ElCap Report 10/12/08


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Crestline CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 13, 2008 - 01:19am PT
ElCap Report 10/12/08
By Tom Evans

Yo... It was a nice day here until afternoon when the wind picked up and it seemed much colder. The morning was nice enough and with crowd in the meadow watching the Hans and Yuji show were quite comfortable. They started later in the day so had the sun on them for the entire ascent. I heard that Steve Roper was in the crowd but never actually saw him. Steve was one of the original speed climbing guys and I remember him stating that if you could just nail a pin a minute then you could do the Nose in a day. Of course the key would become free climbing and not fast aid climbing. But who knew back then?
So today's report is brought to you by Steve Roper who was one of the first of the old school Yosemite climbers to get on the speed wagon!
Today's Report is here for you right now...

Zodiac: The mystery team of two who have spent the last 3 nights at the bivy atop the Nipple pitch finally made up their minds and bailed. The bail from there is pretty interesting but they pulled it off without difficulty.
Lower down a team, Gary and Nate, climbed to the start of the Black Tower pitch by the time I left around 3pm. Below them was a team, Bob and Omar, headed to the top of the 3rd and below them was a team, Gary and Eric, climbing the first pitch with bags in tow.
Hauling bags to the end of the first on Zodiac

Trip: The three man team of Kevin, Charley, and James climbed the first pitch on the direct start and bivied there last night. Today they were last seen climbing the classic 5th pitch as I left. The belayers looked bored and the leader looked cold! There was another team at the top of the first pitch of the direct start.
First pitch Bivy on the Trip
Leader and hangers on the Trips classic 5th pitch

NA Wall: When I arrived this morning I watched Holly Beck climbing the pitch above the Continental Shelf but after a time she down climbed and cleaned the pitch back to the Shelf and after that they ledged up for the rest of the day... Up or down Girls?

The Nose: The sharp dressed team of three was seen this morning climbing the great roof and were above camp 5 when the speed climbers caught them. I later saw them a couple from the top.
Down low Roger and Eric climbed the Stove Legs to Dolt in good time and I assume they passed on to ECT later in the day. Attractive young women came by inquiring about them and wanting a peek at them. Must be nice!! They were putting some distance between themselves and a lower team who would most likely be happy to make Dolt tonight.
Can I haul now? Roger waiting on Dolt tower to haul loads

The big event of the day was the speed ascent and new record put up by Hans and Yuji. While most people see these speed climbing events as a lot of fun, I always have a knot in my stomach when I watch them. That kind of climbing is easily the most dangerous climbing on the Captian, as one broken hold or a slip due to haste could be the end of some really fine people we all hold dear. So it was a relief to see them for what I hope is the last time climbing in this manner. They started around 10:20am and thus had the benefit of warmer conditions. It was nice for me because for the first time I could shoot them in the sunlight over then entire climb. They went well with the only noticable glitch being a missed first try at the King Swing by Hans. But that only cost a few seconds. They were faster to the Grey bands and to the great roof. The route was empty from just above Sickle all the way to the Glowering spot so that was a definate advantage they have not had in the past. By the time they reached camp 5 they were ahead of schedule by a fair amount and the record was theirs to lose. They climbed well in the upper dihedrals and by the time they reached the last pitch they were easily going to make the record. The crowd got into the spirit of the thing early and often and when the time was announced of 2:37:05 a great cheer went up. They came to the rim and held their arms up, hopefully for the last time. They have set a record that no one of their generation will most likely beat and that is really all one can ask. There will be others who come forth from a younger generation to perhaps take up the challenge. I wish they would forget about it myself because the danger far out weighs the reward. But come they will and I wish them all the best and a safe climb.
Yuji in the Stove Legs
Hans in the Stove Legs
Yuji climbing above Dolt Tower. What pro?
Hans climbing above Dolt Tower
Yuji running it out on the Boot Flake. What pro?
Yuji climbing on the Great Roof
Yuji on Pancake flake
Hans on Pancake flake
Climbing to Camp 5
Hans and Yuji on top of ElCap

Shield: Narek topped out this morning after his solo ascent of the Shield. He hauled all his kit up the freeblast too!! Awful stuff that!

Salathe: I did see a team go over the roof in the afternoon and up the headwall. Below them were the Montana Boys, a team of three, who were headed to the Block as I left. They wanted Long Ledge but I don't think so!!
Below them was a team of two who climbed to the Alcove in the late morning and another team lower down yet. The route is seeing some action.

Never Never Land: I did see this team doing the 4th pitch today. They are local girl Lori and two guys named Paul and Tim. They looked a little cold over there...

In other news: Well October 12th turned out to be a good day here. For me it was also the anniversary of a childhood hero's most famous exploit. On Oct. 12th 1947, Captain Chuck Yeager flew the Bell X-1 past the speed of sound at Edwards AFB in the high desert of California. Test pilots were a big deal to us kids BITD as we all had heroes of various kinds. To me Chuck was the man! He still lives on a ranch near Ridgecrest.
There is supposed to be some good weather for a time here and climbers are getting back up on the Cap for the last routes of the Fall. This is a wonderful, quiet, time here in the valley as the beautiful colors of fall are coming into their own now. Come on out if only to see the Valley at a wonderful time of year. Soon climbers from this great place will be leaving for destinations of adventure all around the world. Many of our locals are heading to South America and with the skills they have honed here will do well in the big mountains. Climb safely and come back when the waterfalls are booming and the trees are leafing out once again in the Spring.
So that's the way it is for this the 12th day of Octobe 2008.
Later ECP's
wayne w

Trad climber
the nw
Oct 13, 2008 - 01:26am PT
Great shots as usual Tom. How lucky all of us on the Taco are to have you doing your reports and sharing your talent in regard to your photography with us.

Hans and Yuji, PROUD!!!

So. Cal..............d00d
Oct 13, 2008 - 01:28am PT
Thanks for the report........Yuji and Hans Kicked some ass today. Congrats to the two of them.

What happened to the Sharma ascent? Any word?

Thanks again

Crestline CA
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 13, 2008 - 01:32am PT
The word is to forget about it... he is gone now, and the old Cap wasn't sharing the love...

Oct 13, 2008 - 01:40am PT
Looking at the photos of Hans and Yuji climbing puts it into a nice perspective and becomes exciting.

Trad climber
Davis, Ca
Oct 13, 2008 - 03:45am PT
Yay! I got to spend the morning doing the El Cap lie back watching Hans and Yuji make history and cheering on Roger and Eric with those "attractive young women." It was nice.

Trad climber
Vista, CA
Oct 13, 2008 - 04:12am PT
We were in the meadow this morning, watching the incredible climb of Yuji & Hans. Amazing, no words can describe! Both climb so smoothly, and with so much power; you could almost feel the surge as they ran up the wall. I do agree; although I was mesmerized and couldn't take my eyes off the climb, there was a huge feeling of relief when they topped out -- not to mention that they shot their previous record to pieces! It was great fun being in the Meadow with friends and new-met friends, cheering them on. Hans and Yuji, congratulations on your phenomenal climb!

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Oct 13, 2008 - 08:04am PT
Thanks for the report Tom.
It was just as suspenseful as the first record,
and they just completely blew it out of the water.
Hans & Yuji you guys ROCK!!!!!

Trad climber
Oct 13, 2008 - 08:39am PT
Congrats Hans & Yuji!!! This record is surely here to stay! Eat that Alex and Thomas.
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Oct 13, 2008 - 10:12am PT
awesome photos, Tom.

Sport climber
Meff-ferr, Oregon
Oct 13, 2008 - 10:18am PT
Questions for those who were watching:

1. Did Yuji lead the whole route?

2. Did he (or whoever was leading) ever bust out aiders or just FF through the great roof and other free cruxes...

Congrats to the team. Super impressive for sure!
Thanks Tom for the photos.

Crestline CA
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 13, 2008 - 10:24am PT
Yuji leads and yes a few times they used aiders like when Hans jugged a few sections that were short fixed. Yuji carried one which he used a few places... I would say they climbed it 90% or more totally free. It was something to watch!!
It was not about the Hubers at all... it was about to great climbers trying to see what they could do with the best effort they could throw down... I think they did what they set out to do. They are friends with Alex and Thomas and wished them the best when they were trying to do their best too. There is no room in this thing for petty egos trying to one up someone else. They just wanted to set the bar as high as they could.

Social climber
The internet
Oct 13, 2008 - 10:52am PT
That lens is amazing. Nice pictures.

Social climber
Flatland, Ca
Oct 13, 2008 - 10:54am PT
Really awesome report Tom.

Glad I was there for the momentus occasion.

Let's not talk too much about Zodiac.... For now!

Trad climber
Sacramento, CA
Oct 13, 2008 - 11:20am PT
Great report!
Sorry I could not be there...

GO MONTANA BOYS on The Salathe!

Bobby Downs is up there and he is a stand up dude, climb on!
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
Oct 13, 2008 - 11:47am PT
It sounds like it's warmer up here in the Great White North these days. However I wish I were still down there to personally offer Hans and Yuji my congratulations - way to send, lads!

Excellent photos as always, Tom - great fun to see Hans and Yuji making their Hero Poses from the summit. Can you put in a photo or two showing their film crews? How many cameras and crew did they have scattered over the route? I see the guy typically on the Boot Flake is missing, for instance.

Sport climber
Meff-ferr, Oregon
Oct 13, 2008 - 12:18pm PT
Thanks for the reply, Tom.

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Oct 13, 2008 - 12:25pm PT
I was talking to Nick about this cause he was working for the film crew. He was going to be stationed at the top of the Gret Roof. He said they were switching places so they could get more footage of the whole route. Notice Hans and Yuji wearing the same clothes as last time.

It's cool they made it...!

Social climber
Oct 13, 2008 - 12:28pm PT
The team of two on p1 of Zod with bags in tow are a couple of wall rats from Seattle. Bob and OMAR, good luck d00ds. Do you guys have any idea what you're doing?!?!!?

Oct 13, 2008 - 01:43pm PT
"This record is surely here to stay!"


Another fine report. Thanks, Tom.
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