Spanish for "The Captain". In lucha-libre jargon, the captain of a tag team.

A majestic limestone formation at the southernmost end of the Guadalupe Mountains in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas. El Capitan was once an enormous reef submerged in a Permian sea. Over the course of two hundred and fifty million years, the reef was buried only to be exposed later due to tectonic uplift and erosion of the surrounding sandstone. El Capitan is now a mountain of highly fossiliferous limestone containing skeletons of algae, sponges, bryozoans and other sea creatures.

Standing thousands of feet (8,085 feet above sea level) above the relatively flat lands of Texas, El Capitan can be seen from miles away. It was used as a landmark by early settlers.

Serving Chicago, Kansas City, Albuquerque, Los Angeles, and intermediate points

Amtrak train numbers: 3 and 4

Predecessor railroad train numbers: Santa Fe 21 and 22

In 1938, the Santa Fe Railway inaugurated the El Capitan as the all-coach counterpart to the all-sleeping car Super Chief. Like its sister train, the El Capitan ran on a fast 39 1/2-hour schedule between Chicago and Los Angeles, with various arcane fare rules that precluded it from being used by local passengers along most of the route.

In the mid-1950s, the El Capitan was upgraded with the addition of double-decker passenger cars, which the Santa Fe called "Hi-Level Cars." Similar cars were being used by a couple of railroads for their commuter trains in the Chicago area, but the idea never really caught on for long distance passenger trains until Amtrak redesigned the Hi-Level Cars in the mid-1970s and came up with the Superliners, which eventually became standard equipment on many of its long distance trains (and even some short distance ones).

Beginning in the late 1950s, the Super Chief and El Capitan began to operate as a combined train at slow times of the year, although the coach and sleeping car sections were kept separate, with passengers not allowed to mingle. That practice was dropped by the time Amtrak came along in 1971, although the combined Super Chief/El Capitan name survived until 1973, when the name of Amtrak's Chicago-Los Angeles train was shortened to just plain Super Chief.

Condensed historical timetables:

   READ DOWN                         READ UP
(1956)  (1972)                   (1972)  (1956)
 5:45P   6:30P Dp Chicago     Ar  1:30P   7:15A
 1:15A   2:10A    Kansas City     5:50A  11:20P
 3:55P   5:15P    Albuquerque     1:20P   6:55A
 7:15A   9:05A Ar Los Angeles Dp  7:30P   1:30P

The Amtrak Train Names Project

El Capitan is the name of the publishing company started by writer/artist David Lapham in 1995 in order to independently publish his comic book Stray Bullets, after his departure from Defiant Comics. David's wife Maria Lapham serves as the publisher and in an editorial and customer service capacity.

The company has published 28 issues of Stray Bullets (along with 3 hardcover collections and 6 softcover collections of the title), 9 issues of Murder Me Dead (along with 1 hardcover and 1 softcover collecion of the title) and 2 issues of Amy Racecar Color Special, along with numerous t-shirts and stickers related to the titles published.

Sources: Robert M Overstreet. The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, 31st Edition. New York: Crown Publishing Group. 2001.
1998 discussion with David and Maria Lapham

El Capitan is a large granite cliff that stands at the entrance to Yosemite valley. El Capitan is the Spanish phrase for "the chief" and raises 3,593 feet above the valley floor. Its top is 7,569 feet above see level and is the tallest unbroken cliff in the world which was first climbed in 1958 by Warren Harding.

There are several types of granite in Yosemite and the most common forms are named after the cliffs and rock formations of which are made of them. El Capitan granite is the most resistant to weathering having a high silicate concentration compared to other granites. El Capitan is capped with Taft granite. El Capitan granite is some of the oldest granite to form in the valley and is estimated to be about 108 million years old. After partially solidifying cracks and fissures formed and allowed other types of granite to seal up the cracks. The glaciers carved away most of the less resistant granites away from El Capitan leaving it standing clear.

On the west side of El Capitan is Ribbon Fall which is the highest single fall (Yosemite Falls is the tallest waterfall but has an upper and lower part to it). To the east is Horsetail Fall which only flows in the late winter and early spring.

El Capitan (often called "The Big Stone" by climbers) is a one of the most popular areas for climbers who start off from Camp 4. El Capitan is the location where modern big wall climbing was invented and continues to be innovated. The two major routes are that of the North American Wall and the Wall of the Early Morning Light. The North American Wall is named after a formation of darker diorite which has the vague shape of the a map of North America. While some assents can be made in 24h for a speed climber, most take on the order of a week.

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