ElCap Report 9/15/11

ElCap Report 9/15/11
By Tom Evans

Yo… Yep the Report is back!!!  Friends of YOSAR have agreed to let me use their internet connection, which should make things much better for doing the Report.  Donate something to their site, not just for me, but for all the great work they do in Yosemite!
I got here on Monday and immediately noticed huge puddles of water everywhere.  Seems like thunder storms, rather than being the usual hit and miss, have been pounding hard here for the past week.  Yesterday was the first day it didn’t rain and as I type these lines I hear thunder booming off to the east and can see clouds building over the Dome… Oh no, not another screwed up climbing season!!
The rains have cleaned off the Captain but today has seen a rush of teams heading up.  So let’s get right to the action….

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

Continental Drift.  Piton Pete, Neil Chelton and Callun O'Neill are hauling freight to the start of this unrepeated route.  Should be interesting to watch!

Pacific Ocean Wall:  This mega classic, rarely done using the original start anymore, is the present home of Adam Tischler, Jordan Webster, and Bill Levanthal.  They were doing the 4th pitch as I departed this afternoon.  The heavy rain two days ago almost forced them to bail but cooler heads prevailed and they decided to stay on the route.
1)  Bill leading the 4th pitch while Adam and Jordan deal with the kit.



























Mescalito:  An solo, Phil Wesseler, is high on the route, and  reached the Bismarck ledge early this afternoon.  He is not fast but makes up for it with persistence and tenacity.  He has weathered several big hits of rain thus far.
2) Phil about to reach the Bismarck ramp.





























Lower down the team of Duncan and Hugh were on the 7th pitch as I departed today.  They had fixed to 4 several days ago and were flushed off but kept a good attitude and returned to blast today.
3) Duncan and Hugh at the 7th belay station.



























Nose:  Two days ago the route was practically empty, after receiving a good washing by three hours of torrential afternoon rain.  Now it has loaded up.  A team of two was caught in that rain while on ECT and weathered it out.  Today I last saw them at Camp 6 and headed for the top!
Lower down a team of two Austrians busted through the crowded lower pitches and took the Jardine Traverse to the Gray Bands.  Last spotted at Camp 4.
4)  Austrians on the Jardine Traverse.



























Lower down yet, the Legendary Yosemite Guide, Scott Stowe, was seen guiding Ron Washington through the Legs with his usual efficiency.  They will bivy on ECT.
5)  Scott Stowe crossing Dolt Tower as Ron Washington belays.




























Lower even further down, one of the washed off teams from the other day went up lines fixed on the retreat and were low in the Legs around 2pm.
6)  Mixed team back in the Legs after the storm sent them down.




























Massively lower …. A Belgian TV group is doing one of those “Adventure” programs where the host, Tom Waes, does various sporting events, of which he has very limited knowledge.  They started today with Sean Villanueva and Nico Favresse, famous Belgian climbers with big reps here in the valley, doing the climbing and local good guy Sean (Stanley) Leary, who needs no introduction, handling logistics and fixing.  I met the Tom yesterday.  Anyway, they climbed to and above Sickle ledge this afternoon and Tom seemed to being doing well enough.  The lads have given him some high quality instruction recently and he is actually going to do some climbing and not just ascend the ropes!  
7)  Tom Waes(bright red shirt) climbing to top of Sickle.  Stanley in green and Sean filming.






























8)   Tom and Sean lowering bags out.



























Extremely further down… various parties are jockeying for position and hauling freight.  It wasn’t pretty down there.
9)  Waiting and hauling on Sickle Ledge.



























Salathe:  A couple of teams were on the route earlier in the week but were flushed off in the rains.  Today a two man team appeared doing Hollow Flake and were under the Ear when I departed.

Hole World:  This unrepeated route is the temporary home of Richie Copeland and Ammon McNeeley.  They have spent a few days on it and are making good progress.  You may have heard that Ammon, and girlfriend Kait, made the second ascent of the controversial “Wings of Steel” this past summer.  We await the video!  I had a nice chat with Ammon about it but will let them tell the story.
10)  Ammon in yellow and Richie breaking the bivy.




























11)  Richie looking for salad fixings on Hole World.






























12)  BAIL OF THE DAY!!!!   From Dolt Tower.




























In other news:  Some of my Korean friends, from the Do Ri climbing school are here in the Valley for a few weeks and were washed off Zodiac a couple of days ago.  I had a nice dinner with them the other evening and look forward to watching them on the Cap.
The “Ask a Climber” program was well managed by Dave Turner and Erik Sloan, during the summer months while I was away.  It will continue until the 15th of October.  Also the annual Face Lift, is soon to happen so make your plans to come on out and lend a helping hand.  
Mayan Gobat, the excellent NZ woman free climber, has been working on the Salathe and is ready for a ground up free ascent, starting tomorrow.  Also a couple of our local girls are headed up the Nose tomorrow to try for the woman’s speed record, which is presently around 12 hours.  It most likely will turn in to a practice run as they haven’t done much prepping.
So there is action to be seen and things to do here!  Come on by the Bridge and stay in the know.
So that’s the way it is, for this Thursday, the 15th day of September, 2011.
Welcome back!
Ansel Evans

You are DA MAN

You are Da Man and salvation of all cubicle pukes jonesin' for da Big Stone.
So glad you're back Tom!!


I was fearful that it really was the end of ECR. I'm super excited that your back! See you in October when I join PTPP for a good climb!



So happy to have the report back Tom! Thanks for all you do!


It is sweet that the report is up and running again. This is my way of living through others when I'm stuck at work or school. The solo guy in Mescalito is Phil Wesseler a young guy from Washington learning how to solo climb. He seems to be getting it figured out. Ben


Tom and YOSAR thank you.

They say pictures say a thousand words, yet Tom you have an ability to capture and tell a story of something "unique to all the world".
Thank you for the dedication and energy. You as well as YOSAR deserves a donation. Both provide a service that is "priceless"

Ammon, Arrrgh brother. get some and enjoy. I'll be calling you to discuss future plans.
Stanley in without a doubt one of the most humble and amazing human beings to grace this planet.
And everyone else on El Cap, enjoy the moment, time and space. Nothing else in the world compares to it, never has, never will.

Safe travels, clean falls, chossy placements and manky anchors.
Give thanx.

Thats my brother!

I'm Hugh's little sister, and greatly appreciating this update from the cliff! Slightly worried back here in Australia but I'm finding these photos a small comfort. thankyou!


Excellent as usual!

Glad to see you brought the ECR back!

See you soon in the valley!

Lithuanian Kids ;)

Great that you're back up and

Great that you're back up and running T...

So happy to see this in my

So happy to see this in my Inbox! Thank you Tom!

Breathing a sigh of relief

Awesome Tom

Ammon on the portaledge....

Thanks Tom, and welcome back!

Thanks Tom, and welcome back!


So Glad You are back


Welcome Back!

See you on Monday Tom!


So happy you're back!

Beautiful photos and so pleased to have an accompanied story line.

Looking forward to reading updates from all the exciting projects on the docket for this fall. Glad to have you back on the bridge and being the eyes and ears of the thousands that sit miserably inside and behind their computer.

All the best to you! And best of luck to the NIAD ladies. Go get 'em!!!

Glad you are back!


Welcome back Tom!!

Excellent shots Tom! Glad to see you are back at it.
That makes for a happy princess :)

Welcome back Tom!

Looks like you have a damn sharp lens with ya this season!

See ya soon, young man!

well tom, that belgain TV guy

well tom, that belgain TV guy is called TOM waes. nice to read your report again!