ElCap Report 9/20/2019

ElCap Report 9/20/2019

By Tom Evans

Yo.. I arrived yesterday after a nice, but long drive from my home in Southern California.  The weather is really fall like with cool days and cooler nights. The great rock is pretty empty with the exception of the Nose which is crowded in clumps.  I didn’t arrive in time to shoot yesterday but did get down to the ElCap meadow to shoot today.  I plan to have some reports this fall as I will be here until late October and will have time to get something up but at irregular intervals most likely.  So… stay tuned for all the news from the big stone along with some reporting on the Face Lift that will start early next week, and has excellent evening shows and fantastic prizes for the hard working volunteers.

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

1)  Last evening, I noticed a beautiful sunset developing, as I was finishing setting up my camp in old camp 4, the center of the climbers camping universe here in the Valley.  I grabbed my camera and got this shot of Half Dome from the camp 4 parking lot.
































2)  Today was a clear and cool day after last night’s cold conditions.  We had a good crew come out to the ElCap Meadow and hang out for most of the time I was shooting.  Here is the obsession of our trips to the Valley.































3)  I noticed some Tourons looking off into the meadow this morning and wondered what they were looking at.































4)  I friend of mine quickly pointed out the large bear about 100 feet from my shooting spot.  The bear wandered around as a crowd gathered to see the creature, move around the meadow looking for something to eat. I never got a great look at him but could see he is quite large.






























5)  I did see climbers on the Zodiac Route today.  The Great White Circle had what I though was a team of two that turned out to be a solo climber.  The guy, Aron Urbanics, from Hungary, looked pretty good and had his logistics in order and climbed well while I was shooting.  Here is a long view of the Circle with him at the 6 O’clock position.































6)  Aron quickly led the long center pitch and is seen here after he came back to the belay to start cleaning out the gear he placed climbing.
































7)  Later in the afternoon I shot Aron climbing the classic Nipple pitch.  Who is that guy?
































8)  Higher a mixed team was finishing up their climb of Zodiac and are seen here finishing up cleaning the pitch above Peanut Ledge.





























9)  After a time, I saw the man climbing the next to the last “slab pitch” while the woman belayed.  They finished later in the afternoon after I left the meadow for the day.































10)  Off to the right of Zodiac I saw climbing ranger, Brandon Adams climbing solo in the very dangerous and recent rockfall zone that collapsed a couple of years ago, killing a man and seriously injuring his wife.  Climbers have been advised to stay clear of this very loose and questionable area.  But Brandon decided to try to climb the “new” features created by the colossal rock falls.  Here he is … in deep shit!  Hopefully nothing will go bad for him and we will hear his story upon his return… stay tuned for that for sure!






























11)  The Nose is jammed in clumps of teams all below the great roof.  The clumping started around the top of the Sickle, low on the route and those teams dragged along all afternoon, it is questionable if they all made it to Dolt Tower for the night.






























12)  Texas Flake and the Boot were under siege by 4 parties at once with an NIAD (Nose in a day) team eventually fighting its way through the throngs to break out of the mob. Here a couple of the teams are leaving the big ledge known as ElCap Tower, to reach the top of Texas Flake and then on to the Boot Flake as the afternoon wore on.































13)  The King Swing did produce some interesting swings as all the parties swung too low and had difficulties passing over the Tan Band of smooth rock.  They were all a little low but pulled it off.  This climber needed some help from the guys on Eagle ledge who threw a rope to him to speed up the process.






























14)  Over on the Salathe Wall a team of three is seen here with the leader climbing the notorious Hollow Flake pitch.  They were soon headed to the Ear as I departed for the afternoon.































In other news:  Pete Zabrok and Hayden Robinson climbed to Lay Lady Ledge last evening on their attempt to climb New Dawn.  Hayden has a time constraint and Pete is perhaps best known for his very slow climbing style.  There is some question among the crew in the meadow if this climb will end at the summit or base!  Sunny and Paul were spotted above Mammoth on the 3D, I didn't get out west so I have no good shots of them yet.  Kelly Fields and partner blasted on Mescalito this morning.  I hear Tim Kelly is up on the Nose... hard to tell who is who up there.  Steve Schneider is working on a new connection way out west.

Lots of climbers are showing up for the Fall season and we anticipate some great free climbing along with big wall climbing.

I am sending along birthday wishes to my grandson, Kolten Thorson, on his 19th birthday!  He is presently enrolled at Purdue majoring in Mechanical Engineering.

So that’s that way it is, on this Friday, September 20, 2019.

Capt. Tom… back on the job… just for you!



Solo climber

The solo climber on "Zodiac" is a Hungarian guy, Aron Urbanics :)

Next best thing

Hi Tom, your reports are the next best thing to being in the Valley! Keep up the good work!

Thanks as always!

Thanks as always!

Stoked to hear you're back on

Stoked to hear you're back on the scene
Love your work!