ElCap Report Farewell Tour 9/27/2023

ElCap Report  Farewell Tour 9/27/2023
By Tom Evans

Yo.. Excellent weather continues here in the ElCap Meadow.  This is the time to show and get up on the Big Stone.  There was only one party on the Nose today and none fixing to Sickle Ledge…It doesn’t get any better than this Cubicle Pukes… where the hell are you? Everything is wide open so don’t wait until the masses jam things up. 

Today’s ElCap Report… Written just for you…Unique in all the World!


1) Zodiac had one team, high on the route captured doing what I call the Bear Claw on the Mark of Zorro pitch.  They are miserably dressed but were visible from time to time.  There was a team fixing this afternoon.


2) Nick Stevens has fixed the first pitch on the Shortest Straw and later in the day.


3)  The Sea of Dreams finds mega legend Mark Hudon once again teaming up with revolutionary gear producer, Skot Richards on this seldom done and still feared route on the upper east side of the Big Stone.  Here Skot has just finished the 4th pitch and inadvertently dropped his classic yellow construction helmet this morning.  It was found at the base none the worst for the fall.


4)  Mark is seen out on the lead doing the Laura Scudders pitch, named for its chip like features.


5) We lost Ryan off of SSPO due to injury but Brit Ollie Tippett has moved onto the route so we will be seeing him in the coming days.  Here he is cleaning on the first pitch this afternoon.  He is wearing a Skots Gear T-shirt, color approved by Tom.... get one and look great on the Cap!


6) Ok kids… Mystery Feature of the Day… what is it called by our local crew?


7) Mescalito… Yolan and crew fixed 4 and took off for good.  Here Haley a member of the team is leading just above the belay at the start of the 5th early this afternoon.  Take heed Pukes… this is how to dress on ElCap.  There is a team of two fixing a few pitches below them, that I understand will soon become a team of eight! 


8)  Mescalito crew, hauling kit to Stork Ledge, in late afternoon shade.  See the stork head?  


9) The Nose… this is the pendulum/tension traverse off Sickle Ledge leading to the start of the Stove Legs. While the pendulum is simple enough, the way directly to the Legs can be time consuming, as it involves some tricky route finding, rope drag and free climbing.


10) High on the Nose the, Yellow/Green team tried the Lynn Hill Traverse to the Gray Bands but neither climber could pull it off and resorted to the classic pitch climbing past the Tan Band, leading to the easy pendulum to the start of the traverse to Camp 4. Jack Keane seen leading here. Notice the death block below him.


11) Sunkist … from a couple of days ago … Keiko leading the cream of the route in early morning shade while Clemmie tends the belay below. The women were seen dumping out gallons of water along the route as they took only1/2 the time planned on to do the route!


12) Salathe… I got this climber low on the hyper- classic Hollow Flake pitch.


13)  Jim Reynolds and Bronson Hovnanian threw down an 11 hour+ climb of the Free Rider recently.  Here Jim is taking a quick break while climbing the notorious chimney above the Hollow Flake, in early morning light.


14)  In this shot, Jim is leading the strenuous Monster Crack while short fixed Bronson is seen jugging up to the Ear.  Later, the Old Captain gave Jim a jolt on the traverse under the headwall … unexpectedly tossing him off and down onto the Enduro Corner, aahhh …chalk one up for the Cap!   Jim shook it off and continued the lead.  We are taking up a collection for Bronson to buy a colorful shirt to climb in as he is presently sporting the Chongo look!


15) The ElCap Report Team hard at work.  Chris Falkenstein is too modest to say anything but his efforts over the years have made the Report possible.  He is the brains behind the website design and functioning.  It would not be here if not for him!  Cheers to Chris, one of the original Stone Masters!  Amazingly enough, all the photos you see in this report were shot from this exact spot... Now that is a serious camera set-up!  This photo is however, very deceptive... it makes ElCap look much further away than it really is... it actually dominates the view filling the sky!


The Face Lift is over and it is time for the season to start in ernest.  Come on out folks and be sure to stop by my tree and hang with the meadow crew. All are welcome!

Capt. Tom.. hanging out...keeping a close eye on the goings-on.... just for you