ElCap Report 10/08/09

ElCap Report 10/08/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… Wow… the weather, the wonderful weather!  It is impossible for it to be any nicer.  The rock is crawling with climbers.
TODAY WAS MOON DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The one day of the year when the Moon is far enough north, and  just 3 days after full, that it can be lined up with the Nose of ElCap.  It happens from 9 to 10am and that’s it!  Well, I was there and so were the climbers on the Nose!  Boot Flake had a climber, and so did Texas Flake.  I ran around in the woods like a crazy man and even fell into a hole because I was not looking at the ground!  I think I got the shots, but am writing the report first and processing later… so I am psyched to get this done!!!

The Moon over the Nose of ElCap this morning.



























Today’s ElCap Report brought to you by the Moon, our wonderful Moon, without which we would most likely not have evolved!
Today’s ElCap Report… written just for you… unique in all the world!!!

Zodiac:  Karl and Kevin passed Solo Mike and took off toward the Black Tower, later in the afternoon.
Kevin climbing the 5th on Zodiac while Karl belays.

























The SAR team never showed up to get on the route, after fixing two yesterday.   Do we now consider this equipment abandoned?  Should they get a ticket?

The Trip:  The multitudes continue to grind this route into dust.  Matt and Grover are way above the turbulence of the lower parties and were last seen dusting off the bolt ladders late in the day.  Off tomorrow.  Nice ascent lads… except for the fashion faux pas by Grover wearing black the entire ascent.. You’ll be sorry Grover, very sorry!  The fashionista will come for you, late at night, when you least expect it. 

Below them the team of two, dressed in ugly, Confederate uniforms, left over from the battle of Gettysburg, picked up the pace today and with a solid day tomorrow could be off the next day.  Don’t even ask for pics guys, even though I am a Virginia boy myself and Bobby Lee was a childhood hero of mine.

Below them, Regan continues to whittle away the pitches in his relentless, methodical style.  He finished and hauled the Slab pitch as I left.

The team of 4 Koreans were spread out over three pitches today and two of the lads spend considerable time with Cute Little Biscuit, Anna, and the language barrier didn’t seen to dull their enthusiasm for her company!
Their leader was on the 5th pitch as I left and the minions in the team were down a couple, hauling kit.  Anna finished the third and was moving onto the 4th as I departed.  She had a nice little bounce off the start of the third earlier in the day.  Stay away from the Trip, stay far away!
Anna, in Green, on the Sombero, and her newfound Korean buddies.

The Nose:  There were just two teams on the upper part of this route.  One, a NIAD, moved smartly along all day and should be off a bit after dark.
NIAD team climbing out of camp 5 on the Nose.


























The other was the surviving team from yesterday when the Licra boys were casually swept from the route by its length and difficulty.

Lower down there were several teams spotted past Sickle ledge and low in the legs.  Looks to me like they are just fixing parties using Steve’s fixed lines to get off and back for a head start on the unfortunates proceeding from Sickle in the morning.  There was a team of 3 higher in the Legs who were doing some free climbing.  I think they are Dolt bivy candidates.

Muir:  Nicki and Allisyn moved up the thin crack above the slab and are headed to the so called “bivy for one” later in the day.  Smooth going up there for them.

Shield:  Three parties are presently lined up a pitch apart from the Triple cracks down to the roof.  Stout wind up there, with ropes heading east in a hurry, all day.  Great shooting these guys.
Over the Roof on the Shield.
























Morning on the Shield.


























Salathe:  Several parties are strung out on this route from the Alcove to the HF.  Above, the solo from yesterday climbed the roof in the late morning and dusted off the Headwall later in the afternoon.  Who was that guy?  He is pretty good, whoever he is.  Behind him, I spotted a team of two casting off the Block and headed to the Roof, unless of course, they are Freeriders.
Taking a break after hauling on the Salathe Wall route.

























Aquarian:  The solo from yesterday was in fact a team of two smartly dressed guys, one in orange and the other red… I like these guys!  Who are they?

In other news:  Rescue today off the base of EC.  Some dude took a whipper on a base climb and complained of back pain.  He was wheeled out and choppered to Fresno.  It went smoothly, as it is just chump change, for our YOSAR team. 
Ottawa Doug showed up with family at the bridge this afternoon.  His lovely daughter got a lot of attention from the grovellers at the Bridge.
Ottawa Doug and daughter Elyse at the Bridge.




















We had a nice afternoon, as the Tourons have thinned out and a lot of the monkey’s were hanging out watching the climbers, bathed in spectacular light, all afternoon.  Total sweetness!
So that’s the way it is for this the 8th day of October, 2009
Bye for now… Tom



I am not a climber. This never made sense to me. I came to your sight because my son is on ElCap today. Through your pictures, now I understand!!!!!!!!!!!! What and experience. Thank you!


Chills up and down my spine looking at the pictures. Hope to see you this weekend as Michael and I are headed up there. I think Mike's climbing partner is coming also, so perhaps some climbing this weekend, but alas not likely on the big wall for them this time.

Great Site

Also watching for Jack and Kevin on Muir. Your shots are fantastic

Old Man

Great Shootin Tom!

Wow, super pics you have been turning in as of late Tom. Sure makes all us old dudes want to hit the trail and get up there.. Well, the two Okies (Brandon and Jason) are on their way! Arriving in San Jose tonight and should be on the Nose starting tomorrow (Saturday). They hope to be able to catch you at the bridge on their way in.. sure tried to get them in something colorful for ya. We are hearing back here in Oklahoma that the weather is supposed to change Monday night, any update from your high tech buddy with the tarrot cards and such??
Looks like a great weekend heading your way!
Bob in OKC

Thanks for what you do!

Thank you for the great photos and the commentary you give us, Tom. My son is starting up El Cap today with two partners, and unfortunately I am not sure of the route or name, maybe it's Salathe. I am a nervous Mom, quite new to all the lingo, names and equipment and the process as a whole. We live in Florida and this seems other worldly to me. Your pictures actually calm me, and the comments on the climbers makes it all seem so natural. Thank you, what a service you provide. I wish I could thank you in person.
Pat from Florida


You are not the first to discover that Grover rarely does what he is told. I actually took him to an ear doctor when he was a toddler, because I thought he surely had a hearing problem, because why else would he not be doing what I told him to do??!! The doctor said his hearing was fine.

Lot's of lovin Tom

You're part of my morning ritual!

Great shots of the moon too!


thank you!

Your shots are amazing and I enjoyed talking with you and Erik yesterday. It was really fun watching and meeting people from all over that are so curious about climbers and have stories of their own to share! Thanks again for this service that you provide and for keeping an occasional lens shot of Kevin and Jack on the Muir!



I have friends Jack and Kevin who were scheduled to start up the Muir 10/8. Please keep an eye out for them in your reports.


Moon shot


It was nice to meet you last weekend and learn a bit more about El Cap.

The shot of the moon next to the wall is just amazing.

Can I buy a camera like yours at Walmart???

Dave Lambert (Matt's Dad)


If you get any shots of Matt and Grover---I'd love to see them. Grover's mom

Prod Sez.

I love the moon pics.


simply frawsome

thanks again tom!


It's To-tuk-a-no-la

Or howsumever ya want to spell or say it.
Dude, It's El Cap.
Check it out.......skully

I agree thank you for all that you do

I have come to realize that some people well maybe just dont have the passion for the Big Stone as we do. It can be a life long passion. Your pictures and words are its story.


Princess of the El Cap Bridge

Awesome shot of the moon! You rock Tom! Thanks for doing what you do!