ElCap Report 10/12 to 10/18/17

ElCap Report 10/12 to 10/18/17

By Tom Evans

Yo… Great weather, albeit on the warm side, prevails here in Yosemite.  Unfortunately, so does the smoke from the Empire fire, up behind Glacier Point.  So, most of the day shooting is a waste of time as the shots come out very strange looking until the smoke drifts off later in the afternoon.  The roads are a total mess too with paving going on in the camp 4 area and other projects making for lots of waiting in lines.  I had considered leaving this week but some friends are here and we are having a good time in spite of the distractions.  We had a big rockfall off the first half of the 5th pitch on ZM, so that route will have to be reestablished there.  The big rockfall area continues to dribble a rock or two now and then but nothing substantial.  

Today’s ElCap Report..written just for you..unique in all the world!

1)  Pete Zabrok, Andre Kovacs, and Blueblocr are putting on a good show refitting Wall of the Early Morning Light.  They are moving right along on the Harding/Caldwell classic, but controversial, route.  This shot is of Camp Piton, low on the route.




























2)  Another team went out from Lay Lady Ledge onto Reticent for several pitches before bailing across the famous 15th pitch of the Dawn Wall free climb, and onto Mescalito.  Here Blueblocr is climbing under the Reticent/Mescalito team while they are moving to Mescalito.





























3)  The end of the day finds Pete left with the kit being hauled to the new high point.  This is the place where Mescalito passes by WEML.




























4)  High on the Shield this team, of Axel Tritton and James Davidson, had a fight on their hands when the infamous winds up there tried to blow away their portaledge!






























5)  Jacob Cook is in the lead on El Corazon while partner Bronwyn Hodgins tends the belay in this shot from way out west.





























6)  Mary Grace Stocker is seen here cleaning the last wide section to Gray Ledges on the 3D.





























7)  I spotted this excellent woman climber, Nina Caprez and partner Benoit, on the start of the long corner leading to Eagle Ledge from the Jardine Traverse.  






























8)  Matt Lambert and partner Chris started out on ZM and fixed a couple of pitches as seen here.  The next morning a rock came down and bounced off their portaledge along with a stream of sand.  That didn’t bode well so they decided to bail. Two days later the first half of the fifth pitch fell to the ground!  Sometimes it pays to listen to that little voice in one’s head telling them to get the hell out of there!






























9)  As a result of the bail mentioned in pic 8, Matt and Chris decided, after a day spent hanging in the meadow,  that they would team up with a couple of rooks, Hayden and Adam, and do Zodiac in a push.  They pushed and pushed and 36 hours later topped out.  Here Matt is cleaning the Pearly Gates pitch heading into the Great White Circle.






























10)  Alix Morris has been flinging herself at Freerider in attempts to climb it free in a day… so far without success.  The heat has been too much for most long free climbs on the Cap.  Here she is finishing up the Hollow Flake low on the route.





























11)  I caught this team hauling and cleaning the Roof Pitch on the Salathe Wall. They are Greg Powell and Crystal Yin Lee.






























12)  This climber is a bit low for the Freerider traverse and is mostly hanging out getting a better look at where the route goes.




























13)  Roby Rudolf takes a look at the camera from up on his and Rob Millers new free route they are trying to finish in a 12-day push.





























14)  Rob Miller is seen here hauling kit on the upper part of the wall....and yes the route goes up that awsome looking lieback crack up and left!




























15)  In a long shot from way out west a well-dressed team is seen heading up the pitch into Camp 5.  The last report had a similar shot but with not so great dressed climbers.






























16)  Another long shot finds a couple teams in the vicinity of and on the Great Roof.






























17)  I don’t know who these climbers are but they looked great!





























18)  Late evening finds Maria Parkes cleaning the last pitch of the day, on Sunkist.





























19)  This team is on Zodiac’s 2nd pitch.






























20)  This is what ElCap looks like on most mornings these days… reminds me of the old classic…. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes!






























21)  The Sugar Maple is in full glory now and it makes the fall colors I miss from back east.






























22)  Every day I drive the west end of the loop so I can perhaps get a long shot of someone on ElCap but mostly so I can drive though this tunnel of yellow Maples on South Side Drive.



























In other news:  We have been anticipating rain at the end of the week to clean up the air, the new rock scar, and dampen the Empire fire.  The chances looked great earlier but now it looks like the storm might move off to our north… not good.  Please let me know the names of climbers I have left out in the shots... I don't know everyone's names... hardly know my own at my age!

Please consider donating to Quinn Brett's recovery fund... you can find the link in the comments section of the Texas Flake rescue report, two back.  Someone... please post the link to her fund... I can't seem to get it past my security.

So that’s the way it is, on this Wednesday, the 18th day of October, 2017.

Capt. Tom… cough, cough, hack, hack.

Quinn Brett Recovery Fund

Please help reach their goal. Getting close!

Climber names

Hi Tom,

The climber names on the great roof shot above -

Aloe Eslava Oriol in the blue shirt at the belay. Kishen Mangat in the yellow shirt next to Aloe at the belay. Aloe’s partner Jordi is cleaning the pitch, also in yellow. Aloe and Jordi are a super pair of Spaniards.





Before you go hibernate for the winter would it be possible to post a shot of the rockfall scar on El Cap that shows the latest status?

I appreciate everything you do on this site and for climbing in general.

Lee Guild

El Cap

Thanks for the report Tom. Was the coughing due to smoke or a cigar?????

Such a great bunch of images!

Thank you Tom, for your amazing eye and support of everyone on El Cap. You being in the Meadow, reaching up to them all does a lot for them, I'm sure. And for those of us who have loved ones climbing, it's wonderful to see the action... Hope your lungs make it through the week! We love having you ensconced in the Valley!!