ElCap Report 5/16/17

ElCap Report 5/16/17

By Tom Evans

Yo.. I have been here almost a week and have found the weather to be pretty mixed.  The nice days are really nice and the not so nice days have been windy, cold, and sometimes wet.  The spring climbing season is tuning up now with lots of action on the big trades… you know the ones… Nose, Salathe/Freerider, and Zodiac.  Some pretty strong teams are due in town soon, so there will be some interesting routes for us to see.  I had decided to go back to dirt-bagging, around the valley at night, to save the expense of driving to and from the Ranch each day.  I made it three nights until the banging on the van awoke me at 11pm with the familiar, “Park Ranger, step out of the van please.”  So that was the end of my dirt-bagging at night in the valley! The Valley is a fresh spring green now and the river is higher than it has been in many a year.  Don’t even think about going into the river…or you will die! Any and all donations to the site will be gratefully received as my gas bill alone will be around $700 for this season. Thanks for your continued support.

I will not be writing a daily report, as I did in the past.  I expect to do a much more general report once a week or so.  Don’t be surprised if you don’t see a shot of someone you are following, as there are many shots and few spaces to post them.  I am still photographing all the teams I can see, so come by and get your shots.

Today’s ElCap Report.. written just for you.. unique in all the world!

Zodiac:  Several teams have climbed the route in the week since I arrived and many more will do so in the future.  Here are some shots from Zodiac.

1)  Two man team starting the Mark of Zorro pitch on 5/14/17.






























2)  A Swiss team worked on freeing the route and came down yesterday after a good but unsuccessful effort.  Here the leader is off the Nipple pitch.  Later, in Nov. they sent the project!  Congratulations!





























3)  This efficient team of two is seen here on the slab pitch, the next to the last of the route.





























The Nose has been very busy this past week with several NIADS and many wall style teams.

4)  Hauling kit to Eagle Ledge late in the afternoon.






























5)  The last man up, on a three-man Austrian team, is seen here wedging into the chimney behind Texas Flake.































6)  This leader did the King Swing and the second came along wearing a pack.   You are running up-hill at the end of the swing and a pack drags you backwards just when you need to climb over the corner… nice to have a team member on Eagle Ledge to lend a hand and rope.






























7)  A mixed team is seen here finishing the Pancake Flake late in the afternoon.































8)  Three man Austrian Team climbing to Triangle Ledge (Camp 6) on the Nose.





























 9)  The Changing Corners pitch on the Nose.





























10)  Big air on the final pitch of the Nose.































11)  Preston, Joe Marlay, Jerry Greenleaf talking it over a pitch below Gray Ledges on the notorious “2D” route.






























12)  I spotted Alex Honnold “Sport Rappelling” on the lower portion of Freerider. 
































13)  This is the pitch above the Ear on the original Salathe Wall route.






























14)  Lots of Dogwoods are in bloom now.


15)  Bridalveil Falls seen during a slight break in the rain storm this afternoon.



16)  The Merced River seen here at the ElCap Bridge.. stay out of the river!






























So that’s the way it is, for this Tuesday, the 16th day of May, 2017.

Capt. Tom…back at the helm in the ElCap Meadow.

Yay, you're back!

Hey Tom, Great to see the pics, climbers etc...brought to life again. I will be watching and reading a lot this spring/summer.
Good to have you back.


Thanks so much, Tom!! Saw

Thanks so much, Tom!! Saw that Austrian team working the king swing for a while a few days ago I think. Hope to catch you at the bridge sometime!

Really happy to see you again

We fixed our rope at May 8th and try to find you or your van, but failed. During our climbing between May 9th and 12th, everyday I will try to seek you on the El Cap Meadow, but failed all the time. Really really happy to see you when we back to ground and know you are already here and take some shot. Will back to the valley in few days and eager to see the great shots!

You're the man Tom!!

Many thanks for taking the time to post about the action on the big stone. A breath of fresh wall air for us pukes who aren't able to join you in the center of the universe.


Tom, Thanks for the great report and pic.....sitting here in my office (not cubicle). Fattrad.