ElCap Report 9/23/12

By Tom Evans

Yo… Excellent climbing weather belies the number to teams on the Captain.  The Nose has one party above Sickle…Salathe has one party midway and the 4 Japanese working on freeing it are camped at Lung Ledge and not doing much…Zodiac is empty… so it goes.  Come on out… the days are getting shorter so take advantage while you can.
Today’s Elcap Report…written just for you…unique in all the world!

The Women’s Nose Record was crushed to a powder today by Chantel Astorga, and Mayan Gobat!!!!
They began by 3:30am and, I can assure you, I was not there to see the start!!  The plan was to climb out of the sun as much as possible as they were climbing not only the Nose but the link up with the Reg on the Dome too.  I got to the Bridge a little before 9am thinking I would see them around the Great Roof.  They were leaving Camp 5 when I first spotted them.  A supportive gathering of interested climbers hung at the Bridge to watch the ascent and cheer them on.  

We sent up cheers of encouragement when they came back into view at the Alcove.  I couldn’t believe the pace they were running, but could tell it was fast by their energy level.  Mayan lead the last pitch, in a display of skill and nerve unmatched by ANY of the many climbers, male or female, I have seen do speed ascents of the route.  By the time she short fixed Chantel, at the end of the overhanging section, she must have had well over a hundred feet of rope hanging free.  A fall from that position would have been catastrophic!  She didn’t rush for the tree like most leaders in the past have done, for she knew that the clock stopped when the second touched the tree and not the leader.  So she stopped along the way to pull up the miles of slack she had in the line so Chantel would be protected and not have to deal with the huge amount of slack and a potential of a big time fall.  

Mayan climbed the rest of the way to the tree only after Chantel was on the easy stuff.  Considering the fact that they had been climbing over 7 hours at top speed it was a remarkable achievement!
They came out to the edge for a victory pose and we got the word from up top that they had done the climb in 7 hours 26 minutes… knocking almost three hours off the previous record!!  
Now that’s more like it ladies!!  Anyone wanting to break that record is going to have to put some serious work into the project.
1)  Mayan on the easier climbing as Chantel jugs the short fixed line.




























2)  Chantel passes the first overhang while Mayan heads higher.




























3)  Victory pose on top of ElCap






























 Tangerine Trip:  These three guys didn’t break any speed records yesterday, but seemed more interested in getting off the route today.  They were climbing the first bolt ladder as I departed.
4)  Nathan climbing toward the start of the first bolt ladder this afternoon, while Russ and Sean take a break.




























5)  Mescalito:  Bret, Josh, and Cam bivied below the Bow, four from the top last night.  They were up and at it when I arrived.





























I spotted them leading the last pitch as I departed from my western swing.
6)  Starting the last pitch on the Classic, Mescalito!




























ND/Genesis:  Can’t believe I am writing this, but… Pete and Jon are moving smartly along on some really nice looking rock!  The were starting the third pitch of Geneses when I shot them from out west.
7)  Big time wall climbing, spectacular rock, and interesting climbing, high on El Capitan.



























8)  Nose:  One party appeared in the Legs this morning as I was watching the speeding women, high above.  They climbed well and were at the start of the pitch to ECT when I departed.




























9)  Salathe:  The team of two, Seth Carter and John Cannon, caught my attention as they climbed to the Ear this morning.  I guess they passed the Japanese team with no problem.  They chose to climb the “real” Salathe line above the Ear and I last saw them at the belay below the Alcove.



























10)  Cosmos:  Skiy Detray and Amanda Fenn are making steady progress and look to be about half way up the route.  They were hauling and cleaning during the few minutes I was out west.  I definitely would like to spend more time shooting out there as it is usually the highlight of my shooting day.




























11)  In other news:  Lots of climbers came and went today and had an enjoyable  time during a very mellow afternoon at the Bridge.
Jon Gleason, Alex Honnold, Cheyne Lempe,  and climbing ranger Ben Doyle, trying hard to believe James Jucas’s spray, at the Bridge



























The Ask a climber program is meant to answer climbing questions, but often we give directions to lost Tourons.
12)  Jon Gleason and Alex Honnold giving some inquiring tourists directions.



























So that’s the way it is, for this Sunday, the 23rd day of September, 2012.
Until next time…
Tom Evans signing off.


Tangerine Trip

Thanks for the photos Tom! We all appreciate it. One aid newb, one big wall newb (me), and one big wall veteran made quite the rope tanglin' team! Some great light during our blast to the top on the 23 once the haul bag got lighter!


Way to go girls!
Thanks Tom for always bringing us the action in the valley. We appreciate your time and hard work.

Women's speed climb

Wow. What a new record. As a touron newly hooked on watching climbers from the bridge--thank you, Tom--I'm amazed that the women were able to take nearly 3 hours off their record. Thanks, Tom, for keeping us apprised. (I'm one of the pair of tourons on the bridge when they broke the record on Wed. Not the one in the lifted kid picture--that was Sherry.) Congrats, Women. Proud of you.
Anne K


YAY!!! Way to go Chantel and Mayan. You kicked ass. I'm inspired by your effort and got tingly thinking about hanging it out there so much at the top. Tom, Thanks for keeping us in the loop! —Madaleine

Great shots!

Amazing shots and exciting news for the women! Your descriptions make me feel like I'm there. Thanks for making it over to see Skiy and Amanda. Looks like her first climb on El Cap is going well. Those two sure do love to climb!
Amanda's mom

wow, congrats for that speed

wow, congrats for that speed record!
and thanks a lot for these daily reports from Yosemite...a very nice way to start the day over here in Europe, checking first what's going on on the capitan.

Must be nice to hang out at

Must be nice to hang out at the bridge all day and chat it up with the ladies! Best job in the world in fact!

Good Work

Nice job ladies!

ND to Genesis

Fox is not letting up he told me he would be seeing me at the bridge Friday for cold ones .

Thanks Tom

Thanks Tom

Chantel and Mayan; terrific climb--CONGRATULAIONS!!!

Tom thanks for keeping us on the Captain--we appreciate what you do!

Thanks Tom. Great

Thanks Tom. Great report!

Three cheers for Seth Carter

Three cheers for Seth Carter and John Cannon on the Salathe Route! Here's to freeing Freerider!

Great job guys !

Great job guys !

Way to go, ladies!

Another great report, Tom. Thanks again.

Different angles of the cliff

Tom, it's great that you're shooting different angles of the cliff, I was getting a bit tired of the same old shots of the Nipple.
Me too but I am stuck at the Bridge from 9am until 2pm and there is nothing I can do about that.  Tom