ElCap Report 10/13/11

ElCap Report 10/13/11
By Tom Evans

Yo… Gorgeous day here in the Valley, if a bit on the warm side.  Mid October, sunny and warm… what else do you need?  The falls are booming and the Cap is seeing some good teams climbing some great routes.  It just doesn’t get much better than this!  Lots to report on today ..so…

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

Zodiac:  Chris Belino and jjDave Pope put in a solid day yesterday and did so again today.  Peanut ledge for them tonight!  They are getting more efficient as the days go by.  Off tomorrow for these YOSAR rangers, who literally put their lives on the “line” for other climbers and anyone needing rescue.
1)  Dave Pope almost to the belay on the Devil’s Brow pitch.





























Below them the team of Tom and Ryan, who fixed two yesterday are back on the route to finish it in a push.  They were leading the Nipple pitch as I left this afternoon.  So far, so good … but the night is long and filled with the desire to sleep.  The buzz you get is not a good one!
2)  Zodiac’s most famous pitch.




























ZM:  Regan finished a couple as I shot today and will most likely get another done before the bivy.  He is methodical, old school, not fast, and his strong suit is persistence and tenacity.  Qualities that serve wall climbers well on ElCap.
3)  Regan reaching high for what appears to be a hook or perhaps a rivet.




























Lost in America:  After fixing one pitch yesterday evening, the team of Josh and Brett are on the route.  It should be a good route for them, experienced climbers that they are.

The Diagonal Route:  In progress… I mentioned yesterday that Nico and Sean started out on Free Zodiac the other day and were not to be seen the next day… they actually climbed a diagonal line through ZM, the Trip, Native Son and Aurora to reach the bottom of the Golden Finger of Fate, where they spent most of yesterday ledged up.  Today they were out and about climbing the GFF on its left side and also dropping down and doing the top of the right side.  Their intention is to find a free way across the SE Face.  So far, so good.  However, from the top of the GFF the pickings look pretty slim, and it will be interesting to see just what they come up with tomorrow.
4)  Nico leading on the GFF mid morning.





























NA Wall:  I watched Karel climb up the last several pitches to the base of the final pitch this afternoon.  This guy has powered up the route in an impressive manner.  Off by now for sure.
5)  Karel standing on the “Pillar of Blocky Death” on the NA wall.




























Lower down the Mike’s were seen this morning starting the long, easy corner system to Big Sur Ledge.  They were caught early in the afternoon by Gedas and Savle who started yesterday.  I think they passed the Mike’s later on the next pitch.
6)  NA teams meeting on the climb.



























SSPO:  Mark and Max, who have not climbed together for over 30 years, are on the last part of the South Seas portion of the route.  Mark has been active on the Cap for the last couple of years but not Max.  It doesn’t seem to matter as Max is doing his share, just like Mark.  They are most likely on the PO part as I type these lines.
7)  Mark leading on the latter part of South Seas this morning.





























Mescalito:  Christian and Mike are making good progress up the long right leaning corner to the Molar Traverse.
8)  Climbing the 8th pitch on Mescalito.




























Reticent:  Callum and Neil are putting the pitches behind them and will bivy on Wino Tower tonight.
9)  Callum doing some hooking off the belay this morning.



























New Dawn:  Tommy and Jenn won the race to Wino this afternoon by half a pitch, so they get to set up first on the, something less than, spacious ledge.
10)  Jenn lowering out the kit a pitch below Wino Tower.




























The Nose:  Ashley and Trevor, from yesterday, climbed the GR and up out of view beyond Camp 5 this morning.  Another team, both in light green shirts, also climbed the Roof and had the surprise of having Florine and Honnold pass them on a speed familiarization run up the route in the morning.  I glassed the route below ECT a couple of times as soon as I got there this morning and didn’t see anyone…they must have blown by while I blinked or something, because I didn’t see them until the Boot!  I managed to get some video of the double King Swing and made sure not to blink while recording it!  They were long gone by early afternoon.
11)  Hondo on the Great Roof.


























Lower down a team wandered into the Stovelegs in late morning and dragged toward Dolt.

Shield:  There are a couple of parties on the route now.  I did see a team of three, who I assume are Alex, Andy and Josh, locals with extensive experience, climb over the Roof around noon.  Supposedly another team of three is up there too and the team of Pete and Ian, who will most likely be the last in line.
12)  The third cleaning the Roof as the bags are hauled by the second.  The leader was already out.




























El Corazon:  Another team has joined Petter and Stefan on the route and were working the same long crack this morning as the Swedes did yesterday.
13)  New blood on El Corazon:



























Golden Gate:  The two Brits climbed past the Golden Desert and were on the A5 traverse when I left.  I can’t tell if they are sending or not.
A5 traverse.




























Salathe:  A team of two joined the fray, from Hollow Flake this morning.
Higher up a couple of teams were headed to the Block and beyond this afternoon.

Out West…. Well shame on me again today, but I just didn’t get out there so the Dihedral crew will just have to do without full coverage this time.

Mystery climb of yesterday was on the Falls Wall, right side, and is a Klaus route called Reckless Abandon, featuring Richie Copeland and Alik Berg.

In other news:  The Bridge is quiet these days now that the Shuttle has stopped making runs to EC.  Wonderful weather to hang out and watch the climbs progress.  Still not much of a Fall season as far as color is concerned.  The big oaks are out of it and the Dogwoods are not doing much either… strange… must be too warm for the leaves to turn.
So that’s the way it is, for this Thursday, the 13th day of October, 2011.
See you at the Bridge?


Fire for top Brothers!

Way to go to the MOLAR and beyond Christian & Mike! DS


Way to go Christiaan and Mike! GO MESCALITO!!!


Great to see a lot of action up there

'Keep it coming Tom, great

'Keep it coming Tom, great work as usual. The leaves are turning here in north central WA and there's even a healthy shot of snow in the mountains. Loving it here but I wish I was there for a week or two! Thanks again.

the goat