|Submitted by Tom Evans on Wed, 06/06/2012 - 00:12|
ElCap Report 6/05/12
By Tom Evans
Yo… Beautiful late Spring day here in the Valley. Weather forecaster’s were right on the button yesterday and today. It poured rain yesterday afternoon, sending the lower parties scurrying for the deck and the upper parties hunkering down for the blow. It cleared off around dawn and all the clouds were gone by 9am. Big news happening as I type these words and you can read about it below.
Today’s ElCap Report…written just for you…unique in all the world!
Zodiac: There are several teams vying for position on this classic route. One is a team of disabled climbers who hope to make the first ascent of ElCap by such a party. Two members have leg amputations and the third a lower arm missing. They blasted today after fixing a couple yesterday. I last saw them on the third pitch and they appeared to be moving well.
Shortest Straw: Matt Thomsen finished carrying loads to the base and blasted this morning. He hauled and was leading the second pitch as I departed.
Matt leading the 2nd on the Straw.
Iron Hawk: Mark was somewhat pounded by the torrential rain yesterday but reported to friends that it was interesting trying to come up with a solution to water pouring onto the ledge. He didn’t really solve the problem but survived the night. He lead another pitch later in the day after most of his kit dried out.
Clouds clearing high on the Captain at Mark’s bivy.
PO Wall: The Korean lounged around for most of the morning on their portaledges…. Not a good sign as we all know. By early afternoon they were bailing.
I talked to IC Kang the team leader who said they were hosed really bad because they were not set up before the rain came. So a word to the wise. Set up your rain gear and bivy stuff before the rain begins so as not to get wet at all. They have a time constraint and have moved to Zodiac as it is a shorter route they can complete and still make their flight home.
BAIL OF THE DAY!! Lone climber taking in the view while the others slept.
New Dawn: Francis Perrault continued up the route in a steady, relaxed style. He will be staying under the large Dawn Roof aka the Harding Roof. I love to shoot climbers on that part of the route. Enjoy these shots!
Big time wall climbing high on the Wall of the Early Morning Light.
Entering the great corner system high on the route.
Climbing toward the Harding Roof.
Nose: The Usinger brothers, Clay and Corbin, aka Dude 1 and Dude 2, were quickly past all the posers and haulers low on the route and made good time on their way to a NIAD. I managed to video them on the King Swing but unfortunately it is too large a file to post here. They were past the Great Roof by 2 pm and will be off by well before dark. They are doing the link up with the Dome.
Clay pausing on his free climb of the Boot to send me the hang loose sign, not the “other” one!
Down below various other parties returned to the fight, after taking the afternoon off yesterday. I did not see the Jtree Girls on the climb but did talk with them at the Bridge this afternoon and gave them some sage advice which they will ignore at their own peril! A couple of men’s teams were dragging toward Dolt as I departed. In their defense it was pretty cold and quite breezy up there today.
GR to Muir: Pete and Mark seem to have weathered the storm well enough but were not seen climbing before I departed.
Mason and Brad’s direct: In an unbelievable turn of events, according to my chat with Brad this afternoon, the team flat out bailed from their attempt for the final send and are officially off the route for good. Update....News Flash ... I talked to them at camp and they said they have had a change of heart and are still on it .....so stay clear!!!
Salathe: I did see the team, that has been on the route for a few days now, climb to Suis le toit ledge this afternoon. Long Ledge tonight?
In other news: Alex Honnold and publicity posse, paused for a moment, on their way to begin his solo climb of Mt. Watkins South Face, the Nose, and the Reg on the Dome, to chat at the Bridge. He looked un-phased by the daunting task awaiting him. We wish this really fine climber and good man, the best of luck, and shake our heads in amazement!
So that’s the way it is, for this Tuesday, the 5th day of June, 2012.
Direct from the Bridge to you…