Last late season shots for ElCap Report

Really late season photos from ElCap 10/24/16

By Tom Evans

Yo.. Storming in the Valley this week.  Lots of climbers are patiently awaiting the return of good weather but this just might be the end for many.  Interesting things going on, or trying to go on, I should say.  Adam Ondra, the famous CZE climber, is here with entourage, to try to repeat the Free Dawn Wall.  Jorg Verhoeven, is here to try to free Dihedral Wall.  You may remember that this accomplished Dutch climber made the 4th free ascent of the Nose last year.  An Austrian mixed team is working on freeing Zodiac and another European team is working on El Corazon.  Rob Miller is back to work his new route up the Muir, as are several others.  Plus, all the regular wall climbs are going on too.  I am out of here in a couple more days to head home to get ready for a cruise in early Nov.  Here are shots from the last several days.

These shots were taken just for you… and are unique in all the world!

1)  Adam Ondra working the start of the 3rd on the Dawn Wall.




























2)  Adam wasn’t trying to free everything but just getting familiar with the route while pushing ropes up to the end of the lower difficulties.




























3)  Taking a break from the Dawn Wall, Ondra did a run up the Nose yesterday and finished just before the rains came in the night.  Here he is climbing away from Sickle Ledge.






























4)  One advantage to fall rain is that the waterfalls are now going strong once again!





























5)  Regan finished his climb of Kohl’s excellent PSD a few days ago and here he is under the Devil’s Brow where he spent two days in a wicked storm that hammered him hard as he was under a waterfall for most of that time.  He said the noise was deafening and he was unable to sleep the whole time!


























6)  Here Regan is leading the Brow pitch the day before the storm broke.  He commented, after the climb, that it was the second-best route he had done on EC.  He said Surgeon General was better as it was a more natural line.




























7)  Several teams have tried South Seas to PO this season.  About half have succeeded.  This team is seen here hauling to the end of the third pitch.  They later bailed in an earlier storm.





























8)  This team on SSPO was successful and here they are just past the intersection of the two routes.



























9)  Freerider has gotten a lot of attention this season.  Here a European mixed team is on the start to the Monster crack.



























10)  ElCap Spire was a popular bivy site.  Here a team is taking a look at the pitches above the spire.































11)  In this shot, the only junk show visible from the international space station, of course, belongs to Piton Pete.  They are climbing New Dawn.





























12)  How to do the Nose’s King Swing, the “easy” way. 

a) Run HARD on the coarse rock just above the Tan Band.

b) Reach over the corner with your left arm for the sideways mantle.

c) Change feet so that your right foot positions you so that you can free your left foot, to reach the hold you see Jeff Lundeen's left foot on.

d) Move your right arm over to the mantle and lean into it, taking you over the corner and on to Eagle Ledge.



























13)  Two climbers hanging in Dolt Hole, later in the day.






























14)  The fun chimney above the Hollow Flake.  Don’t stay in too long or it gets ugly!






























15)  Lunar Eclipse… Sean Warren leading on some cool rock as Pete Whittaker belays.





























16)  Higher on Lunar, Sean climbs through some cool dikes.






























17)  Higher yet, on Lunar, Pete finishes cleaning the pitch to the Brow.






























18)  Climbing off ElCap Spire on the Salathe Wall route.






























19)  This Austrian Team is working on freeing Zodiac.  Here they are on the so called, Flying Buttress pitch.




























20)  Last but not least.  Yesterday, 10/23/16, Brandon Adams and Robbie Brown flew up the Nose to Tribal Rite in a record breaking 16:17 push up the route.  Here Brandon is out front on the Carrot Pitch as Robbie cleans.






























That’s about it for me this season.  Thanks to all who supported my efforts at writing and photography all these years.  You made all the difference to me!  Best wishes for a happy and productive winter.  I will probably return in the Spring to continue photographing the great times climbers have on ElCap.

So, that’s the way it is, on this Monday, the 24th day of October, 2016. 

Capt. Tom:  I’m out of here in two days… big cruise coming up in early November!

Thanks Tom for your continued

Thanks Tom for your continued coverage of all things happening in the valley. I especially love when you give technical insights to what's happening that are often missed out in articles on R&I or Keep up the excellent work!