ElCap Report 10/18 to 10/25/2017

ElCap Report 10/19 to 10/25/2017

By Tom Evans

Yo…Unprecedented solid weather seems to be the trademark of this Falls climbing season.  It is too warm for some of the free climbing on ElCap, yet several teams are forging ahead.  Most popular is, of course, Freerider which has been plagued by drop-ins, bailers and fixed-line jumpers.  El Nino, El Corazon, and Golden Gate still have parties on them.  The big free climbing news is the finishing of Rob Miller and Roby Rudolf’s new route on the Muir Wall, just two days ago.  Big wall aid routes are going down in good order too.  Recently we have seen the NA, Aurora, Native Son, Mescalito, Wall of the Early Morning Light, Sunkist, Never Never Land, and Aquarian get climbed, to mention some of the notables.

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

1)  It rained the other night but it was done by morning.  Here is a shot I took after arriving at the meadow the morning after the rain.



























2)  Fall is still with us but the leaves are fading fast now.  The north side drive is still looking pretty good, while my beloved Sugar Maple has gone bare.  Here is a shot of a cluster of Aspens in the ElCap Meadow.






























3)  Polish team hauling kit to the top of the Bismarck on Mescalito.





























4)  Higher on Mescalito, Josh Huckabee is seen here leading toward the ships bow after an interesting sideways bail from Reticent to Mescalito.
































5)  Over on the Regular Muir, this gang of 4 looked to be having a great time on the Chouinard Herbert classic track.






























6)  I mentioned above that Rob Miller and Roby Rudolf have finished their long standing project on the Muir Wall.  This is a shot of Rob taking the plunge off the last difficult pitch of the route.



























7)  Rob’s fall is continued in this shot.





























8)  On Never Never Land, Damien and Tommy had a good time on this seldom done but excellent out west route.  Here they are a couple of pitches above Timbuktu.





























9)  A couple days later, they passed the Pinnacle of Hammerdom, to finish on Hole World.






























10)  On Native Son, the team of Camden, Maria, and Tito moved along smartly on this wild, overhanging route on the Cap’s SE face.  Here Tito is jugging miles from the wall after Maria lead the huge Wing pitch.





























11)  In this shot Cam is cleaning the last part of the overhang on the Wing.





























12)  The refitting of the Wall of the Early Moring Light was finished two days ago by Andre, Blueblocr, and Pete after 14 days on the route.  Pete routes normally take two to three times the first ascent teams time but this one took just ½ the time!  Here they are in the middle of the climb, climbing the corners to Wino Tower.






























13)  Here the WEML crew is encamped on Wino Tower.





























14)  Above Wine tower the WEML crew made it to the wonderful cracks leading to the Harding Roof.

























15)  That night they bivied under the Harding Roof and would be off in 2 more days.  We appreciate the work they put in to repair the route, which is now open for business!





























16)  Over on El Nino, the Swedes Stefan and partner Alexey, are seen here on a high recon of the route off Big Sur ledge, as evening came on.  They plan to blast in a few days.  Alexey leading here.




























17)  Salathe/Freerider are getting a lot of attention these days and one frequently sees traffic jams at Sous le Toit ledge, high on the route.





























18)  Skot Richards and Shayd Otis made a workman like ascent of Sunkist over several days.  Here Skot is leading on the fantastic granite of this super classic headwall.




























19)  Here they are in the afternoon high on the headwall in a shot taken from a long way out.






























20)  There has been a lot of slacklineing this past week with some of the world’s best participants taking it to higher levels.  I spotted this woman on the line between lower and higher Cathedral Spires yesterday.  That line was really long…like nothing I have ever seen in Yosemite before.  Also this line is almost 2,000ft above the valley floor... talk about exposure!


























21)  On 9/26/11 I photographed and wrote a Report on the rescue of Michael Schmolzer, a climber who had fallen from the pitch into Camp 5, on the Nose, and lost his right thumb in the process… you should look it up and read it…It is on page 20 in the list at the bottom of the Home page. That rescue became a classic in SAR history.  I always wondered how things had worked out for Michael but never found out… well, he found me in the Café the other morning and explained who he was and what had happened to him.  His thumb was re-attached at a hospital in San Francisco and he made a complete recovery.  So, he came out to the meadow one day and hung out with the crew and we got this shot of his partner, Richard, Michael, and me ………giving thumbs up, of course!





























So that’s the way it is, on this Thursday, the 26th day of October, 2017.


I am out of here on the first of Nov.  So, come get your shots soon or email me with the contact button above. 




Lost Thumb

Hi Tom,
thank you for the amazing pictures and interesting comments. Finding even us three in your report makes me homesick for the valley. See you next year so god will!
All the best from Austria

Rob Miller and Roby Rudolf

Hey! My partner took a cool shot of either Rob or Roby while we were on Salathe a few weeks ago. We'd like to send it over to them, thinking they'd like to see it. Email him at gpowellhb@gmail.com

Great Report!

Exceptional Report, Maestro! Those pics of Rob's misstep are amazing. You are always on the scene, Mayor Tom! Thanks for keeping the dream alive and bringing us desk pukes into the heart of the Valley! dB