ElCap Report 5/31/17

ElCap Report 5/31/17

By Tom Evans

Yo.. The horror show of Memorial Weekend has passed and calm has returned to the Valley of Light.  Considering the time of year and the present weather conditions, the Captain is relatively empty.  The Big Three are still the major draws.  A few parties are climbing on some of the more interesting routes, as reflected in some of the photos below.  The Merced River continues to be right at the top of its banks and we get overflow in the ElCap meadow daily.  Wake up Cubicle Pukes!!  The season is now… the place is El Capitan… so where are you today?  You know where you should be!

This weeks ElCap Report..written just for you..unique in all the world!

If you see yourself in any of these shots take a moment to comment below… photo # and who you are.. just for the historical record of course… not for personal glory!  Well maybe for the glory!

1)  Adrift team with the new Middendorf, D4 double wide ledge, with no spreader bar, as there are no corners, and variable tube thickness. The latest from John... look into it if you need a ledge.





























2)  The Adrift and Mescalito teams met at Stork Ledge (do you see the storks head?) and after a time went their separate ways.  The Mescalito team had high marks for the doughnuts Pete and Sean gave them as they went by!  This is a two bird shot… the stork and the seagull.






























3)  Austrians, Nici and Chris, on the Chimney above Hollow Flake.  They did the Salathe in one and a half days while planning for 4 days.  Alex Honnold saw them on the route and told them just to go for the top as they were on a 17 hour pace!  They had no idea they were doing so well!






























4)  YOSAR team members, Mike and Dave, are seen here on the long traverse to the corners above ElCap Tower on New Dawn.





























5)  Austrians Nici and Chris starting the Head Wall on the Salathe Wall route.  They were off by 4pm!






























6)  Leah is barely 5 ft tall and is in the perfect place to pass the corner on the King Swing… so don’t tell me you couldn’t make that reach!  She did the swing in moments…not minutes.




























7)  King Swing with style!





























8)  The notorious pitch into Camp 5 on the Nose.  Get over to that crack on the left asap and you will cruise it as Jeff did here on a NIAD with Leah.






























9)  Mescalito team at the Molar Traverse in late afternoon shade.





























10)  Free climbing, on the pitch to the Cyclops Eye on the North American Wall, during their successful climb of El Nino!.





























11)  Lowering out from the Great Roof on a NIAD.






























12)  Two free climbers on the Shaft route, a Cosgrove/Smith, variation of the Muir Wall.  Sweet cracks there.. with the Great Roof peaking in on the right.





























13)  The Shaft is the chimney directly above the belayer… I guess they didn’t like the look of it, more likely read the topo wrong.  So they decided the big chimney on the right was the way to go… that happens to be the King Kong Chimney which has not seen a climber in years and leads nowhere on their route.






























14)  One of the men climbing into the King Kong chimney as you can see in this shot taken in impossible lighting.  He climbed about half way up the chimney and came back down.  They resumed climbing on the correct line.































15)  Skot Richards on Zodiacs, famous, Nipple Pitch.































16)  Skot taking in the view from Peanut Ledge, Zodiac.






























17)  YOSAR Team high on New Dawn.






























18)  Rob Miller and partner Robbie working the last part of the great Muir corner system in hopes of finding a way around the roof.






























In other news: Today is looking a bit like the rains are on the way this afternoon so many climbers are taking a cautious approach and just fixing today.  Otherwise things are pretty normal here with some big projects on the horizon. Stay tuned.

So that’s the way it is, on this Wed the 31st of May, 2017.

Capt. Tom…Later…


Hey Tom, I never get tired seeing your beautiful shots of the classics. My favorite pic of the day has to be the "two bird shot" and ad the doughnuts to the store clinches the deal. Hope you're having a good season in the valley. Tons of water in your shots from a week or two ago, but I guess it's good for the whole region to have that water. Look forward to the next time you post up a report.

All the best,


Hey Tom, what day was photo #15 taken? Did you get any shots of the team above them?

Yes I shot the team of three above them for most of their climb.  Contact me for pics.

Hey from PtPP and Sean on Adrift

Thanks for the photos of us! That first pitch above Anchorage Ledge is the real deal. Love the story! You should rename the ledge .... You know, like the Twin Towers. Hee hee hee. Watch for Sean tomorrow doing some exciting climbing! Only light sprinkles currently.

The ledge has a "new name".. Stork ledge.... but the pitch has no name that I know of... maybe ... the "Stork pitch."  Raining harder now at 3pm here at the lodge.


Random Climber Salathe

Hi Tom, a big Thank You for the great shots.
The picture of the Salathe Headwall also shows us two Austrians. (Nici and Chris) - we just changed our jackets.
That pitch was amazing.


Once again.....thank you for the report Tom.....from my office, not cubbie....fattrad