Jay lowered Tommy down as I lowered hundreds of pounds of gear/food/water/etc. at Tommy's command through the radio. When Tommy was done clipping directionals and getting the bags in place, Kevin rappelled down fixing the line to the different anchors and when he was set I headed down...a heavy haul bag hooked to my belay loop hanging between my legs. Rapping over the edge of El Cap is quite an experience...especially the spot that we drop off of. The lip that we go off of is overhanging so you go from ground to dangling with 3000ft of air between you and the ground. The exposure combined with the excitement of the independence and responsibility of passing the anchors safely is quite exhilarating!! After about an hour of lowering, etc I met Kevin and Tommy whooping and hollering at my arrival to Wino Tower. After getting clipped in to a fixed line on the ledge I watched the guys set up the portaledge and Jay come in for his landing on the ledge. We made some peanut butter-honey bagel sandwiches and relaxed for a bit. Life in the sky is pretty nice.
As the wall went into the shade Tommy and Kevin prepped to rap down some more fixed lines and work on the pitches below us. They climbed into the dark only to return for some dinner and head back down again. I laid in the port-a-ledge staring at the stars, chatting with Jay who was tucked into his port-a-ledge, thinking about how bizarre it is that I sleep in the sky like this.
We woke up to the sound of a base-jumper zooming by us, but missed seeing it. Since the sun was on the wall and the temps were rising we lingered in bed a while relaxing and playing on our iphones. Thank goodness for iphone Sudoku! After hours of hanging out and occasionally eating the shade was coming and it was time for Jay and I to rap and the guys to start climbing again. We re-packed everything and again each dropped over the edge on their rappel devices to head down the rope to another spot on the wall. Jay and I continued to journey down the rest of the length of El Cap. As the sun was going down and the light was a warm red across the Valley one of the many parties on the wall let out a big hoot and for about 1 full minute there were echoes of everyone's own cry responding to each other. I hollered a few different times and laughed as the rope fed through my ATC.
|Rock fall dust cloud!!|