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|Submitted by Tom Evans on Wed, 12/31/2014 - 01:05|
ElCap Report 12/27/14 SPECIAL DAWN WALL EDITION!!
Brought to you by “Adidas Outdoor”.
By Tom Evans
Yo… Nope, you are not seeing things, Cubicle Pukes! I am here in the cold of Yosemite winter! Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson are making, what we all hope is the final, and successful push to finish the most difficult big wall free climb ever done! I am here for several days, to shoot the climb, and provide some moral support for the guys!!
So grab that eggnog, put the dog out, and tell your loved ones that you need a little “time out” to hang with the pros, on the Big Stone! History is being made and you can see it as it happens, directly from the meadow, only on the ElCap Report!
Today’s Elcap Report… written just for you.. unique in all the world!
Here it comes… The Free Dawn Wall, Vll, 5.14.d Hey! This ain’t no grade Vl, Son!!
AKA “The Tommy and Kevin Show”.
I arrived in the early morning of Dec. 27th after driving for 12 hours from Vegas, to my home in SoCal, then up to Yosemite! I pulled into the “line-up” near the ElCap Bridge and encountered Erik Sloan, who is working in support of the climb by hauling loads up the face, and helping in any way he can. We chatted for a while and then people started showing up.
1) Tommy and Kevin soon arrived, along with Brett Lowell, from “Big Up” productions, who is to be shooting, on the wall, with the team.
2) Tommy Caldwell.
3) Kevin Jorgeson.
4) Kevin, and Erik Sloan, who provided the updated topo Kevin is reading over.
5) Kevin keeps the gear rack information on his phone, so here we see Tommy and him racking up.
6) No.. that is NOT “Peruvian Marching Powder”, but some “White Courage” (climbing chalk, used to keep the hands from getting too sweaty and thus slippery).
7) Kevin smoothing those 5.14 fingers, on a buffing stone.
8) Tommy’s climbing shoes… not some prima donna sport climbing shoes, but shoes that bear his name and can be worn all day long, day after day!
9) The march to the base began a bit after noon.
After the hike to the base, they start climbing around 1pm. Kevin led the 1st pitch (casual 12.b!).
10) Tommy was soon cruising the 2nd pitch (13a) while Kevin belayed.
11) Tommy passing the crux of the 2nd pitch while Brett shoots video.
12) Kevin got the 3rd pitch, a stout 13.c starting with a strenuous lieback for most of the pitch… nice and brutal… welcome to ElCap!
13) Kevin at the crux… a delicate traverse out to the right on very sketchy, micro holds… no falls!
The light was fading fast after Kevin’s lead, so they continued in the dark, until 11pm when they arrived at Stork Ledge (aka Anchorage Ledge). You will see why it is now called Stork Ledge later. This put them right on schedule, having done the first 5 on the first day. The first 5 went at … 12.b, 13.a, 13.c, 12.b, 12.d not bad guys!!
It is very cold here, in the deep shade of the EC Meadow, where the sun is rarely seen. I am mostly keeping warm but late in the day the hands, nose, ears, and toes get pretty cold.
14) This shot of Yosemite falls gives you an idea of just how cold the nights are this time of year.
In other news: Not many people here these days, so mine is a lonely vigil. Thoughts of a two week cruise, starting on the 24th of January, keep my spirits up!
So that’s the way it is, on this 27th day of Dec. 2014.
Capt. Tom.. in the meat locker!