ElCap Report 5/15/09

ElCap Report 5/15/09
By Tom Evans

Yo… man was it hot today, and they say it will get hotter by the weekend.  So if you can stand the heat then put a few cold ones in your pack, tell your loved one that you have important business on the internet, close the door and step into my world here at the world’s most famous and influential Bridge.  Even though the Bridge is closed until late next week for repaving, I was still there, at the west end in the blazing sun, to shoot pics and inform the woefully ignorant Tourons about how those ropes got up there so the climbers could climb up them.  Today was the first day of the YCA’s new program, “Ask a climber”.  I happen to be the man with the answers to all questions, good or bad ones included.  I devote two hours a day to set up the telescope and have equipment out so that the Tourons can really understand what is going on up there on the Captain.  It seems like I have been doing that for many years in the past but 8 hours a day!

Today’s report is brought to you by one, “Aw shucks” young climber, Alex Honnold, who wandered by to say “Hi”.  The lad looked great and has come a long way since I talked with him, a complete unknown, a couple of years ago… my advice at the time was… “don’t get killed and make them pay your way“.  Seems like it has worked so far!
Today’s ElCap Report… right at you…

1)  Zodiac:  Saw a couple of lads fixing up to the 4th today in some hot conditions.  Blasting soon?




























ZM:  A couple of SAR Andy’s buddies are poised to go after fixing a couple of pitches.  Better wait until after the heat wave on Sunday!

PO Wall:  What I hear is a team of three Frenchmen were on the route today doing the regular start.  They had fixed three and were slowly moving up the 4th and 5th for most of the day.

2)  Tribal Rite:  The boys topped out this afternoon on this great, recently popular route.  Nice work guys!!





























Nose:  The Nose continues to be the most sought after route on the great rock and deservedly so!  Everyone was seen climbing through and above the Grey Bands today.  Two teams were heading for the top late in the afternoon, the highest having a chance to get off by dark and the other one …. Well maybe?

3)  High on the final pitches of the Nose.




























Two lower teams of two each played tag all afternoon through the Great Roof.  It looked really warm up there in the afternoon.  Off tomorrow?  Maybe!  There was no one lower down on the route.

4)  Crossing the Grey Bands half way up the Nose route.



























 5)  Climbing the Pancake Flake above the Great Roof, Nose route.






























Golden Gate:  Alex Honnold told me about the famous Swiss climber, Uli (sure can’t even begin to spell his name, sorry Dude) and his wife who are working the upper part of this route.  They left everything at the belay 4 pitches from the top and climbed out this afternoon… guess they were informed about the heat coming their way.

Salathe:  The two teams in the middle of the route yesterday went over the headwall by afternoon and just might be heading to the top today.
Lower down a team of two climbed to hollow flake in the morning and were at the Ear by 4pm when I departed.  A little on the slow side these climbers.  But not unexpected in this heat.

Lurking Fear:  Saw ranger Roger and friend pushing hard toward the traverse in very hot conditions…. They will be off before the crushing heat of the weekend….  I don’t recommend anyone go on the route until Monday.

In other news:  The Bridge road will be closed until later next week when all the paving is scheduled to be finished.  A lot of Tourons passed by and got the YCA program treatment today.  Nice folks who seemed to really enjoy hearing the “real dope” about climbing on the car.  Ken Yager came by to make sure I was making an honest dollar late in the morning on the way to one of his many jobs!  Blake and SAR Andy showed up and spent some time down there just hanging out and sweating off some lbs.  Andy hauled water to the base of the west side of the SE face for a coming climb.
KFC and Lance were down from the push on Lurking Fear and told me that they passed EE and partner who were finishing Lost World? where it  joined LF.  All in all it was a nice day, although way hot out there in the sun.  I will be glad to get back in the shade on the East side of the Bridge next week for sure!
Remember:  Great sailors are not made on calm seas!  So get out here and get on some route that will make you man-up and improve your skills!
So that’s the way it is for this the 15th day of May 2009.
Later Tom