ElCap Report 5/23 to 5/27/2014

ElCap Report 5/23 to 5/27/2014

By Tom Evans

Yo... perfect weather is bringing them back to the Valley, although today was not a very busy one on the Cap.  Hudon and Jones are down from Reticent after a very nice ascent of this difficult route.  A Zodiac team finished this afternoon and a solo is going into the circle now.  The Nose has had a lot of action in the past few days.  New Dawn has the normal Piton Pete crew on it but have not cleared the trees yet... maybe later in the week! The British climber James McCaffy and his partner are half way up El Nino.  The rest is sort of explained in the pics below.

ElCap Report 5/23/14 Rescue Edition

ElCap Report 5/23/14  Rescue Edition.

By Tom Evans

Yo... Nice weather these days but the cliff doesn't reflect the great conditions.  Perhaps the big holiday weekend is keeping them away.  Yosemite Search and Rescue had their annual May helicopter training day on the 21st of the month.  All the rangers qualified to get a ride on the bottom of a very long rope, suspended from the chopper, got to practice taking flight and landing on the side of the East Buttress of the Cap.  The weather was not great that day but they pushed through it with Richard Shatto doing the precision flying.

Well just two days later, Tobias Wolf and his partner Thomas, were rappelling near the area of the practice when a rock fell, without warning, from above and hit Tobias in the left knee.  YOSAR was quickly dispatched to the scene with Fire chopper 551, flown by Richard Shatto again.  It was the same flight as was practiced just two days before and it went quickly.  Below are some shots I got as I arrived a bit late for the first part of the flight.

ElCap Report 5/22/14

ElCap Report 5.15...22.2014 A week of climbing.

By Tom Evans

Yo...  Well, it has been hot.. cold.. dry... and wet, this past week.  Right now the conditions are perfect for climbing.  The Spring climbing season is in full swing now, so come on Cubicle Pukes... get out of your prison! 

ElCap Report 5/20/14 REMEMBERING TWO OF OUR FINEST FRIENDS

ElCap Report 5/20/14  Remembering Richie Copeland and Sean Leary.

By Tom Evans

On 5/18/14 we lost one of the best climbers and friends the Yosemite climbing community has ever known.  Richie Copeland was, as best we can figure, at the base of the first pitch of a Liberty Cap route, after hiking there with a friend to do the climb.  He put down his pack and scrambled around to, perhaps, get a better view of the climb, when the rocks he was standing on suddenly collapsed, causing his fatal fall down the cliff. 

ElCap Report 5/19/14

We lost a great man and friend to all, yesterday, as Richie Copeland fell to his death on the approach to Liberty Cap.  This has been a rough year for Yosemite climbers as Sean Leary was killed base jumping in March.  If you have been reading the Report, these past years, you know what fine men these friends were. I will see if I can get together some photos and such for each of these unique men who left us far too early.  We here in Yosemite are just crushed by the loss of these men.... both were one of a kind and we won't see the likes of them again...

ElCap Report 5/15/14

ElCap Report 5/15/14

By Tom Evans

Yo… Sunny and very warm here in the Valley.  The action on the great rock is presently confined to the Nose and Salathe routes.  The rock has no bird closures and is completely open to climbing.  I have procured a place to stay, outside of the park, which entails a fairly long drive to and from the valley.  I will be shooting climbers on ElCap daily from now until July. 

ElCap Report:Special Edition report on the new "Yosemite Bigwalls: The Complete Guide".

Special Edition: ElCap Report on new Yosemite Bigwalls Guide Book.
By Tom Evans

Yo… I am having a great winter thus far but I wanted to take a moment to make you aware of the new Yosemite Bigwalls: The Complete Guide.  Erik Sloan and Roger Putnam have gone to great lengths to put this guide together for all of us to use and enjoy.  Go on line and buy this great book at the link below.

ElCap Report 10/02/13 Special Shutdown Edition

ElCap Report 10/02/13  Special Shutdown Edition.

By Tom Evans

Yo… Things are getting weird here now.  There is a ranger check-point on the road at camp 4.  They stop you and tell you that if you leave and do not have a nps sticker or employee card that you will not be able to return once you drive past that check-point.  Another check-point is at the EC crossover.  Everyone must be gone by 3pm tomorrow.  I have a site in camp 4 tonight and will be attending an impromptu “last night” party there.  I can’t go down to the Bridge to check on those on the wall who may be of interest to you, so this will be the last report until the government grows up and stops playing childish politics.

ElCap Report 10/01/13

ElCap Report 10/1/13

By Tom Evans

Yo…Fortunately the Government can’t yet control the weather!  Perfect day for another NOSE RECORD!!!  Read about it below.  The government shutdown is having a huge impact here in Yosemite.  If nothing is done we all have to be out of here on Thursday at 3pm.  Many of the shutdown regulations, now in force, are pretty stupid, even for the park service, normally known for illogical, ill thought out regs.  However, to their credit, most of those kind are being ignored.  An example is.. you cannot stop at a turn out, to look at the view, or take a photo.  Another is that you can’t go out for a morning walk/hike.  Anyway, we all, park service included, are hoping for a quick resolution.  In-park and local business are losing a ton of money each day this shutdown goes on. 

ElCap Report 9/30/13

ElCap Report 9/30/13

By Tom Evans

Yo.. Today was perfect for climbing on ElCap, with 80% cloud cover in the morning, dropping to 50% later in the day.  In the forecast are eight sunny days, of 70 degree weather.  Lots of action on the Cap with a record number of shots on this report.  So check your knots, clip into the first piece, and get out on the lead with Capt. Tom watching every move.

ElCap Report 9/29/13

ElCap Report 9/29/13

By Tom Evans

Yo… It was another beautiful day here in big wall heaven.  Lots of interesting routes are getting attention.  The Nose is essentially empty now that the ladies are done … SETTING A NEW WOMAN’S SPEED RECORD, THIS MORNING!!  More about that below.  Many Bigs have shown up to climb on the Captain… Gerberding, Trotter, Caldwell, Leary, Smith-Gobat, Sharma, Cecil, Hillary, Harding…the list goes on!!  Do they know something you don’t?  Yes!!  They know that this is the time to get it on with the Captain…now, you know too!

ElCap Report 9/28/13

ElCap Report 9/28/13

By Tom Evans

Yo… It was an absolutely spectacular day here!  The Nose and Salathe saw most of the action today and most of the other routes were standard fare.  It is high season on El Capitan, so if you are coming to climb the big stone, now is the time.  I would go on and on with the usual spray but I have been slowly running out of energy these past few days and I sure need to get some rest.  So……

ElCap Report 9/27/13

ElCap Report 9/27/13

By Tom Evans

Yo.. The weather continues to be sunny but with a chilling wind up high and down below.  Lots of action on the Nose and Salathe.

We had a new mixed team speed record on the Nose and I will show several shots below. 

The last night of shows are going on tonight so I will cut to the chase so I can get to bed at some reasonable time tonight.

I also wanted to mention that Jim Bayer, if you didn’t read about it in a previous report, became the oldest person to solo ElCap by virtue of his recently completed Lost in America solo.  He was 57 years 11months at the time.  Congratulations to Jim!

ElCap Report 9/26/13

ElCap Report 9/26/13
By Tom Evans

Yo… Sunny, windy, and cold on the Captain today.  Lots of action, scattered around the cliff, in spite of the conditions.  Saturday is forecast to be the start of warmer weather.  I spent the shooting day in the EC Meadow shooting in windy and comfortable conditions.  So drop what you are doing and come along, up to the big stone, where the puffy’s were out and the ropes blew east.

ElCap Report 9/25/13

ElCap Report 9/25/13

By Tom Evans

Yo… The weather and a mishap on the Nose are the news of the day.  It was unseasonably cold, with high winds today and the forecast rain is yet to appear.  Climbers in the wind prone areas were in expedition puffy’s all day while those in protected areas were comfortable with T-shirts.  We are expecting some nicer weather within the next couple of days.  The Nose is empty of teams wanting to climb to the top.

ElCap Report 9/24/13

ElCap Report 9/24/13

By Tom Evans

Yo…Nice day here but some clouds floated by later in the day, forerunners of some rain tomorrow afternoon I hear.  Not a lot of different routes being done on the great rock… mostly… you know the one… the King!  The Facelift is on now and the first program is tonight so this will be short and sweet.

ElCap Report 9/23/13

ElCap Report 9/23/13

By Tom Evans

Yo…We had another beautiful day here in Yosemite.  Lots of action of ElCap, so you will be seeing many pics on today’s Report.  The air was clear but surprisingly turbulent in the afternoon.  Remember, the Facelift starts tomorrow so get out here and pick up all that stuff that shouldn’t be on the ground.  We are expecting a big turnout this year.

ElCap Report 9/22/13

ElCap Report 9/22/13

By Tom Evans

Yo… We had a crystal clear day here in Yosemite.  Yesterday’s storm came and was gone by midnight.  It was strong enough to force several teams off the wall and make things interesting for those left on.  However, all the crews up there seemed ok today and moved steadily along.  Cool lighting made for some great shots all day long… so saddle up and ride high with old Capt. Tom. 

ElCap Report 9/21/13

ElCap Report 9/21/13

By Tom Evans

Yo… I got up this morning to clear skies and figured the bet I had with Blake Burwell, that there would be no rain today, was safe.  I cruised down to the Cap to do my daily shooting and secured a good spot in the meadow.  Soon clouds started streaming in from the south west and soon the sky was overcast and had a bad look to it.  I had fun shooting as a cloudy day is the best to get details without high contrast shade and sun.  About 1:30pm it really started looking grim so I made a dash for the Bridge and shortly thereafter the sky opened up and it has been pouring ever since.  I am afraid to even go to my tent and am holed up here in the Mt. Room Bar, doing the Report.  Camp 4 will be a swamp of wet misery.. oh the humanity!!

ElCap Report 9/20/13

ElCap Report 9/20/13

By Tom Evans

Yo.. Today, climbing continued on ElCap under very windy conditions.  The wind blew pretty hard from 10:30 to about 3pm today at the Bridge and one can only assume it was howling up higher.  However, I don’t think it caused any problems.  Tomorrow they are calling for a fair chance of rain, which would be very welcomed at this point. 

The leaves on Maples and Oaks are starting to turn now, but not like we want.  It seems the leaves are rapidly turning brown and then falling off the trees.  Not good!  The Sugar Maple, by the Chapel, is suffering the same fate thus far.

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