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|Submitted by Tom Evans on Wed, 01/07/2015 - 14:41|
ElCap Report 1/6/15 Special Dawn Wall Edition Day 11
Brought to you by “Adidas Outdoor”
By Tom Evans
Yo.. great weather for general climbing and watching the happenings on ElCap. But, not so good for extreme climbing. Way too warm on the Cap. The men decided to wait until darkness was falling to start today’s climbing. Thus the pics are a bit on the sketchy side… but pretty neat really. For the past two days I have been handling media requests from all over the planet! Wow! What a ride that has been! You may have seen the nightly news reporting on the climb and the use of my shots in the reporting. Pretty cool for this old timer! Suddenly I am an overnight success… only 20 years in the making!!
Today’s ElCap Report ..written just for you..unique in all the world!
After a morning of media madness, I was able to extricate myself from the hotel room and make a dash for the EC meadow. Nothing going on there as the climbers had decided to climb as late as possible. So I went back to the hotel and did more media!
1) I returned to the meadow late in the daylight and set up with the boys from Big Up, as the light was rapidly fading. The man behind the big lens is Josh Lowell who is the man at Big Up and has been a great guy to hang out with and get advice from... Thanks Josh!
2) Kevin had not been able to send the 15th pitch after several tries, a couple of days ago. So it was Showtime for Kevin, on that long and arduous pitch that Tommy had finished a couple of days ago, with only one fall. After a good rest Kevin felt confident he could get the send. Here he is out prepping the pitch, as the darkness came on.
3) The next few shots are of Kevin prepping as darkness rapidly fell, and the temperature plunged for the meadow crew. Pretty cool headlamp shot as Kevin turned to look at us, far below.
4) Kevin working out to the left.
5) Kevin prepping.
6) Kevin prepping.
7) Kevin prepping.
8) When it really got dark the photographers shooting lights helped considerably.
9) Finally the prepping was finished and it was time for the climbing to start.
Sorry about the quality of these shots... they are actually quite good in full resolution but have to be compressed so much for the Report tht they just look kind of sketchy!!
Josh Lowell, from Big Up Productions, quickly got the word that Kevin had decided that it was still too warm to attempt the climb and was postponing his attempt until later in the night. So they moved the ledge to the start of the 16th pitch which Tommy had climbed most of a couple of days ago. That was going to take some time to set up and my camera and big gun didn’t have further success with images … so I made a hasty retreat from the meadow. A reporter from ABC news had shown up and needed an interview so we went off to dinner. She returned after dinner but I stayed back and did images and media.
Around 10:30 she emailed me that Kevin had made three tries and had fallen each time, just short of the belay. Not good. He took another run at it but the result was the same. So they quit for the night. I think the 11 days hanging off ElCap must be slowly causing the men to lose some fitness, and their fingers have not had enough time to recover from the beating of climbing to that height. It is hard for fingers to heal with only one or two days of rest. They have made excellent progress to their present high point and just might need a 3 day break, left alone by the photographers, to get their bodies really rested. Just my 2 cents worth of useless advice most likely!!
The weather looks killer far into the future. Temperatures for the next 10 days look like 50's in the day and 30's at night and no storms or rain... that is good!! These conditions have not occurred in many years and this could be the only change to finish the route in great weather… who knows what will happen now? We await the dawning of the new day, to hear what the plan will be. We all understand that, what looks like innocent little whippers, can break an finger or an ankle and then the climb is over immediately… or continued warm weather could shut them down as could winter storms. So at this moment The Captain has the upper hand and it will be the men’s task to wrest that advantage away. This ain’t no walk in the park, son!
Stay tuned, as it isn’t in the bag until it is done.
So that’s the way it is, for this Tuesday, the 6th day of January, 2015.
“Ansel” Evans… at the center of the media universe! OMG!