ElCap Report 5/19/09

ElCap Report 5/19/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… Much cooler today but with a touch of humidity.  Nice clouds drifting by all day but never developed into a storm, much to the delight of various wives and mothers who happened by to see their boys on the wall.  I hung out with Jerry Miller, a guy who also takes shots of climbers from the meadow but has a super duper telescope and various computer items that put my little rig to shame.  You can contact him for shots if you were climbing on the wall recently.  We had a nice time comparing notes and swapping photography stories.  The Bridge was way closed today and I couldn’t even get close to it but had a good time hanging with Jerry.

All the teams from yesterday were progressing well today with none the worse for their storm exposure.  It will make a good story for the grandchildren I’m sure!
Today’s report is brought to you by two delightful, smoking hot, women who graced us with their beauty and wit all afternoon.  Jo Whitford and Michael’s wife ( Stowe’s client) who’s name I didn’t get… but who needs a name when it comes to this woman!  Anyway thanks ladies for adding some class to the scene! 
So ditch the old bag, send the kids packing, feed the dog so you can concentrate on today’s ElCap Report headed right at you…right now!!

Zodiac:  Ben and Stewart are persistent if not fast, and pushed high into the White Circle today.  Ben seems to have taken control of the sharp end of the rope and was dusting off the mega-famous Nipple pitch as I was leaving this afternoon.  His mother came by today and got a look at the lad sending on the Zod and was worried but happy to see the he was alive and going strong. 
1)  Ben leading the ultra classic Nipple pitch on Zodiac.


























ZM:  The Austrian team continues to send this Bridwell, Mayfield, Row classic on the SE Face of the Captian.  Always interesting to climb and photograph, this route seems to enchant all those who venture onto its steep, thin pitches.  They should be off the route sometime in the afternoon tomorrow barring any glitches.  The wardrobes could have used some upgrading but I take what I can get when it comes to shooting climbers.
2)  Climber photographing high on Zenyatta Mondatta.























PO Wall:  The French team were off the Island in the Sky this morning and moved right along up the route.  They were working their way through the Aleutian Chain at the time I departed.  I think they will bivy a bit below the Highbrow Bivy.  Off tomorrow?…maybe!

Nose:  By far the most sought after big wall rock climb in the world, the Nose keeps them coming and puts them to the test too.  The 2 NIAD guys climbed off last night and the Stowe team stayed at Camp 5.  Scott and Michael were last seen heading for the last pitch around 4:30pm and are off by now I am sure.  The NM boys stayed at C4 and had the Great Roof well in hand as I arrived this morning.  They were heading out of C5 when I left but might just be thinking of fixing above and staying there tonight as they have no ledges and I wouldn’t wish a Camp 6 bivy on my worst enemy! 
3)  New Mexico Boys turning the Great Roof on the way to C5.


























Lower down I caught sight of a team of two who were dragging up the Legs yesterday afternoon.  They crossed the Jardine Traverse, came to a halt for a time, then bailed.  They took considerable time coming off but were being super careful (Is there any other way?!!).  They passed through two teams heading up the Stovelegs and went on down.
4)  Bail of the Day, Stoveleg Crack, Nose Route, El Capitan.

























The lead team in the Legs was Brian and Sam who I hear have experience in Canyonlands.  They looked to be doing some free climbing which is THE way to go on the lower part of the route.  They were hauling to Dolt when I left.
5)  Brian stacks the haul line while Stewart finished cleaning in the Stovelegs.


























The last team in the line was moving along well enough and was sporting some nice colors too.

Golden Gate:  Clay Usinger (Dude #1) and his partner were seen hauling freight to the Hollow Flake Ledge this morning and wandering lazily up toward the Ear in the afternoon.  The route goes right a pitch or so above the ECS at a cruxie traverse that generates problems for even the most accomplished big wall free climbers.  They have worked the route a bit in the past and are optimistic of success.
6)  Hauling freight to Hollow Flake ledge.

























Lurking Fear:  I did see that the bags fixed on Never, Never Land were gone this morning and that Chase and Dave had moved operations to this much easier and faster route due to what Dave called “time constraints”.  I did get a couple of shots of them way out west across the face.  Hurry guys, your Momma wants you home!

In other news:  The weather is a bit unsettled here but no one seems to be taking any notice of it.  Several parties are about to strike out for the big Trade Routes including the Salathe, Shield, Lurking Fear, Triple Direct and of course the Nose.  I talked to Richie this afternoon and he was still in the recovery mode after the waxing he and Sloan took over on LF during the storm.   The lads didn’t have an extra rope and had to descend the route from pitch 11 by short raps and down aiding.  These guys have years of experience and a lesser team would have been in deep dodo.  I also talked to the roped solo on the Nose who bailed at the exact right moment yesterday in the face to the storm.  He reached the deck at the instant it started to rain.  He is a Canadian and is on his way home to return next season to give it a go again.  He was climbing well and save for the weather would have succeeded.  A ton of climbers came through today to hang out and see what was up on the Captian.  Rumors abound that the highly vaunted, Ivo Ninov could materialize at any instant and we all wait with bated breath!
Ok enough of this drivel…
So that’s the way it is for this the 19 day of May 2009.
Remember… when a legend conflicts with the facts…. go with the legend!
Later Ansel Evans

Be careful ... you're making ECR Addicts of all of us !

Sitting at my desk, palms sweating. Feels like I'm part of the action. Thank you SOOO MUCH TOM ! (At least I get to go to Tahquitz this weekend !)

Great Photos Tom

This keeps m coming back for more!!!


Golden Gate

Hey Tom,

Little Mason Earle is on the Gate with clay and carrying all my best wishes!

British Pete

When a legend conflicts with the facts....go with the legend

Classic Tom, keep the great reports coming.....



just another day wishing i was in the valley

does anyone know how to get a hold of jerry miller(Mr. 300) on supertopo? or any where else for that matter. i met him a few weeks ago in the meadow, good guy, awesome telescope!

Jerry Miller's email address


Thanks! Makes my day......

Arousing prose with great visual eye candy.

golden gate

is clay freeing the gate? amazing effort good luck, and long time no see dude! british chris

You Make My Life as a Cubicle Puke Worth Living!

Thanks Tom.

Hung out with Jerry last

Hung out with Jerry last year. Good guy. Like that the two photographers are my favcorite cartoon characters Tom and Jerry.

Good to see you back Tom.


Thanks, Tom!

Super! Keep 'em coming!


Love it, Tom.....Gracias'.