|Submitted by Tom Evans on Sun, 10/07/2012 - 03:02|
ElCap Report 10/06/12
By Tom Evans
Yo… Wow!!! Fall is here and you know how they say to be careful what you ask for as you just might get it? I got it!! The thundering herds broke from the Bridge and the Captain is suddenly loaded to the brim! So many climbers that I can’t keep track of what is happening on the Bigs. Great light and some bright colors made for almost 300 shots today. It has taken me over three hours just to process the images and pick the ones for the Report! My file of shots to save numbers over 80 today! Great stuff, but a lot of work and a late night at the computer. Plus the Bridge was jammed with Tourons and I was glad that some of the Crew stepped up and took some questions.
Today’s ElCap Report…written just for you…unique in all the world!
Zodiac: Alice Ng is still the story on this great route. She pushed hard yesterday and made Peanut Ledge with bags and all. This morning she climbed the pitch above that excellent bivy ledge and was a couple from the top when I left around 3pm. She could be off by now or just a little short of the top.
Alice leading the pitch above Peanut ledge this morning.
Lower down, the Spanish solo climber, sLuis, is really climbing very well and with speed but is poorly dressed, so I have no shots to post of him at this time.
Lost in America: Max and Mark are almost to the ZM finish of the route. They seem to be having little difficulty with the climbing and should be off late tomorrow, or early Monday.
Max leading through some great looking rock.
Mescalito: Oh my… I have somehow missed these guys starting out and just happened to notice them as they finished the long corner leading to the Molar Traverse. They may get that done this evening. I will try to catch up with some extra shots of them tomorrow.
Reticent: Ben and Dave are into the really spectacular rock high on the route. Ben was out in front all day and I expect that they will bivy on the ledge two from the top. Tomorrow Dave will face the crux pitch of the route. He is so competent that I think he will cruise it.
Ben leading one of the unusual features that dominate this classic, difficult line.
Afternoon shade is about to send Ben into the cold shadows.
Real Nose: I spotted Steve and Pete’s kit a few pitches up but they were not there. Still fixing.
The Nose: The Nose was bombarded with teams today and none of them seem to be bailing. The traffic around the Boot and into the Grey Bands was stop and go all day. I have no idea who all these people are!
That said, my good friend, Scott Deputy, is on a mission to rope solo the route. He climbed rapidly until he hit the ElCap Tower area and chugged to a near stop. He weaved his way through countless teams but was still below the Great Roof when I departed. He is shooting for a solo NIAD (Nose in a day) ascent. If he makes it under the 24 hour limit it will make him only the 11th person to do it. Press on buddy!!
Scott in the deserted Stovelegs this morning.
Higher up another NIAD team stayed just ahead of the hoards and broke clear above the Great Roof.
Here they are passing the ledges of Camp 5 and are glad to have a clear route to the top.
At the tail end of the line was a party of two who did the King Swing later in the afternoon. I was out west and got this shot.
Shield: The Ranger team was poised to get off late this afternoon and could be down by now.
Below them a team appeared at the start of the Roof Pitch and could be the “Mike’s” but they are poorly dressed and so maybe not.
3D: Canadian women, Jen and Jackie were spotted a couple below Grey Ledges this afternoon. They seem to be going well.
El Corazon: I spotted a team of two getting into the more interesting climbing this afternoon. I also missed them for the lower part of the route.
Salathe: This Big is crowded big time now. This also includes Freerider. Several teams were high on the route today and climbed off via the Headwall. Lower down several teams ran together at the Ear and Alcove. Several leaders were climbing the Monster and the Salathe climbers were doing the regular pitch above the Ear.
Janelle Simley, climbing the traditional pitch as the light came on. She cruised it! Partners Tom and Mark are out of view below.
Above, one of the higher teams climbed off the Headwall early in the day. Notice the difference the colorful shirt makes! Hard to see the lead climber.
One of the Monster boys pitched off at the reach over to the crack, and went for a ride!
Later in the afternoon another Headwall team climbed out. Scared the poo out of me just watching that guy jugging out!
Lower down yet … most of the lower teams made the Alcove/ Spire area as the afternoon wore on.
Hauling kit to the top of the ElCap Spire, Salathe Wall route.
In other news: I am almost afraid to tell you guys to come on out as I can’t keep up with what we have now! What the hell… come on out!!
Late and I need to go….
So that’s the way it is, for this Saturday, the 6th day of October, 2012.