ElCap Report 5/17/09

Elcap Report 5/17/09
By Tom Evans
Yo.. Well it was hot today, as advertised, but that didn’t seem to deter the serious climbers from giving it a go on the Captain.  They, of course, are all volunteers, and theirs is a journey who’s conclusion is uncertain.  Improvements in the weather are just a couple of days away so be ready when the heat breaks.
Today’s ECR is brought to you by one Scott Stowe, guide extraordinaire, last seen climbing toward Dolt Tower in the blinding glare and heat, client Michael in tow.  Lori brought the girls down to see their dad hauling the freight and they got to see him close up through the telescope. 
So turn off the ball game, finish that last cheese burger, swill down the dregs of that beer and settle in to read today’s ElCap Report written just for you, Pukes of all kinds….. Here it is….

Zodiac:  The ropes fixed to 4 have evaporated in the afternoon heat but the guys who fixed yesterday, Ben and Stewart, actually showed up this morning but spent the better part of 6 hours leading the 4th pitch in vicious heat.  I did this route in July of 1995 and can attest to the debilitating effects of heat on the SE Face.  It is as impersonal as the plague and as heartless as an ex-wife!  We at the bridge were shaded up all day and had no desire to move anywhere, so we are cutting all the teams on the wall yards of slack on their rate of progress.

ZM:  I must really be losing it… I saw this team of Austrians yesterday but forgot about them until later in the day.  Duh!  Anyway, they are making good progress and I got some nice shots for them on the Lightning Bolt Roofs in the early afternoon.   I don’t know who they are but SAR Andy knows them and will vouch for their determination, as if today wasn’t enough to prove it!

1)  Leading the Lightning Bolt Roofs, Zenyatta Mondatta.




























Pacific Ocean Wall:  The French team…. Well…what to say about this team?  Mmmmm Ok… I got some nice shots of them on the pitches above the Continental Shelf and also as the leader, dressed in a sporty gray shirt that was as close to invisible as it can be, pressed along the leftward traverse of the Central Latitudes.  He abruptly came to a halt as that pitch starts going up slightly but still leftward.  He looked stuck…. But not for long… it was a sticky looking problem so he went to the Stick, mentioned in yesterdays report, enabling him to stretch his reach by about 8 feet, and managed to snag something.  It looked to be a crafty solution.  But for some reason this extended placement didn’t seem to instill the required confidence in the lad.  Fortunately, one of the partners appeared to have just the solution, for out of a haul bag miraculously appeared the salvation to their dilemma….. The bolt kit!  After some rock sculpturing, requiring some serious pounding, the party was once again on the move, none the worse for wear.  The lead was completed just as the shade arrived and off they went on the next pitch… they are a smart bunch and are making good time now.

2)  The solution.
























3)  Finally the shade on the PO Wall.


























Nose:  I did see a team head over the top in the late morning but most of the action was in the Stovelegs today.  A party of three, Mike, Tony and Mark from NM, led the way into the Legs using tried and proven aid climbing tactics.  Their pace and bags did put a bit of a crimp in the next teams plans.  That would, of course, be the Stowe guide fest.  I wouldn’t have traded places with them for all the weed in Mexico!  I departed the area around 4pm as the upper team was at Dolt Tower and Scott was a pitch away.  I am thinking he just might pass them and go for ECT late in the day to get a jump on them… I don’t really know.

Salathe Wall:  I did see a team of two climbing the Teflon Corner in the afternoon but my angle was not good and the glare was horrific so I didn’t get much done photographically…. Sorry guys!  No one else was to be seen over there.  I didn’t go out west this afternoon so this route was the farthest I covered.

In other news:  One of the Bridge Rats said it was supposed to rain tomorrow… yeah right!  Tomorrow starts the final stage of repaving the Bridge area and it is supposed to be opened by Thursday.  I will believe it when I see it.  That should, if actually done, make life a lot easier for us down there.  Several people went for swims in the river, which was snow just a few hours ago!  Yes, they screamed!!  We had a pretty good group of Bridge Rats show today… PTPP your underlings did drop off the 6 you took as payment for the beta you bestowed upon them…  Stop by and get it.
The new program “Ask a Climber” put on by the Yosemite Foundation and YCA is going full steam now and we have had quite a few Tourons come around to see through the telescopes and have all they wanted to know and probably more, about climbing, explained to them.  It also gives the general public a chance to interact with the climbers at the bridge and see just what makes these psychos want to risk it all to climb some rock pile!  Anyway, if you (a climber) happen to be at the bridge we would appreciate it if you would interact in a positive way with the Tourons as we are trying to promote the sport in a positive manner… I have no illusions as it is like asking snakes not to bite!  But, whatever…. Try your best gang, and we just might fool them all!!!

4)  Would you let your daughter go out with one of these guys?!!

















So that’s the way it is for this the 17th day of May 2009.
Later Tom

Would you let your daughter go out with one of these guys?!!

well said amiga!

oh the things monkey's have to learn about women... they are entertaining...

another local female Yosemite climber from down the street

Would you let your daughter go out with one of these guys?!!

Would a daughter actually want to? As a younger female climber myself, the answer is NO. Girls beware... all they do is talk about climbing... and talk about how cool they are climbing... and the cool climbs they've done or want to do. Don't wait for them to ask you about you, because it won't happen... unless all the other dudes are gone, but even then they'll probably continue to tell you how cool they are!! But they are entertaining to say the least, especially hanging at the bridge.

Wow, that 2nd picture of the PO Wall is amazing, great colors.

a local female Yosemite climber



Very Nice!

Hey Tom,
Another Great report! Thank you and Aloha,


When I did the PO some ten years ago now, a couple of hooks moves at the end of the Central Latitudes traverse were getting pretty marginal. That was my lead and I thought those were probably the two most tenuous placements on the route so, not to give any love to the frenchies, but it's possible the edges have eroded even more or they were simply unable or lacked the will to commit to them.

All that notwithstanding, awesome photos. You are truly a public service.


Would you let your daughter go out with one of these guys?

I believe that two years ago in the cafeteria when I had been asked by the monkey's if I was going to bring one of my daughters up the Captain, I responded that I would rather have one of the hotshots taking my kids up than be responsible for them myself. I believe it was the 'nice young man' on the left who said "Doug, I like you, and you don't want me up on a wall with one of your daughters." I sure did walk into that one, but we all had a great laugh. Say a big hello to Aaron for me!
Ditto for for the colors on that PO shot - you can "feel" the relief of the shade in that pic.




Love the colors on that PO shot...(finally the shade)


Stupid frogs...

Thanks Tom, you rock!


Fuggin' Frenchies!




Stellar, as always, Tom.....Pretty hot out there, eh?