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|Submitted by Tom Evans on Thu, 05/28/2015 - 16:37|
ElCap Report 5/27/15
By Tom Evans
Yo… Splendid weather continues to highlight the mid season here in Yosemite. Lots of climbing going on now..almost too much to keep track of. Today we had a beautiful day of climbing that turned tragic in early afternoon. Read more about the day below.
Today’s ElCap Report..written just for you…unique in all the world!
Bad to the Bone: Paul withdrew from the team and Erik has gotten a new partner for the climb.
1) Tangerine Trip: Karen and Kitty make good time up the center of the route today.
2) Lower down on the route the solo, Cameron Nicoll, from Australia, is speeding right along. Here he is at the belay on pitch 9 late in the afternoon.
3) North America Wall: There are presently two three person teams on the route. This is a shot of Gena leading the third pitch as part of the 3 woman team. Sisters June and Shanya fill out the rest of the team.
4) The other NA team consists of three men who have reached the top of the 6th pitch. The third climber is in the upper right of the shot. Nice colors guys…not!
5) Over on Mescalito Lorna and Hiroki climbed past the Molar Traverse today and here are seen at the start of the notorious 5.9 chimney pitch.
6) High on the PO Wall the team of three are really setting a fast pace. I think they climbed off today.
7) Over on the Nose the clusters of climbers seem to be moving in groups of three teams. This is not the recommended way to bring the bag along but they made it work with some effort.
8) One team decided to by-pass the mob at ECT and went the Jardine way. This is one of the three falls the leader took here. Gotta give the leader credit as he went right back up each time and eventually got the pitch done.
9) The British mixed team of Phil and Helen was last out of the blocks at ECT and is seen here on top of Texas Flake, late in the day.
10) 3D: I saw this guy up on Gray ledges the other day and noticed him on the Great Roof today. He is a solo, named Pete, and moving smartly along here on the Pancake Flake.
11) Brad and Mason climbed higher on their project today. Here Brad is grinding through the overhanging section, laced with bird droppings!
12) Wall style team, Salathe Headwall.
13) Well known woman climber, Emily Harrington, is making a run at Golden Gate and thus had to do the Monster Crack. Although the Monster has a rather benign rating of 11a, not counting the down climb at the start, this off width is long and exhausting and Emily fought her way up getting the send. Such off widths belie their ratings!
14) Lost World: Pete, Anita, and Rhett are making expected progress on this upper west side route. Here Rhett is moving some freight up the wide section at mid height.
Around 2pm we got word that a fall had occurred above Camp 5 on the Nose. Tragically the climber was killed in the fall. YOSAR was contacted and was quickly at the EC Meadow to assess the situation.
15) This shot shows the ledges that comprise Camp 5.
16) Old reliable #551 piloted by Richard Shatto (I’m not perfectly sure if it was Richard or Tim Lyons) flew in to begin the process of determining the flying conditions and equipment needed to recover the climber.
17) It was determined that the best course of action was to mount a recovery from the top, using YOSAR personnel to lower people down to the accident scene. As it was getting late in the day the operation is scheduled to begin in the morning. Here supplies for the rescue team are being dropped off on the top of ElCap.
I have no other details about the incident and we await the report from the Park Service as to exactly what happened. We are all in a state of shock here and send our condolences and best wishes to the friends and loved ones of the deceased climber. These are hard times for the climbing community and we can only hope that such events remain very rare. See tomorrow's report for further information.
So that’s the way it is, on this tragic Wednesday, the 27th day of May, 2015
Signing off for today…