Iron Hawk, El Capitan A4 5.10

 
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Yosemite Valley, California USA

  • Currently 4.0/5
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Summary of All Ratings

SuperTopo Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Your Rating:     (none)
Rating Distribution
6 Total Ratings
5 star: 17%  (1)
4 star: 67%  (4)
3 star: 17%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Aug 1, 2012 - 06:49pm
 
Dave, I cleaned that whole pitch on my ascenders, never using my 5 mil cord trick. It was pretty easy.
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hoipolloi

climber
A friends backyard with the neighbors wifi
Aug 1, 2012 - 05:51pm
 
Mark, I don't disagree at all, however, if people replace (not add) a piece of tat on a lower out sling, it's not that big of a deal, IMO. I carry a knife for that.

More than one way to skin a cat. Sure maybe one is a little 'cleaner' but even with your system, break that little cord and youre right back to normal, cleaning and replacing tat.

I think not adding a piece of crap tat on top of a lifetime of crap tat is a little more ideal.
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Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Aug 1, 2012 - 10:16am
 
It's real hard to argue with leaving routes cleaner than you found them. Good luck with that.
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jsb

Trad climber
Bay area
Aug 1, 2012 - 10:11am
 
Hi Mark,

In my opinion, whether or not the 2nd needs to leave a few slings on the knifeblade traverse to do lower-outs is a decision that is actually made by the leader, and it is a trade-off between safety and convenience (in addition to the "leave-nothing-behind" ethic).

If the leader leaves every placement, sure... the 2nd can clean the pitch easily. If, as I chose to do, the leader does the 2nd a favor and backcleans the really shitty stuff that the 2nd might not want to jug on... then the 2nd will need to do some lower-outs. It's true that the lower-out slings can build up and turn into mank quickly... but you also aren't the only one that cleans them up. I think we might have had to leave 3 or 4 on the route, and we cleaned up 3 or 4.

'Real sorry for this'... but getting in over your head on a route you shouldn't really be soloing and having to call for help is weak sauce. Backcleaning a scary, body-weight piece so that your partner won't have to fall on his jugs is not.

 Justin

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Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Jul 8, 2012 - 11:58pm
 
Real sorry for this but you can either

make sure the 2nd has a lot of lower out slings

or learn how to clean better. I cut every sling off this pitch and had no trouble cleaning it. Leaving slings is total weak sauce.
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jsb

Trad climber
Bay area
Jul 5, 2010 - 01:29am
 
Wow, Pete. You must be pretty awesome.

So is Iron Son. :)
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'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
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   Jul 3, 2010 - 01:44am
Iron Hawk was my first El Cap solo back in 97. For me, the crux for sure was the free climbing at the end. If you climb "Iron Son" you have missed the crux of Iron Hawk, and also missed the crux of Native Son. I remember some legit gym-rat 5.10 side-pull moves 20' or so straight above belay, with nothing but a crappy 5/8" sawed-off for "psychological" pro. I really hope that nobody has placed a chicken bolt here - anyone know? I have not yet climbed Atlantic Ocean Wall for fear of repeating this pitch!
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Peyton Hassinger

Big Wall climber
Raleigh, NC
Nov 28, 2009 - 08:41pm
 
Iron Son Trip Report: 11/21-25/2009
Justin Brockman and Peyton Hassinger (both from North Carolina originally)

We spent 5 days/ 4 nights on this route in beautiful weather. Short days made for long and relaxing nights in the ledge. We topped out on the 5th day, spent the night on top, and woke up on Thanksgiving morning for the hike down. The KB traverse and the Golden Nipple were the cruxes for sure. Definitely bring double offset aliens and the two smallest c3 cams. Also, doubles of the 3 smallest baby angles, sawed, would have made the KB traverse a lot more comfortable.

Iron Hawk
Pitches 1-5: This is a very quick way up to El Cap Tree. After pitch 1, we shortfixed the rest of the way in about an hour at a comfortable pace. The free climbing is easier than indicated in the supertopo. We hauled from pitch 5, which is definitely the easiest way to go.
Pitch 6: Scary only because there are so many loose flakes that you have to hook on. I did not nail on this pitch. The second bolt/rivet of the pitch indicated on the supertopo (to the left of the expanding flake near the top) has been removed; it was unnecessary. Offset aliens and the smallest black diamond C3 were great for the top part of the pitch.
Pitch 7: Fixed pins and bolts will get you all the way through the roof. Fun! Backcleaning will make this much more pleasant for your 2nd, but be careful doing it since some of the pins look like they’ve basically just been pounded into moss. Above the roof, there are a few fixed heads, but you could probably do this whole section with just hybrid aliens. (jsb)
Pitch 8: Bring cams! I don’t know why supertopo says no cams on pitch; I placed about 10 small cams, especially offset aliens. Yes the flake is hollow and expanding but not terribly so.
Pitch 9: There’s a bolt just above a 5.7/5.8 ramp below the start of the KB traverse… maybe 15 ft to the right of the belay. You can clip this and then step up into the crack. Once in the crack, there are a ton of scary fixed heads… half of them with broken cables. You can occasionally back these up with aliens and sawed baby angles. Doubles of the 3 smallest should be plenty. Don’t fall… and make sure the 2nd has a lot of lower out slings. (jsb)
Pitch 10: The C1 part of the pitch is a long 0.5 to 0.75 inch crack that is traversing enough to require leaving gear; I would recommend triples in this size range.
Pitch 11: Nothing to add. (jsb)
Pitch 12: A small hook is useful for the middle A3 section.
Pitch 13: Nothing to add. (jsb)
Pitch 14: Keep right on fixed gear in the middle to avoid the 4 inch crack.
Pitch 15: Fixed heads and hybrid aliens will take you out right to a couple knifeblade placements. After that, wide cams (3”-4.5”) will be useful. The final rivet before the iron son belay is missing, but you can bathook the hole.

Native Son
Pitch 12: Starting from the intermediate belay, you can do a long reach to the rivet ladder to the right.
Pitch 13: Yes the hook is the only piece on the pitch.
Pitch 14: The first section of A3 is almost entirely fixed heads. After that, the horizontal hooking is mostly in ridiculously drilled placements. After that, the 2nd “A3” section is super easy and more like C2. At this point, I was feeling kind of disappointed with the pitch, but beware of the thin, slanting right crack at the top! The supertopo note of 0.5”-1.5” is completely wrong here, and the crack takes micronuts, microcams, cam hooks, and lost arrows. It’s tricky and frightening because the flake the crack is in is super hollow, and not visibly attached to the wall. I took a long fall here in this section when I was on a lost arrow that pulled. As I fell, 2 microcams in the thin crack ripped out and I was caught by a hybrid alien I placed at the top of the 2nd A3 section. It was a 3F fall as I had time to yell “F!@#”, then “Falling!”, then “Falling!” again. We left a few pins on this pitch because our funkness broke and we couldn’t get them out with a sling. (jsb)
Pitch 15: Climbing shoes would make the initial 30 foot traverse more pleasant. The first section with 3 rivets requires some reachy hook moves and a very reach head placement. The first pendo is short; it is a diving hook placement, after which you get another rivet and then continue on fixed heads and hooks until reaching an intermediate fixed head anchor. Do a long pendo off of this into the very expanding golden nipple. The final ‘A3’ section was the scariest for me because of the long fall potential into a sloping corner. To avoid bad rope drag, I backcleaned all the fixed heads for the first 20 feet or so until eventually reaching some decent small cam placements.
Pitches 16-17: A welcome relief.
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   Jan 27, 2009 - 07:56pm
Here are some great photos from John Middendorf

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=772537
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SoloBolo

Boulder climber
Midas, NV
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   Jul 17, 2006 - 04:35pm
climbed "iron-son" solo end of june (2006) and overall a really good route. i would suggest hauling from the ground straight to el cap tree and even then its a shitty haul. pitch 6 off el cap tree is mellow with a shiny anchor bolt mid pitch (who placed that?) hooks did not seem loose at all, quite bomber actually and a few were enhanced definitely not A4.
the rivet ladder traverse leading into native son is missing a rivet but with an extra reach you can reach a pretty bomber fixed head.
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museman

Big Wall climber
Poway, Ca
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   Oct 13, 2003 - 09:01pm
Just off "Iron Son" with my pal Tom Thompson and found the route to be chalanging, but not too hard. We where the last to fold up our ledges and the first to fold 'em out and still had beer for the last night! The pitch off El Cap tree was nothing compared to the rope
drag on the "golden nipple" pitch just before you link up with the "Trip".
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Nanook

climber
Aug 29, 2003 - 10:57pm
 
Pitch 6, off El Cap tree, is commonly lead from a bolted anchor to the left of the tree. If you've used this anchor to haul(two hauls from the ground) it might be better to belay from the Tree, as the hooking on this pitch is through extremely loose rock and the leader climbs directly above the bolted belay. Loose rock falling off the pitch would not hit the belayer if he/she was at the the tree.
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Not a forum, but...

Novice climber
Nov 18, 2002 - 12:57pm
 
Holy shit!
At least they had G&R.

I'm going bouldering...
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Demented

Novice climber
Nov 16, 2002 - 06:49pm
 
" think someone had to be rescued in a storm from the 3rd to last belay because they were getting hammered."

Excellent trip report by R. Wallibg in link below;

http://www.fishproducts.com/topos/nativeTR/nativeTR.html

p.s.- check out their obituary photos
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   Nov 13, 2002 - 11:35am
The A4 R pitch is a little spooky. You have to make reachy hook moves on slightly bad rock 25-50' above a ledge that you don't want to fall. up higher on the pitch there used to be a scary expando section that fell off (see the Alert above). I linked that pitch with the next but had heinous rope drag. Going out the roof is wild! if you link both the A4 and the roof it is definitely the crux of the route. After that everything will feel much more tame.

Yes, the native son finish is slightly more protected in bad weather, more direct, and faster. However, the last three pitches of that finish are low angle and I think someone had to be rescued in a storm from the 3rd to last belay because they were getting hammered.

That said, it’s much better than finishing Iron Hawk in a storm. Iron Hawk finishes with a long 5.9 R face pitch.
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John

Novice climber
Mill Valley, CA
Nov 13, 2002 - 11:29am
 
I was thinking about making a winter ascent of El cap. I heard that you can combine Iron Hawk with Native Son to avoid the slabs at the top of Iron Hawk. Also what is the A4r pitch above el cap tree like?? I heard that part of that pitch fell off and the pitch is easier now. Is this true?? Thanks
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SuperTopo
Alert!
Feb 1, 2001 - 03:14pm
 
Update: In early 2000 a massive flake pulled off pitch 6 just before the belay. The rating and the rack remain unchanged for pitch 6. There are two new rivets and a few new hook moves just before the belay.

Corrections: Pitch 7 is 50' long (not 150'). From belay 10, it is a 190' haul to belay 8 (not belay 7).
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El Capitan - Iron Hawk A4 5.10 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Iron Hawl is route number 22.
Photo: Galen Rowell
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