ElCap Report Farewell Tour 9/29/23

ElCap Report Farewell Tour 9/29/23
By Tom Evans

Yo… Great weather makes for great climbing… so where are you now?  Tomorrow, they say it will rain… we always need rain in the Fall so not to worry about that.  We don’t have a lot of climbers on the wall but the quality of the climbs being done is high.  My good buddy Marek Raganowicz has arrived to save the season!  He will be going on Bad Seed on the upper east side.  There is a team of 8 from Ecuador who are taking a paraplegic up Mescalito. That team has fixed to the pitch past the Seagull. More climbs are mentioned below with the photos.

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

1) Shortest Straw has Nick Stevens on it and he is moving along well and passed into the White Circle this afternoon. Here he is a couple of days ago on the Journey through the Brain pitch.


2)  Yesterday Nick made short work of the mixed pitch leading to the long corner up to the Zodiac intersection. Here he is on that pitch.


3)  Sea of Dreams found Skot Richards and Mark Hudon finishing the lower section to the start of the Hook or Book pitch where I spotted them hauling kit to the start of that pitch.


4)  We all anticipated Mark leading the Hook or Book pitch…. But not so fast… In stead of a pink shirt a blue one ventured out onto the notorious track. Yeah… Skot Richards was spotted on that fabled lead, turning quite a few heads in the process.  Here he is hooking away.. he dusted it off in good order, sending one of the best leads of the season!


5)  Later the Sea team reached Big Sur Ledge with this shot showing Mark hauling kit to the eventual bivy ledge.


6)  Ollie Tippett is putting on a clinic up on SSPO making short work of those steep technical pitches.  Here he is at the upper end of the “sidewalk” pitch hauling kit a couple of days ago.


7) Yesterday he passed this spectacular pitch in early morning light. Notice the tidy belay and smart clothing… yeah… pay attention pukes!


8)  Late afternoon found Ollie at the famous “Sharks Fin” where he pushed higher to the belay at the start of the Rubber Band Man Pendulum.


9) Over on Mescalito the party of Yolan, Haley, and Nick Williams were looking good but things turned bad when Nick got "caught In the V” while jugging and had a difficult time getting out of it.  They later came down leaving kit and ropes in place. With Nick bowing out .... Yolan and Haley vowed to return the next day.


10)  Paul and Sunny Gagner are moving along on the Magic Mushroom and fortunately have spent a lot of time in the shade of that route. They did pass right between the "Eyes of ElCap" two days go and continued higher.


11)  Paul and Sunny getting lots of shade on the Mushroom and they appeared to be fighting the cold up there in the mornings.


12) I did spot this team high on the Salathe Wall route two days ago at the Su le toit ledge as the morning light came to them.


13)  We have a problem folks.. seems there are more wedding couples being photographed in the meadow than climbers are on ElCap!  Not good!  Time to step it up gang!


In other news:  Storm coming tomorrow… along with a possible government shut down and closure of the park.  Some sources say the park will remain open no matter what… we will know in a few hours.  You may have heard the terrible news that a Korean climbing school instructor was killed while rappelling from Sickle Ledge on the Nose. He had several of his students with him on the route when he went down to fix lines to the deck and went off the end of his rope.  Our’s is a close knit climbing community here in Yosemite and we all mourn his loss and send condolences to his friends and family in this difficult time.

So that’s the way it is, on this Friday, the 29th day of September, 2023.

Captain Tom… waiting like all the rest for the news tomorrow will bring.

Great shots as always!!

You sure know how to make us look bitchen!! Mark and I are very glad you’re down there taking all the great shots !
Thanks Tom!