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|Submitted by Tom Evans on Mon, 06/13/2016 - 14:14|
ElCap Report 6/12/16
By Tom Evans
Yo… In the middle of the night I heard the rumbling from far away. Soon it was over the ranch, where I was camped. A flash of lightning and a crash of thunder, along with torrential rain and gale force winds threatened to remove my camp from the ridge. If it was this bad in the Valley, then climbers on ElCap would be in deep dodo. Morning found the rain somewhat subsided but the wind still strong, as I made my way into the Valley. In the café I talked it over with people who had been there at night and they said it was quite a storm. I caught up on my report for yesterday and did some other computer stuff for most of the morning. Around noon I made it down to ElCap, in a light drizzle, to check on everyone on the wall. As is usually the case a small group of climbers had gathered to watch and speculate. Read about it below…
Today’s ElCap Report…written just for you…unique in all the world!
1 Last night’s sunset, from the ranch, had some very interesting and unusual colors in it… perhaps a warning of things to come!
Zodiac: Both the men’s team and solo climber Maria, were perfectly situated in the White Circle and were totally dry with no rain reaching them. I sort of expect one of the two teams to be climbing but they were comfortably ledged up.
2) Maria had set up at the bottom of the Circle.
3) The men’s team was at the top of the Circle under the MOZ.
4) Over on the Trip, Irish Paul was out leading the 5th pitch on Virginia, as you see in this shot. No water problems on this overhanging section of EC.
5) Neil was out on the lead on Gulf Stream, even though he was in the so called “wet zone” where you will get wet in a storm. Around 1pm a huge cell moved over ElCap and it poured and poured and was still pouring when I left at 3pm. Neil made a hasty retreat to his bivy and quickly put up his ledge.
6) Up on the NA Wall, I spotted Sam and Rhett on the last pitch, making an all-out run for the top. They were nearing the end of the pitch when the torrential rains came on and I lost sight of them in the clouds.
7) I spotted this portaledge at the top of the 5th on Mescalito this morning. I guess these guys don’t know that route is closed due to falcon nesting. NOT GOOD lads!!
8) I did see Roger and his ND to Tribal crew pull onto ECT around noon and fix one before setting up camp there.
9) High on the Nose, at Camp 5, I did see a ledge set up and everything looked ok.
Higher, above changing corners, I spotted a couple of people but the viewing angle was poor and I couldn’t see what kind of set up they had.
10) Over on the Shield, a team that showed up there, after I left yesterday, had a leader out on the Groove pitch and seemed unaffected by the rain.
11) Next door on Albatross, I did spot Steve and Jordan’s bivy on the Canoe but saw no sign of a portaledgle, although I know they have a single. Hopefully they have bivy sacks.
12) Horse Tail falls was soon busting pretty heavy after not much volume earlier in the morning.
13) Old days at the bridge… Walt, Cedar, ?, Patty.
14) My good friend Bob Lyon leading on Snake Dike in 1972.
In other news: So far it looks like everyone on EC, who I can see) is weathering the storm ok. The storm is unusual for this time of year as we normally have something like a half hour of rain that soon clears off. This is more like a big spring storm that can last for several days…however it is supposed to end by tomorrow and the good weather return. We can only hope so.
So that’s the way it is, on this soggy Sunday, the 12th day of June, 2016.
Capt. Tom…hunkered down and waiting it out at the Ranch.
It is Monday morning now as I post the Report from yesterday. Later in the afternoon yesterday the storm blew itself out and this morning is sunny with clear skies. Anyone wet yesterday will have no problem drying out and continuing climbing.