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|Submitted by Tom Evans on Sun, 01/11/2015 - 16:10|
ElCap Report 1/10/15 Special Dawn Wall Edition Day 15
Brought to you by “Adidas Outdoor”
By Tom Evans
Yo… Day 15 on the climb started out very overcast with rain lurking. It was cooler too and conditions looked right for Kevin to catch up a couple pitches on Tommy. Kevin had texted me that they were going to start around noon and I had some interviews to do for the media, so I went early. By the time I arrived the clouds had thinned out and the sun was peeking through. Soon the boys were set to climb.
Today’s ElCap Report..written just for you..unique in all the world!
After last night I figured the team might just take a day off and wind down from the high drama of yesterday. But the psyche was high and Kevin was anxious to get back on the route and catch up to Tommy’s high point.
1) When I arrived at the meadow, I was greeted by cars parked everywhere and a mob of people milling about seeing what sights were to be seen.
2) The supply team, headed by Erik Sloan, headed back up for a resupply of needed items including more food and water and some really necessary items, like recharged batteries and whiskey, the latter of which, had fallen to a critically low level!
3) Various news agencies had arrived and were working the crowd to find any knowledgeable person to snag for an interview. This is the ABC Good Morning America crew, which got to Yosemite several days ago, and were way out in front on the story.
4) By noon Tommy and Kevin were at the start of the 16th pitch, which Kevin had climbed the first half of, last night.
5) By now the clouds had nearly vanished and the temperature had risen to a very comfortable level, here in the meadow and a very warm level on the wall. Kevin started off and fell at the crux, higher on the pitch. I figured he would stop, as conditions were not good for continuing as the shoe soles were getting soft and this was the last pitch of 5.14 on the climb.
6) However, on this day, Kevin was not to be denied. He had sent his critics scurrying for cover, like scalded dogs yesterday, and was not about to let them back into the story! He took off his shirt, chalked up, and started off again.
7) The heat was rising, and once again Kevin took flight.
8) Meanwhile, over on the Triple Direct, Roger Putnam, and partner, Matt Benoit, were on a one day speed ascent of the route and Matt is seen here on the Nose section, at the Great Roof.
9) Back on the Dawn Wall, Kevin sent the 16th and was back in the fight! They moved the belay up to the top of 17, as Tommy had already led that pitch and Kevin only had to climb it as a second. Here he is half way up the pitch which is “only” rated 13.c. Ha! Only 13.c!! If you are a climber you get the joke!
10) He worked the pitch a bit and here, nearing the end of the pitch, I could see that he was getting tired, as his body language told the tale on him. However, he dug deep and pushed harder.
11) Toward dusk he was only a few moves away from the belay and I am sure he was glad to call it a day when he finished that pitch!
12) Daylight soon dwindled, and we got to enjoy another nice sunset.
Tomorrow will be another day, of what seems like an endless stream of days, with countless difficulties, disappointments, and triumphs. Tenacity, persistence, determination, character are all welded together in the……..TEAM. For, while the climbers are great individually, the TEAM is always stronger than the sum of its members. In climbing, it all comes down to …. THE TEAM, THE TEAM, and THE TEAM.
Tomorrow 1/11/15 is going to be a rest day so no climbing for them on this Sunday.
So that’s the way it is, on this Saturday, the 10th day of January, 2015.
Capt. Tom, still at my post… in the ElCap meadow… just for you!