ElCap Report 6/7/2022 Nostalgia Edition

ElCap Report 6/7/2022  Nostalgia Edition

By Tom Evans

Yo.. Nice weather, few climbers.  I haven’t been able to take enough good shots to make up a report of late.  As you guys seem to like the old stuff I have grabbed some oldies from the files for your enjoyment. In no particular order.

Today’s ElCap Report… written just for you… unique in all the world!

1)  Alexander Huber working on freeing the Black Tower on Zodiac 2003  He seldom climbed with a shirt.





























2)  Brad Jarret and me on Thanks Giving Ledge, end of day 4, Dihedral Wall, 1992. Funny how all organization goes to hell as soon as a big ledge is reached!






























3)  Bridwell, Tyson, Boulos posing at Jim’s old truck before climbing Heavy Metal and Tinker Toys on ElCap in the 90’s. He contacted other great climbers about doing the route with him but none were interested. So he went into Camp4 and rustled up these guys who were thrilled to climb with the Great Bridwell.  He mostly sat at the belays directing the lads to execute his vision!  






























4)  A serious Dean Potter about to head off for the Nose, at 5pm, and the Half Dome link-up, vying to be the first person to do it solo in a 24 hour day.  Hans Florine drove by the Bridge the next morning proclaiming that he had just done Half Dome and was going for the Nose.  I told him Potter had done the Nose last night and was headed to Half Dome this morning!  Potter got it done first but Hans broke Dean's record by half and hour!  However, a time record can be broken but a first is forever!






























5)  Erika Kutcher on her bike, here in the Valley, 2005.  We lost her to a rock fall in the Himalaya’s later that year.






























6)  Huber Brothers working the Nipple Pitch during the build-up to the first free ascent 2003.





























7)  T-Bag, Ninita, and Johnny B getting ready for another ElCap route. Late 90’s I would guess.





























8)  Mike Corbett and friend Gwen Schneider on the ledge above Mammoth Terrace in 1987.  They were doing the 3D and Tom Cecil and me were going for the Shield.  Both teams subsequently bailed!  We rented the fixed ledge but with the caviot that if we bailed we would not toss the thing off the cliff.  Fixed ledges were popular for a time but so inconvenient that they quickly became extinct.






























9)  Roxanna and Bryan McCray after Mescalito… guessing late 90’s  They were one of the best mixed teams I ever saw.






























10)  Tom Evans after doing Crest Jewel on North Dome with Jamison Crosby 1993.  Crosby was better face climber than I was so I lead all the 5.8 run out pitches and she got the 5.9's and the one 5.10 pitch which were better protected with more bolts. Those runout pitches were pretty scary as several times I was way out and couldn't find the bolts.  They were quarter inchers with leeper hangers back then and didn't instill much confidence!  I usually found them at knee level after searching frantically in front and above me.  It was the best climb we ever did in our 7 years climbing together.





























11)  Tucker Tech and me on top of the Muir in 1989.  I had a time contraint so Tucker lead the top dihedral so we could get off in 4 days.  If I had lead some of those we would still be on the route!  When we got to camp 4 a guy walked up and offered me 20 bucks for my home made haul bag as it was pretty worn.. I took him up on the offer.































12)  Tom Evans at Camp 6 on the Nose, May of 1971. Water poured down on us so Paul Sibley rigged small tarp we had to keep most of it off us. This was our 5th night on the route and we didn’t care about getting wet as we were going to the top the next day!





























13)  Paul Sibley looking down at me from the Glowering Spot on day 5 of our storm-bound climb of the Nose 1971. By then my hands were trashed and I just cupped the rope in them as I couldn’t grip anymore.






























14)  Tom Evans at “The Ledge” 1000 feet up on the Dihedral Wall in 1992, taken by Brad Jarret.  I was 48






























15)  Hiking off the top of the Cap in 1983 with Graham Sanders after doing the 3D in 4 blistering hot days in August.  He took the climbing gear… I took the rest in my home-made haul bag.






























16)  Me leading the Pancake Flake on day 4 of our ascent of the Nose in wet conditions.  We negociated and Paul got the Great Roof and the summit bolt Ladder.  I got Pancake Flake and the King Swing.  It was a win-win for both of us as this pitch was one of the most memorable I ever lead.





























17)  Bridwell and I talking it over at the Bridge in 2010. It was a set up by a film crew so we just chatted.  Then Jim went off on one of his conspiracy theories and the director gave the slash across the throat sign and it was over! We were both born in 1944, with me being a few months older than Jim. We were both 66 when this was taken.





























18)  Me coming over the top on the Nose in May of 1971, day 6.  My then-wife, back in Santa Barbara, was pestering the Park Service for information, as we were two days over-due. At that time ElCap climbers were supposed to register at a little window in the visitors center and we did.  But of course they didn't check on anyone back then... so they knew nothing and she became more frantic as time went on.  I got a good scolding on the phone when I was able to call home.... she was less concerned that I survived than about her emotional suffering waiting for the news!




























19)  Parking lot boys, Dean Potter and Ivo Ninov.. 2010 I think






























20)  True love…. My 1966 Pontiac GTO


























So there you have it… oldies from the past… those times are gone now … but not forgotten.

So that’s the way it is, on this Tuesday, the 7th day of June, 2022.

Capt. Tom



YOSAR activity on El Cap May 31?

We saw the CHP (I think) heli drop 3 people on a ledge on El Cap, but couldn't stick around for the conclusion. Any idea what that was about? Late morning, 10:30ish.


From Tom   CHP does rescues when our own chopper #551 is out on fire duty.  So they had 15 pilots training from the ElCap Meadow for two days.  Just training!

Erica Kutcher

That picture of Erica is probably taken in may of 2005? We took off driving cross country to New York end of may 2005, stayed with her parents in Long Island a few weeks before heading to Pakistan… Erica was struck and passed away on 9th of July 2005 close to Shipton Spire. Miss her so much!


From Tom... the date was what I had in my notes on the original slide... could have been earlier perhaps.  Loved that girl!

Great Post

I love this. Keep these retro posts coming once in a while. My favorite photo is the rainy tarp bivy on the Nose, great nostalgic photo with bong-bongs etc.