Atlantic Ocean Wall, El Capitan A4 5.9

 
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Yosemite Valley, California USA

  • Currently 3.0/5
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Summary of All Ratings

SuperTopo Rating:   
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  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.7)
Your Rating:     (none)
Rating Distribution
3 Total Ratings
5 star: 67%  (2)
4 star: 33%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Levy

Big Wall climber
So Cal
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   Feb 22, 2007 - 09:55pm
I did this in '05 & we did the Iron Hawk start. The original start has seen at least two rockfalls and is still loose & suspect.

Pitch 7 - Not too bad. Some hooks, many micro cams & wires(esp to 3/4") Maybe A3?
Pitch 8 - One of the steepest pitches on El Cap! at one point you aid downwards, then out horizontaly. Some scary looking loose blocks to navigate before the belay are to be found.

Pitch 9 - This pitch ate two of our cams. I suspect it was due to "Thermo-flex" action. A 6-1/2" cam was used low, then 4 to 5" cams in the middle and 4" cams near the end.

Pitch 10 -Florida swamps - An interesting shallow copperhead move off the belay, then tcu's up an expanding flake to a pendo to good hooks and some decent wires out left under a roof which you then have to hook up to which was a bit exciting. Small heads lead to the belay. I doubled some of the poor looking ones.

Pitches 11 & 12 - Not too bad but expanding flakes make this memorable. Pitch 12 had lot's of 3" crack. Blue Camalots are nice here.

Pitch 13 - The "Expanding Time-Bomb". This pitch had some seriously loose flakes but the placements were easy to get. Incredible gold rock in this part of the wall. You just had to wonder if the flake would rip off the wall when you weighted a placement but the placements were not hard to place. A good place to use the haul line as a backup rope so if the flake blows, you don't die if your lead rope gets cut or damaged. The Boston Tea Party ledge is pretty nice. A great Bivy spot with cool views into the recess of the central North-America.

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Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
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   Oct 8, 2013 - 10:02am
Max Jones and I climbed this totally awesome and challenging route over 6.5 days (with no pitches fixed) in late September/early October of 2013.
Be prepared for something expanding on every pitch and heads up climbing the whole way. I wouldn't call any of it technically A4 but I wouldn't recommend the route to anyone who wasn't fully A4 proficient.

We made probably only 10 wired nut placements on the whole route and used the larger cams very few times. In fact, we used the 6.5" cam exactly once and the 5.5" cam only three or four times (with two 5.5" cams you could probably avoid the 6.5" altogether). The Timebomb Hourglass Flake is gone and you won't need anything bigger than 3.5" on that pitch.
We didn't use any sawn angles and two each of the KB's and LA's is enough. You'll barely use any pins till the Iron Hawk pitch 22, where you will use almost all of them.
If the whole route was cleaned of heads you would barely need 30 of them. We placed one and all the rest look good. I would suggest taking a selection of 10 just in case.
We replaced four bolts but the newish looking buttonhead 1/4" bolts are only 1" inch long and the hangers have 3/8" holes. I would suggest replacing as many of those as you can.
Pitches 18 and 19 on the Iron Hawk topo are actually 80 and 60 feet long and are easily linkable.
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El Capitan - Atlantic Ocean Wall A4 5.9 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Atlantic Ocean Wall is route number 21.
Photo: Galen Rowell
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