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|Submitted by Tom Evans on Fri, 09/26/2014 - 02:24|
ElCap Report 9/24 to 9/25/2014
By Tom Evans
Yo…We’ve had super duper weather the past several days. I awoke to mostly cloudy skies, with rapid cloud movement today. Lots of shadows on the wall, which made for good shooting. There have been many climbers on the Nose over the last 3 days, and the clusterfcuk has been impressive.
THE BIG NEWS OF THE 24TH WAS THAT CHANTEL ASTORGA SOLOED THE NOSE IN A WOMEN'S RECORD TIME OF 24:39, JUST MISSING BECOMING THE FIRST WOMAN TO SOLO ELCAP IN A DAY!! Read all about it below!
Today’s ElCap Report…written just for you…unique in all the world!
Bad to the Bone: The Canadian trio of Dom, John, and Pete are doing better than we expected. Pete did a nice lead yesterday, and today Dom and John pushed higher on the route.
1) Dom and John heading for the intersection of the route with Eagles way, just to the right.
Zodiac: Three parties are on the route at the moment.
2) This shot is of the mixed team we have been following for a few days, here they are climbing the friction slab to the start of the last pitch.
Below them is a team of two who fixed 4 pitches two days ago and climbed into and out of the White Circle today.
Below them as a new team, Didi and Simon, who fixed a couple pitches yesterday and were at the start of the Black Tower pitch when I left today.
3) Virginia to the Trip: Neil Chelton and girlfriend Maria, climbed the second pitch today with Maria doing a nice lead while Neil cooled it at the belay. They recently climbed New Dawn.
4) New Dawn: Dennis and Doug are well on their way to Lay Lady Ledge this evening. Here is a shot from earlier in the day. Doug is on the left, Dennis on the right.
5) As stated above, Chantel solo climbed the Nose yesterday in 24 hours 39 minutes! A new woman’s record!! She would have been faster but had the misfortune to have to pass 18 other climbers! She also dropped a jumar and aid sling below the Great Roof and finished with one sling and a grigri! No fun there! Here she is on the pitch above Dolt Tower yesterday morning.
6) BEST DRESSED CLIMBER OF THE DAY!
7) A shot from yesterday… how NOT to dress for ElCap … but an interesting technique to cross the King Swing!
8) During yesterdays crowed conditions, a team on the Boot Flake takes a moment to check out the topo.
9) Yesterday afternoon the mob moved past the King Swing later in the afternoon.
10) This morning everyone got up and stood in line again! A team of three coming over on the 3D didn’t help matters either.
11) Still at the front of the pack, Dave and Kevin, climbed the last pitches to the top late this evening.
Josh McClue and partner Miranda also climbed the Nose today, as part of the Half Dome/ElCap link up. They both looked strong, after climbing the Dome early this morning, as they worked their way past miles of climbers ahead of them. Miranda looked super confident freeing the Boot Flake and sailing past the King Swing. Congratulations to them as one of only a few mixed teams to do the “link up”!
12) Today was also the annual “Nose Wipe”. Several volunteers descended from the top, down to Camp 6, to deal with the trash and nasty stuff, unfortunately left by climbers who are too stupid to understand that trash and waste should be carried off the cliff, not left on it. Here is a Nose wiper jugging out the last pitch with bags full of “stuff” being hauled out from above.
Salathe: This wonderful route has seen a few teams over the last several days. A team topped out this morning.
13) This team of three, climbed the Hollow Flake yesterday and are seen here on that pitch.
14) The team above, at the start of the pitch to the Block, earlier today. I last saw them hauling kit below the Roof.
In other news: The Face Lift is going strong now and the evening programs have been stellar thus far. Last night , Libby Sauter, Andy Kirkpatrick, and Dean Potter gave individual shows that drew great enthusiasm from the audience.
Today’s sky has the look of a forerunner to an approaching storm. Fortunately most of the teams will be off by tomorrow and the ones remaining will be on climbs that offer some protection from the weather. I have very limited time on the internet these days and haven’t spent any of it looking at weather forecasts.
The Flying Spur Ranch, where I am presently camped, survived the big fire in the summer, and the owner is graciously letting me stay there. So, I do have a daily drive to and from the Valley, but the camping is nice and worth the effort. Thanks Kylie!!
So that’s the way it is, for this Thursday, the 25th day of September, 2014.