|Submitted by Tom Evans on Wed, 10/21/2009 - 04:04|
ElCap Report 10/20/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… Perfect fall day after yesterdays rain and wind. Everyone who was on the wall yesterday was going up today, with the exception of the ECT team who bailed late in the day, yesterday. Both of the Valley’s roads, North and South Side Drives are on fire with beautiful Maples lining the roads. Very nice. My tree is fading fast and will be bare in just a few more days… next year my old friend, next year. It was cold and clear this morning with temps in the low 60’s all day. Conditions on the Captain are just right. Do it now, or suffer the melancholy of regret all winter long!
South Side Drive this afternoon.
Today’s ECR is brought to you by the Fall. The best time of the year, especially this year with the “Spring in the Fall” going on. The waterfalls are still stellar and the leaves are turning beautifully right now.
Today’s ElCap Report … written just for you…. Unique in all the world!!
ElCap Meadow this morning.
The path to the best tree in the ElCap Meadow.
Zodiac: Easily the most popular route on the wall at the moment. Andy and Alex are at the top of the line and were last seen climbing to Peanut ledge and could push on to the top if they want to put in the effort, late in the day.
Below them is the team of Graham and Chile who stayed at 4 yesterday in the storm and are finishing the Black Tower as I type these lines.
Below them is a team of two, line jumpers, who showed up this morning with bags and all, ready to go. They hopped on another parties fixed line to the top of two and climbed to pitch 4 as I left.
Below them is the two women one man team of, Marsha, Amanda, and a replacement guy, Adam who they met in the Cafe yesterday, and volunteered to go! They were going up the 4th after jugging their previously set lines to the top of three.
Anyone else??… Last call for Zodiac… Zodiac, Zodiac… get in line now!!
One of the line jumpers lowering out the pig on Zodiac’s third pitch, while Amanda looks on and Adam juggs up.
The 4th pitch on Zodiac.
The top of the Black Tower.
The Trip: Althea ledged up all yesterday in the bad weather and was up early and out on the lead by the time I arrived today. She looked good up there and seemed comfortable. She was working on her second pitch of the day as I left.
Althea leading off on the 10th pitch on the Trip.
Lost in America: Scott Deputy is on the route, solo, to stay now after fixing a couple before the storm. He says he feels confident and looked it today. He climbed the 3rd and 4th by the time I departed.
Scott climbing the 3rd on LA.
NA Wall: Kevin and Cooney showed up this morning and marched off to start the route around 9:30. Haven’t seen them yet, but the first 5 of the NA are blocked from my view by huge pine trees…. Oh for a strong wind or a chain saw!
Nose: I spotted the Norwegian team this morning at the Glowering Spot but soon lost sight of them in the upper corners. So I went out west this afternoon to check on their progress. They were a pitch above the Changing Corners pitch but still a couple from the top. They should push off the route this evening but might stay at the base of the last depending on how they feel. They are a slow moving team but seemed to have weathered the storm ok and get high marks for persistence and tenacity!!
Norwegians on top of the Changing Corners pitch and headed to the top of the Nose.
Lower down I watched a couple of guys climb the Legs to Dolt this afternoon on a practice run up to Dolt. They rapped off around 4pm.
3D: When I was out west I spotted a team just past the Shield/Muir cutoff. I assume they are Jim Gaun and Cameron Kern who contacted me a few days ago about going on the route. They must have been on Grey ledges during the storm and felt good enough to continue. Not the best colors guys, not the best colors. Camp 4 bivy beneath the Great Roof, a shitty ledge but a view to die for.
Shield: The combined team worked off Chickenhead and were a pitch from the top when I left at 4pm. Should be off, but not down, tonight. These guys were in deep shit yesterday but were up to the challenge and will have an interesting story to tell, of rain, cold, and wind, upon their return. Way to hang in there… well …thinking about it…. They were too high to go down anyway… so had no choice to go up or die in place. Like they say, “Better to fall off than freeze to death”!
Last pitch on the Shield and several other routes too.
Salathe: I did see a mixed team climb to Hollow Flake this morning and then work their way up to the Ear by the time I departed from out west.
Dihedral: I hear there is a party of two SAR girls, Libby and Chantel, low on this old classic. I haven't seen them but expect to see some knock out outfits!!
Feature of the Day: Yesterdays was the Irie on Reticent. Just one person got it .... so today will be an easy one.
In other news: Weather looks good for the foreseeable future… it is getting late in the season. Yesterdays lesson … be ready for sudden, bad weather. Don’t go up there unprepared for the wet and cold… this is the time of year when people have frozen to death in the past. Be warned, be warned!!
Very quiet at the bridge and quite chilly in the morning, with some ice on the deck. I went out in the meadow for a time to shoot in the warmth of the sunlight… sweet!
I hope your Fall is as nice as ours has been, here in the Valley. The weather was a bit funky but did make for some great waterfalls and wonderfully cleansed air. I like to go out to Lideg meadow just after dark, these evenings, to watch the mists form in the meadow and see the wonderfully clear night sky, framed by the powerful cliffs of Yosemite. It has always amazed me that I am alone most of the time out there… people seem to hole up at night here, instead of seeing the beautiful night, unfold by starlight. The stars fill the sky and the Milky Way Galaxy is quite impressive. Such a scene makes one think of so many wonderful things we don’t often contemplate, shut inside, with the TV going, music blaring, and the trite conversation over drinks at the bar.
So that’s the way it is for this the 20th day of October, 2009.
It’s good here…