ElCap Report 10/16/2021

ElCap Report 10/16/2021

By Tom Evans

Yo… Several days of sunny and warm weather have been drawing climbers to the great wall.  Strangely enough, the upper east side is seeing more climbers than the Big Two these days.  Shortest Straw has been very popular, having women’s teams, solo’s, and men’s teams lining up for a shot at it.  There have been some free climbing attempts on other routes as well.  The season is winding down now as the extended weather forecast calls for rain and snow a week or so in the future.  The Nose has seen a higher than normal bail rate thus far.  For me the infection of ElCap by climbers wearing dark clothing has been particularly egregious, as it dulls my photo compositions. 

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

Shortest Straw.

1)   Solo climber, Ian McEleney, starting the 2nd pitch of the Straw.  Tom"s Shot of The Day!!!



2)  At times Zodiac fixers use the first couple of pitches of the Straw to get a direct way back up to the top of Zodiacs 4th pitch after fixing lines.






























3)  Late afternoon finds Horacio and Milo hauling kit and cleaning gear to the belay at the Sawblade flake.






























4)  Horacio and Milo are seen climbing the Sawblade Flake with Zodiac’s Nipple pitch on the right of the shot.































5)  On the distaff side, Maria Parks and Kristen Selin lead the charge up the route and are seen here at the slab pitch belay, which the route shares with Zodiac. 






























6)  Zodiac has gotten a lot of attention but is running an unusually high bail rate.  Here a three-man team ran into trouble, as they improperly flagged a ledge that became entangled with the 2nd man’s rope as he jugged up his line.  The resulting mess saw the ledge acting as a sail dragging the kit and the entangled climber all over the pitch.  Here he is seen trying to untangle the rope.































7)  Over on the Nose, NIADS are having a lot success this season.  The normal wall style climbers are, for the most part, getting their butts kicked with lots of bails from the start of the Legs.  Here a good team of climbers is seen on the short awkward moves to Dolt Tower.  Hate that gray!!































8)  This is the right spot to cross the corner to Eagle Ledge on the Nose’s King Swing.































9)  Soft, late afternoon light discloses a team on the Nose’s Pancake Flake.






























10)  Over on El Corazon, Brette Harrington is seen under close surveillance by  “The Eyes of ElCap. ”  She is working on freeing the route with partner Elliott Bernhagen.































11)  Dihedral Wall:  I did spot a team hauling kit to the 5th pitch in warm conditions out west.  They later bailed.































12)  Shield:  Noah and Elliot suddenly appeared on the Headwall and made short work of it, in good style.  Here they are above the Triple Cracks heading to Chickenhead ledge.  Notice “The Canoe” up and left.  Due to the configuration of the rock, they were unable to actually see the Canoe.































In other news:  Sorry to be a couple days behind on reporting climbs but that is the price bad internet extracts.  Forecasts of rain and snow are casting a long shadow on the last weeks of the season.  Stay tuned for updates as the situation develops.

Capt. Tom .. still shooting for your enjoyment.

Soloist on Shortest Straw

That's my Husband, Ian McEleney soloing the Shortest Straw. If you could post more pics of him I'd be super grateful! Thanks!

From Tom... I have taken a lot of shots of Ian as he is looking good and climbing well.  I try to spread the "fame" out among climbers in the the Report.