ElCap Report 9/18/2015

ElCap Report 9/18/15

By Tom Evans

Yo.. Cloudless skies and cool breezes are heralding the start to the fall season, on ElCap.  The action is heating up as more climbers are coming into the Valley to climb and work the Facelift.  Wherever you are … you would do better to be here!  So come on out for the best climbing season of the year in Yosemite.

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

Zodiac:  The mixed team, who passed the Italians yesterday, continued moving along at a good clip today.

1) This shot shows one of the team leading the Nipple.  He made good time and by afternoon they were on the Mark of Zorro pitch.






























2)  The woman in the team got to clean the Nipple and had to do several big lower-outs as the leader back cleaned effectively.






























3)  The two Italian climbers, Alberto and Roberto, stayed a pitch behind the mixed team and are seen here on the classic Flying Buttress pitch.






























4)  Lower down two of our greatest legends, Scott Stowe and Steve Gerberding, are climbing the route with Scott’s daughters, Whitney and Lundy.  Here Scott is leading the bolt ladder on the 5th pitch.






























5)  Tangerine Trip: The three Italian climbers finished the route this afternoon and are seen here climbing off the top of the 2nd bolt ladder.






























NA Wall:  Chantel and Libby bivied at Big Sur ledge last night and were up early and on their way to the Cyclops Eye by day’s end.

6)  Chantel got the two pendulums that eventually lead to the Black Dihedral.  Here she is finishing the short second pendulum which was a tension traverse for her.






























7)  Here Chantel is climbing the vertical corner to the start of the Black Dihedral.





























8)  Libby came up and Chantel is seen here leading the last pitch of her block.






























9)  Libby lead up to the Black Cave and Chantel is seen here cleaning that pitch.






























10)  Mescalito:  The two man team finished the Molar Traverse and the not so nice 5.9 wide chimney this morning.  By afternoon they were on the thin stuff, as seen here on one of the crux pitches.





























Nose:  Yesterday the route looked like it was going to be jammed today… but many stayed away and the lower part was nearly empty, save for a party that worked up the Legs.  A couple of teams from yesterday made the top today.

11)  In the middle of the route we had the pleasure of seeing a “first” on the Kind Swing, when it was lead by a banana!  The banana had some problems, as its skin appeared a bit tight and it slipped several times on the tan band.  However the corner was eventually reached and the pitch finished.





























12)  The Dark Man team climbed up from Camp 4 and was exiting Camp 5 as I departed.  Here Dark Man leads the mega-classic Pancake Flake… free of course.





























Salathe:  There were a couple of teams high on the route, one from yesterday and a drop-in on Freerider.

13)  A couple of guys blitzed up from below and blew past Hollow Flake early, with only a couple of packs for baggage.  They are the Cutler brothers, who made an impressive ascent of the Nose a couple of years ago.   Here they are climbing into the infamous Ear pitch.





























In other news:  We had a nice day hanging in the meadow… we seem to have a lot of those these days.  People brought a cooler and many beers and a good time was had by all.  Here are some of the crew that came by today.





























I talked with Alex Honnold, who showed up around 3pm, and is looking for a partner who wants to do some good stuff.  My good friend Ragan (Marek Raganowicz, the legendary Polish big wall climber) is here with a friend, Magdalena, to climb the PO.  They are blasting in a couple of days.  Brits, Neil Chelton and Callum  are down from their climb of the PO and hung out in the meadow for most of the afternoon.  Other plans are being made… stay tuned!

So that’s the way it is, for this Friday, the 18th day of Sept. 2015.

Capt. Tom…on duty…just for you!!