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El Cap Report 8-30-15

Wowza the 2015 Fall Bigwall Season is off with a bang!

Lurking Fear: Keiko set off yesterday for a week long solo of this route. Proud! So whenever things go bad this week, just think of Keiko up on Lurking Fear, fighting hard to complete her first bigwall solo ascent ever. Proud! Here she’s trying to enjoy her last meal, and fight off the hordes of adoring fans and climbing rangers, while I badger her for a picture. No doubt wall climbing will be a vacation from this chaos!


Never Never Land: British Ace Neil Chelten and Grizzly Joe continue to make their way up this route. They’ll bivy on Timbuktu again tonight for their third night on the wall. Way to live it up on the Big Stone fellas! Looks like they’re having a blast.

Salathe: Totally empty. A famous jazz pianist buddy is flying in from Brooklyn to get on it tomorrow though, so that’s a start. Oh and a couple guys did Freeblast today. Crazy good up there on this route!

Triple Direct: Nada

Nose: The ‘local Browns’ brother and sister duo of Robbie and Shayna gave us a great show yesterday with a smooth eleven hour ascent. Here they are, doing the family thing at the El Cap Bridge


The Brits Ryan and Evan have made a good go of it, topping out tonight around midnight.

Behind them SAR local Bud Miller and girlfriend Jenny B are cruising along. They looked great up there today – Jenny was wearing this cute pink top and Bud had his shirt off….just imagine it 😉

Lower down it’s looking a little thin, though we had some late stragglers heading to Sickle this pm. Nose is Prime!

Mescalito/New Dawn: No one

NA: Ready(a few teams climbed the NA this spring)

TTrip: A competent looking team from Belgium climbed the first three yesterday. Didn’t see them today.

Shortest Straw: Locals Schuyler and Jaimie started up this tonight. Man they’re so psyched!

Zodiac: The four Japanese climbers(not Korean it turns out) made the top Saturday and promptly forgot that the most important thing to do when you get down from the wall is to go to the El Cap Meadow and celebrate with your land based brothers and sisters.

Spanish climber and local favorite Ricky has been tearing up the Zodiac solo. He’s on Peanut Ledge tonight, just a few shy of the summit.

Zodiac Summit Glory:

Man Cuan


Next Up: Jock, from Luxemburg, Dad of No Pant’s is starting up the Zodiac solo. NP went to Shuteye Ridge to sport climb for a week, so his dad is sacking up for the El Cap solo. They make em tough in Lux!

A strong local ladies team is lining up behind Jock. Stay tuned!


Eagle’s Way: A strong local team is talking of making a bid on this route. Here’s a pic of one of the suitors:


Water Shortage! Fern Spring is about dry(seasonally – because of the drought). The best water in the Valley is at the campgrounds in Curry Village, which are on a deep well. There are big pumps at the entrance to Upper Pines. We made this ad for our Yosemite Bigwalls: The Complete Guide. RIP Dean! Get The Book!



The scene is pretty good these days. Lots of folks showing up from all over the world. It is so great to meet so many motivated climbers! Of course we always need more supplies at the bridge: snacks, drinks, climbing equipment, but most importantly: You. Paypal donations to Here’s a pic of me and my son at the bridge from a few years back:


Of course we miss this guy: Tom will be at the bridge soon!


here’s a lil about me:

I’ve bigwall climbed in Yosemite for 21 years straight. Last year Roger Putnam and I self-published Yosemite Bigwalls: The Complete Guide. I’ve done over 140 bigwall climbs, and have climbed El Cap 91 times. You can read the list of my climbs here. I lead 5.9 on a good day. For me bigwall climbing is about celebrating the magic of being on a big rock face. It’s about the community! I spend a lot of time at the El Cap Meadow and Bridge, helping folks before their climbs and helping them celebrate afterwards. I’m not sponsored by anyone(paypal donations(!) to I work as an interpretative hiking guide, here in Yosemite, and also do rigging and other free lance jobs. I”m currently working on a Yosemite Free Climbing Select book.


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