|Submitted by Tom Evans on Mon, 10/15/2012 - 02:30|
ElCap Report 10/14/12
By Tom Evans
Yo…Continued excellent weather is bringing them out in droves now. However, bailers are flourishing too! The ElCap shuttle is a thing of the past, for the Fall season, so make arrangements to get your kit down to the Cap. A little warm today, with very moderate winds. Nights are pretty chilly but not as cold as the typical Fall night.
Today’s ElCap Report…written just for you…unique in all the world!
Zodiac: The mixed team who fixed during the “cloud storm” appeared today and climbed to the start of the Black Tower pitch by 3pm when I left the West.
Hauling kit to the start of the Black Tower.
Zenyatta Mondatta: The local team of Alex Evans and Ryan Baker, fixed on this excellent route late yesterday afternoon. Today they showed up and blasted on the route. I am hoping for some good shots as this is one of my favorite routes.
Leading the Second pitch on ZM.
Trip: The speedy team of two from the past few days climbed off in mid morning today.
Native Son: Mark and Cheyne were connected with the Trip’s last couple when I left today. They are off now but spending the night on top, as Old Sawed Off wants to rest before the arduous journey down the East Ledges. Know that I think the world of Mark and like to give him all the crap I can... he is an amazing climber and friend and I hope to see him on the rock for many years to come.
Lower down Marek spent most of the day on the notorious “Coral Sea” pitch. Looks like a maze of shitty flakes to me!
Marek, pounding in some iron to pass a tough spot in the Coral Sea.
NA Wall: Strange story here. The lower party, getting ready to start the route, bailed to Mescalito so as not to be held up by the party of three above. Shortly thereafter the party of three bailed! The route is empty.
Mescalito: Oli Warlow and partner Irish Paul, are speeding up the route. My spies tell me that last night they were climbing by headlamp to reach the start of the Molar Traverse. Oli got the call and quickly dispatched the interesting pendulum that is the key to the traverse. They climbed higher and caught the upper party late in the afternoon.
Oli, sticking the Molar Pendulum this morning.
Higher up Max and Pete are making good time and were in the middle of the route by afternoon.
Max nearing the not so great flake leading to the belay on the 14th pitch.
The Nose: The route is getting more than its share of attention these days. Higher up the German Women were climbing above Camp 6 this afternoon and will be off later in the day. Above them, the mixed Spanish team, Jose and Gencidna, was starting the last pitch. In the middle of the route, two teams from yesterday, in the Legs, moved off ECT this morning to continue the route. Nancy and Lydia, composed the first team and three men, representing “Chippendales’”, was the other team. The women climbed first and did the KS with some effort, but were soon climbing into the Grey Bands. There they met Hans Florine who was in the process of hauling a bag and portaledge. Yes… I didn’t make that up! Hans is with a friend and is speeding along hoping to avoid the dreaded “bivy”, but is hauling kit. Oh the Humanity!!
The men spent some time lounging around on the top of the Boot, and some time later send a stout youth down for the pendulum. He quickly dispatched the swing.
King Swing… stuck… that’s good!.... Two friends filming and cheering you on… priceless!
Below Dolt several parties vied for position until late in the day. I didn’t see anyone cross Dolt and one team bailed, or were just making a run for practice. Sickle Ledge was the scene of several parties moving up toward the Legs.
Muir: The Ninja man, Ben Erdmann, made the top this afternoon. He climbed well the whole time.
Free Muir: The two French climbers climbed to the top of the nutting pitch and did the traverse to the left onto the broken face that leads off the route. The route finishes up starting at Chicken Head, on the Shield.
The traverse across the heavily featured face leading off the route.
Lower down, Hazel and partner James McHaffie, climbed onto the free variation this morning. I guess each climber is not freeing every pitch as sometimes not everyone climbs without falls or reclimbs pitches if they do. The second shot was James leading and he blew by it pretty quickly. The third guy helping out is Neil Dryer.
Hazel taking a break on some difficult climbing.
James having fun on some of the routes most beautiful rock.
Shield: The Mike’s climbed to the top this morning. They spent some serious time but were never in a hurry. These guys like to have fun up there!
Salathe: A couple of parties were high on the route this afternoon.
Lower down Mash, and the Kauffman Brothers, climbed from Lung Ledge and were heading toward the Ear as I departed. There is a line of parties waiting to get on the route.
Dihedral Wall: This seldom done but historic route has three climbers fixing on it.
Matt, Jack, and Drew were seen out there climbing the 4th pitch as I went out West this afternoon. I assume they will haul some kit and blast in the next day or so.
Never Never Land: Jim Gaun, and partner Cameron were spotted on the 4th pitch this afternoon. Looked a little warm over there to me!
Lost World: Today, I saw the Steve and Pete show, still parked where it has been for some time. The team was lounging around in the ledges. I assume they have tagged the top and will come down tomorrow.
Lurking Fear: I did see a team climbing the third pitch this afternoon.
In other news: Lots of cars parked at the ECM and lots of plans being made and bags packed. So come on out… there is still a lot of the Fall season left.
So that’s the way it is, for this Sunday, the 14 day of October, 2012.