains and snows.. perfect!! All other teams that I can see appear to be well prepared for this weather and are doing fine.. Edit: Forgot that I talked to Steve Schneider Y-day and he introduced me to a climbing buddy .... they were just off Lurking Fear and he was the first Mongolian to climb ElCap... another first racked up on the Capitan!!


In other news... everyone seems to be talking about the Nose record of yesterday and all the various times that have been floated around on SuperTaco... BUT according to the Hans site the time is 2:48:50 for them and that is what is being accepted at this time... so it was a 15 second difference +or - whatever human timing errors could have happened... BTW the Huber’s do use a nice chronograph and time not by the time of day but set the watch to 23:55 and count down to 24:00 which is the time they start... Actually I think they use two watches just to be sure in case one gets damaged on the climb.. Went over to their site last night for a little good cheer and they served up a stellar meal for all who were there. It was a fine time in the best tradition of camp 4 parties. You should have been there but I am glad you weren't!!!! The weather was not so bad in the morning but snow showers were forecast and did develop... here in the Village it is not storming at all. Same forecast for tomorrow so we will see about a rematch with the Nose record planned for Monday but the route is getting pounded right now. The beautiful sugar maple across from the chapel is now in full color so if you want to see that beautiful thing you had better get over there soon...

Anyway .... so that's the way it is here in the Big Valley for this, the 5th day of October 2007... great days, days to remember always... for many climbers these will be some of the best days of their lives... bask in the glow folks, bask in the glow!!!

I'm out... The Big Bridge Rat... Tom Evans