|Submitted by Tom Evans on Wed, 09/22/2010 - 05:01|
ElCap Report 9/21/10
By Tom Evans
Yo… man was it another killer day here or what?! Sweet!! Suddenly there has been a rush of climbers to the cliff and interesting stuff is being climbed again. Just a little on the cool side up on the big stone… a good thing… and the weather is going to get a little warmer by Friday. Everyone is psyched!
Plus the Face Lift is off and running too. I am skipping the first nights activities but will be there for the other nights.
Perhaps all my cajoling has finally paid off, as I have lots of subjects to shoot.. Good stuff.
Today’s ElCap Report…written just for you…unique in all the world!
Waterfront: Holly and EE are on the Waterfall route now and will follow that to the top. Looked like a lot of rivet clipping up there today. Plus they were in wind shirts for the afternoon as a pretty nice breeze (read “Cold Wind“) kept the heat at bay.
Holly and EE talk it over at the start of the climbing day on the Waterfront.
Eagles Way: The Flagstaff boys made good time today and have been cruising in the good part of the route all day. Nice lighting in the afternoon… plus those boys know how to dress up for the Captain!
Flag boys getting her done on Eagles Way.
Flag boys moving up on Eagles Way.
Zodiac: The 5 man Korean team continues to move rapidly up the route and will bivy at Peanut Ledge tonight and will be off tomorrow. They are climbing like a well oiled machine! These are some of the Team Extreme Riders and you can always count on them giving a good accounting of themselves on any route.
Korean team at the Mark of Zorro early in the day.
Lower down a couple of local YOSAR lads, Scott Deputy and Clay Usinger, set out around 6pm to do the route in a push. They climbed well all day with Scott’s block being from the ground to the Mark of Zorro. I wasn’t there long enough to see Clay take the lead but word on the street is that the lad doesn’t know shit about aid climbing! On the job training!! They are hoping for a 15 hour ascent but I have a feeling it will be more like 21. They have to pass the Koreans in the dark, which could be interesting. I will, of course, be comfortably asleep in my spacious accommodations, as they deal with the darkness, fatigue, passing the Koreans on Peanut Ledge, and the East ledges descent! I love it!!
Deputy Dog trying out some Nipple on that famous pitch.
Lower yet is a team of two Italians, who had fixed a few and laid out waiting for the Koreans to get some height, before blasting. They are, Silvano and Francesco. One has a nice set of dreads and dresses like I ordered him from central casting. They are making fair time and proceeded with the requisite caution on the infamous Black Tower pitch. They should fix into the Circle and stay down at the small ledge at the end of the BT pitch.
Italian leader making the move to the first of many bolts on Zodiac’s 5th pitch.
I did see a new team climb the first two pitches with bags this afternoon. I have no idea who they are at this time.
Second pitch on Zodiac. Who are those guys?
Trip: The two climbers who blasted yesterday (who are they?) climbed from the end of 5 to the top of 9 by the time I left today. Steady team, these lads.
Traverse on the 9th pitch of the Trip. The big stick hangs under the bags.
North America Wall: Two teams are on this historic route. I picked up the higher team as they cleared the trees around the 8th pitch. Somehow they didn’t come by the Bridge before the climb and are dressed in dark clothing. Unfortunately, after a few initial shots I forgot about them and didn’t get any shots for the rest of the day… maybe … just maybe…. If they had on something bright I might have remembered them better…but maybe they want a stealth ascent. Below them is another team I hear, but I have yet to see them.
Stealth Team on the NA Wall.
Mescalito: Callum and Neil climbed the Bismarck this morning and were a couple of pitches higher as I left today. Off tomorrow for the lads… or maybe mid day on Thursday.
Neil and Callum at the Bismarck.
Nose: I saw the teams who were involved in the Boot Flake traffic jam climb above Camp 4 this morning and into the afternoon. The team of two passed the 3 man team and moved above Camp 5 as the other team just cleared the Great Roof. At least they will not have to share Camp 5 tonight.
Late morning on the Nose.
Lower Down the slow team from the Legs yesterday climbed to and across the Jardine Traverse this morning and afternoon. Camp 4 for these guys tonight.
Lower down yet a couple of teams were taking their time in the Stovelegs and have some climbing to do to reach Dolt this evening. They will have the full moon to help out as necessary.
Albatross: I did see Pete on the first approach pitch off Grey Ledges this afternoon. The climbing above is up some excellent cracks and should make for some good shots over the next couple of weeks!
Pete widening a few cracks.
Salathe: The team of Matt and Pinto climbed from the Block onto the Headwall and hopefully are on Long Ledge by now. Off tomorrow morning!
Matt and Pinto climbing to Sous le Toit Ledge
The 4 Italians climbed to the Block this afternoon and I assume will fix and bivy there tonight.
A couple of climbers are working the Headwall and Freerider from the top.
Stefan Brunner doing an inspection tour of the Salathe Headwall.
Steve Schneider was over on the West side fixing some on Lost World. He and Heather are going on the route soon with a partner yet to be determined. Steve is a legend here in the Valley and it is always interesting to watch him do his thing on the Captain!
In other news: The Bridge was active today with some Face Lift people coming by, including “Happy girl” who was, of course, happy to be at the Bridge. Several locals spent some time here today and the crowds of Tourons learned a lot about wall climbing. It was a very nice day and I had a fine time shooting in the clear air.
Richard and Bernard, Jacob and Sabastian, Don and Trevor came by the Bridge after getting down from their recent climbs of the Nose. They were impressed!
Trevor and Don, Heroes of ElCap!!
So that’s the way it is, on ElCap, for this the 21st day of September, 2010... The first day of Fall! Don’t you just love it!