ElCap Report Farewell Tour 10/17/23 The last ElCap Report.

ElCap Report Farewell Tour 10/17/23 The Last ElCap Report.
By Tom Evans

Yo.. Incredible warm weather, is the most common variable of this Fall season.  Lots of action on the Cap these past few days. Crushers and Burners are lighting up the Big Stone. Interesting routes and fast times have distinguished the climbing thus far.  However, as stated above... this will be the last ElCap Report.  I want to thank all of you who have supported my efforts over the years and the many friends I have made through doing this report.  The smoke is heavy in the Valley and the fires are not going to end any time soon.  It is impossible to shoot due to the density of the smoke so I will be leaving here in the very near future. Those of you who still have images you have not gotten can come by and see me and get them in person in the Lodge Cafe from 7 to 9am and in the Mt. Room bar after 5pm. Otherwise send me an email with your information and I will dropbox the shots to you. Finally I would like to thank my partner in all this... If the report was a car and I the driver then Chris Falkenstein would be the mechanic who kept the car working. I would have been lost without him and he was with me all the  way on this years long trip.  I don't have the words to adequately express my graditude to Chris... Thanks to you my dear friend, Chris!!

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

1)  On Surgeon General, the mixed Polish team of Jozek, and Gosia have teamed up to do the signature route on the upper east side of the Cap. Gosia is seen here finishing the 2nd pitch.


2)  The Great White Circle is one of the most famous features on ElCap and offers some of the most simulating climbing. Miles Fullman and Nick Ehman are seen here on the Zodiac route during their 8 hour ascent before throwing in the Nose to finish their day.


3)  Miles in the heart of the Cricle.


4)  Nick giving a phone prompted wave to the crew at the tree... or perhaps waving good bye to me!


5)  A strong team, of Dave Allfrey and partner Randy, is seen here on the early pitches of Tempest…They bailed shortly thereafter and another strong team has taken their place and are cruising the route.


6)  ElCap Tower is a nice place to stop after doing its right side on New Dawn. The pitch off the Tower requires a huge lower-out that starts from the right side. Where the climber is seen in this shot.


7)  Crusher, Sam Phillips is seen here in the Legs as he powered up the Nose with Hans Florine, via the recently popular Jardine Traverse, in a handful of hours.


8)  Western view of the above-mentioned Jardine variation with the Texas Flake in view on the right.  This team came over from Grape Race I think.


9)  Burners!! Jim Reynolds, Brandon Adams, and Tyler Karow lit up the Magic Mushroom the other day by knocking 6 hours off the speed record. One would be hard pressed to find a team as strong as this one.

10)  Ryan Rex is seen here in the middle of the beartiful climbing on Sunkist.  I missed getting his partners name.


11)  Here Ryan is seen as a tiny human being on the great expance of the SW Face of ElCap.


12)  This long shot of the Salathe above the Long Ledge gives a much clearer perspective than the foreshortened view we usually see from the deck.


13)  Further out west, I spotted this solo, Marlin Thorman, above the Flake, high on the Dihedral Wall.  Shout out to Ed Cooper, one of the best western photographers ever, who was on the first ascent in 1962 with Glen Denny and Jim Bladwin.


14)  Bringing up the rear on this report is Marek Raganowicz , my very dear friend of many years and adventures....finishing up on Bad Seed… I wonder why this ending was picked instead of just walking off to the left?  Later... turns out it is a slick slab and no one wanted to even try it... so staight up with 7 beaks!

In other news... I will be leaving Yosemite in a few more days but have some other business to wrap up so come find me if you need to. The air Quality here is way way unhealthy and if you are coming up here soon... you might wish to reconsider and come at a later date.

On my last day, I am reminded of the last lyrics of a favorite song... "Four Strong Winds"... by Ian Tyson

If the good times are all gone,

Then I'm bound for moving on,

I'll look for you if I'm ever back this way.

I'll look for  you if I'm ever  back this way.

So that’s the way it is, on this Tuesday, the 17th day of October, 2023.

Capt. Tom…For one last time... Good bye and farewell to all.

A note of appreciation

I have come back more than once since your final post hoping it wasn't really so. I have loved reading your reports, and I will truly miss your updates. You were the eye into so many ascents. I tracked my friends' progress here, whopping when I saw one of them in the pictures. The lyrics you posted are beautiful, but I hope they are wrong. I hope that the good times are not all gone. :)

-Alicia S.



Thanks so much for all your reports over the years... I've grown into my middle age through them and really has helped me appreciate the majesty of El Cap and life. Climbing brings about incomparable friendships and such bonds are so well formed on that stone.

Take care and god speed,