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Flying Hawaiian 

YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch
Original:  YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: Tom Armstrong 11/87
Page Views: 25,243
Submitted By: lee hansche on Jan 19, 2007  with updates from Cryptic C62

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (158)
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Gabriel flying


Flying Hawaiian is a great route on which to test yourself in a variety of techniques. It's not hard in the grade but it feels it. It will make you work for sure, testing your skills at crimping, footwork, steep overhangs, a techy dihedral, and finally a potentially scary mantel. The route climbs right up the middle of Waimea and tops out, being the easiest route on this section of the crag makes it somewhat of a rite of passage and a gateway to the harder climbing on this legendary cliff.

You start on a technical "boulder problem" gaining a comfy ledge. Up a steep overhang to a jug gets you in to the curvy dihedral. Move carefully up the corner stemming with holds on the left wall and friction on the right wall. keep this up past a little run out and you are relived by a nice juggy rail and move up to a well earned rest ledge. Head up in to the last corner and mantel to the right. Scamper a bit up and left to clip the chains.


Right in the middle of the Waimea wall locate the beautiful, curvy corner. Start below.


9 bolts to chains with fixed biners. Stick clip 1st bolt.

Photos of Flying Hawaiian Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: the sweeping dihedral of Flying Hawaiian...
BETA PHOTO: the sweeping dihedral of Flying Hawaiian...
Rock Climbing Photo: just one tricky part of F.H.
just one tricky part of F.H.
Rock Climbing Photo: kevin... flashing this tricky line...
kevin... flashing this tricky line...
Rock Climbing Photo: Marc getting ready to leave the dihedral.
BETA PHOTO: Marc getting ready to leave the dihedral.
Rock Climbing Photo: one more of kevin...
one more of kevin...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jakob sticking the crux of Flying Hawaiian... nice...
Jakob sticking the crux of Flying Hawaiian... nice...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jakob starting up the corner not easy to get in to...
Jakob starting up the corner not easy to get in to...
Rock Climbing Photo: Reaching for the rail after some beautiful stemmin...
Reaching for the rail after some beautiful stemmin...
Rock Climbing Photo: me workin the corner...  photo by jakob, edited by...
me workin the corner... photo by jakob, edited by...
Rock Climbing Photo: An appropriately dressed climber milks the rest on...
An appropriately dressed climber milks the rest on...
Rock Climbing Photo: me about to top out...  photo by jakob, edited by ...
me about to top out... photo by jakob, edited by ...
Rock Climbing Photo: The line just begs to be climbed, althought it wou...
The line just begs to be climbed, althought it wou...
Rock Climbing Photo: About to swing the final mantle out right. I've fa...
About to swing the final mantle out right. I've fa...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jenny Chin pulling the little mantle...
Jenny Chin pulling the little mantle...
Rock Climbing Photo: jakob on the start of Flyin... unknown climber on ...
jakob on the start of Flyin... unknown climber on ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Me just before the dihedral.
Me just before the dihedral.
Rock Climbing Photo: First assent? Climbed on gear and pins (the pins k...
First assent? Climbed on gear and pins (the pins k...
Rock Climbing Photo: another of me in the corner...  photo by jakob, ed...
another of me in the corner... photo by jakob, ed...
Rock Climbing Photo: kevin in the corner
kevin in the corner
Rock Climbing Photo: Kevin working to gain the corner...
Kevin working to gain the corner...

Comments on Flying Hawaiian Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 16, 2017
By Jay Knower
From: Campton, NH
Feb 12, 2007
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

People really shy away from this one. I know of solid 5.12 climbers who have not yet sent this climb. The moves aren't that hard, but they sure are intimidating.
By Tristan Perry
May 11, 2007

This is without question the testpiece at the grade for Rumney. It is such a varied and well-defined line, with several cruxes that take both power and finesse and a willingness to go a little farther "out there" than on most climbs at or below the grade at this area. Flyin' Hawaiian definitely has a well-deserved aura about it.
By lee hansche
From: goffstown, nh
Jul 10, 2007

i climbed this one for what was maybe my 5th time the other day and it is always hard and always so fun... dont worry about its scary reputation, grab a solid belayer and give it hell... as scary as it is, its safe...
By Mike Thompson
From: Manchester NH
Jan 9, 2008

so i was talking to my friend recently,(friend you know who you are) about how i never want to get on this route becuase it frankly scares the crap out of me. but he eventually persuaded me enough to take a look at it here and after looking at the pictures i am getting deffinatly pumped for the route and i really want to try it next time. essepsialy since said friend has a hancoring for danger and has begun to give me a slight hancorin for it myself. a side question though.... i heard from someone that you can make a small trad placement at one point that makes the route alot less this true?
By Ladd
Jan 10, 2008
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c


You may be able to get some very small gear in the corner but I don't think it would help the fall, you would just get smacked into the corner instead of falling down and out of it. FYI- I've never fallen on this route but the top mantle move is also one you don't want to fall on or above.

Good Luck!
By Mike Thompson
From: Manchester NH
Jan 11, 2008

thanks! i may be heading out there this im really excited!
By tscupp
From: Cincinnati, OH
Feb 27, 2008
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

I might be the only one who thinks this, but I think part of the intimidation of this route is the quality of the rests. At three different points you can basically chill out and think about what is ahead, unfortunately I think you're given too much time to ponder what a fall from the dihedral or top out may be like. Personally, it'd be less intimidating to just keep on climbing through the rests. This climb is just an adventure through and through.

On a side note, the first time I got on this route I was baffled by the move from the horizontal in the dihedral to the left angling rail (is it supposed to be a lunge?) So I backed off slightly to try to rest in the corner by stemming. Well somehow I got turned around and ended up resting no-hands facing outwards. If you feel like goofing off, try and find that rest because it gave a great view and was quite exhilarating even though it was solid.
By dbyte
From: Carbondale, CO
Mar 11, 2008
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

This is 1 of the best sport climbs I've ever done, anywhere, @ any grade. The aesthetic of the line, length, differing styles of the cruxes, topping out & clipping the chains between your feet all combine to form a truly unique climbing experience.
By David Aguasca!
From: New York
Apr 11, 2009

It's possible to stem all the way to the good hold in the dihedral, avoiding the heinously tiny holds on the lower rail. I def. think it's easier...
By chris deulen
From: Castle Rock
Apr 25, 2009

I think this is the best 5.11 in America. Have I been on all of them? No. Have I climbed everywhere? No. But until I find one better, for my money this is as good as the grade gets. Tremendous and exhilarating.
By twellman
From: Cambridge
Jul 12, 2009

I did this route this weekend, and it was amazing! Probably the hardest but most fulfilling 11b I have done. The rests definitely give you a little too much time to look up and start worrying, but as you make the clips you'll find yourself saying, well that wasnt as bad as it looked like it would be.

I was a bit confused by the topout though. I've seen many people mention a mantel move to exit. There are two triangular-looking outcrops above the last bolt, and I used the lower one, throwing a heelhook over it then doing some awkward rock humping and straddling to get standing on top. Is this not the normal beta? I wish there were a picture of someone doing this move.
By lee hansche
From: goffstown, nh
Jul 12, 2009

that sounds about right... fun top out!!!
By nooky brown
Dec 14, 2009

Your not serious I hope on the pic?, just goes to show they will put any old rubbish in the climbing mags these days.

A bunch of half naked guys hanging around watching a girl dogging on the rope faking a move, sweet.
By lee hansche
From: goffstown, nh
Mar 11, 2010

we all want to be in the mags but that was a pretty crappy photo haha
By nooky brown
Mar 16, 2010

I have actually and of all things it was on the nearby Technosurfing, a bizarre twist of fate.

Sorry about the comment, I did not realize it was your girlfriend in the photo.
By twellman
From: Cambridge
Apr 17, 2010

Did this route for the second time today, and it was really fun. Definitely more of a mental game than a physical one, but there is just so much good climbing in this one line that you'd be at a loss if you missed out. So get on it!
By James Otey
From: NH
Apr 17, 2010

Perhaps we should just agree on the fact that this route could quite possibly be the best 5.11 in America, and we should throw mad props at Tom for leading it ON GEAR.
By M Sprague
From: New England
Apr 18, 2010

There were pins in the corner and I am pretty sure the bottem had bolts, though perhaps less then now. .verry nice lead though and a super classic no doubt
By Colin R
From: Ottawa, ON
Apr 25, 2010
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a PG13

I was happy to onsight this thing. Probably my best onsight ever (I didn't want to have to do it again at the time). It's probably in the top 2 or 3 5.11's I have done. I can't think of any 5.11 that is better, only a couple that are as good. The other two are Thin Fingers (11a trad) at Index WA and Burning Down the Couch (11d sport) at Murrin Park in Squamish.
By Colin R
From: Ottawa, ON
Apr 25, 2010
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a PG13

I also think this route is undergraded slightly. There are some other 5.11+ routes at Rumney that I found easier than this. Maybe it was just the head factor but it felt really engaging...
By Tradiban
May 25, 2010
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

Would have been fours with out awkward ledge rest and awkward top out. The 25ft of dihedral are absolutely the best for the grade at Rumney. Not scary anywhere in my opinion except for the top out.
By Eric8
From: Maynard, MA
Jun 19, 2010

great route and only scary by 'Rumney' standards, could also be considered well protected and safe
Jul 1, 2010

I have been climbing for 13 months and after reading all the comments about this route I'm very happy I actually did it as my first 5.11 ever outdoors. a friend mentioned the route to me as i was walking by it, and im like!! let's do it; I love this route from begging to end, every move, every hold, the hydro, everything, (maybe i was happy cuase i was doing well on a 5.11!!!) even the top out which is the scariest part of that climb; I took 2 big falls, but that didn't stop me from finishing this beauty.
I hope next time I do this route, I send it clean.
By lee hansche
From: goffstown, nh
Jul 22, 2011

lots of folks get super spooked about falling in the corner... here is a video i found of the fall no one wants to take... its far but totally safe...
By S. Neoh
Jul 23, 2011

Hilarious. I have actually taken the fall shown in the video, from slightly higher even. The spookiness factor is definitely there, esp the few moments before actually pitching off. Safe fall, shakes out the cobwebs though! :)
By James Simone
Aug 1, 2012

Fun fact - the girl in the video that Lee posted is the same one hanging in the magazine picture from a few year's back.

What more is there to say about Flying Hawaiian? How hard it is to spell that damned second word?

I would suggest that the true crux of the route is actually the first move - whether you do the left or right variant, I doubt you're going to see anybody ground up without a stick clip for that one. Despite this, the dihedral has attracted (even amongst my friends, clearly) an aura of mystique that anybody familiar with stemming (bolted stemming, no less) will easily dispel. In other words - don't believe anything except the good rumors. While certainly in an exposed position, the stemming is merely an enjoyable exercise. I hope these words do not serve in any way to diminish your own enjoyment of the dihedral, or indeed the route itself! Lest it be said otherwise, I consider this to be amongst my favorite climbs. For some true power stemming at the grade, you might want to take a look at Coarse and Buggy in J Tree. Like Flying Hawaiian, the crux STILL isn't the stemming there.

The last move may be spooky, but aside from the potential to cheese-grate your right armpit, [warning, BETA alert] if you put aside your doubts and (perhaps) rapidly tiring forearms, you'll realize all you need to do is throw your right foot over the arete to have completed a truly magnificent Rumney classic. After hearing that it was first lead on gear, I am eager, too, to climb this in a more traditional style.
By Mike.Lewis
Aug 7, 2012

Scary! This route really got in my head.
By Will Stat
Oct 14, 2013
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

One of the best sport pitches I've done, and it actually felt more like a boulder problem into a trad route. I used a chimney/buttscum technique into a stem at the end of the dihedral and it was pretty casual. Those insisting this feels harder than 11b probably don't have very well-rounded skills. I hope the "runout" mentioned in the description is a joke because your feet barely ever make it above your last bolt!
By Nick Grant
From: Natick, MA & Tamworth, NH
Jul 15, 2014

Just curious—--if you DO blow the mantle (or whatever the last move is), is it (a) a long but safe fall, or (b) a long fall where you might hit something?
By M Sprague
From: New England
Jul 15, 2014

People are usually too scared to fall, so I have never seen anybody do it ;)
By lee hansche
From: goffstown, nh
Jul 15, 2014

I have seen people fall everywhere on this route... The "bad" fall is scary but as long as your belayer is on their game it shouldn't be a big deal... this would be a very standard fall from a 5.11 slab route at most trad areas... if you think you might fall wear long pants so you can slip slide away :)
By Will Cornell
Aug 17, 2014
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c PG13

What everyone says about this route is true. I got a send during my most recent trip to Rumney a few weeks ago. It was my first 11b and let me say it is definitely a classic -- without a doubt. the moves are fun and varied, but it is an EXTREMELY heady route. The heel hook and mantle at the top is quite scary. I had to hang on the last bolt for a few minutes to compose myself before going for it. Approach it with confidence!
By zswan
From: Newton, MA
Jul 15, 2015


There is a slightly easier way to start this than the left hand 'up the fin' variation that everyone seems to use (as depicted in Lee's video on youtube). Look to the right at the start for a good crimp that won't require quite as much power right off the ground.
By Eli
From: Lives in a truck
Sep 30, 2015
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

That crimp is a total razorblade, but it does make the start a little different, and caters more towards less powerful and more balancey climbers.
By zswan
From: Newton, MA
Nov 12, 2015

I didn't find it very sharp, just a little tricky to prevent a barndoor getting to the crimp.
By Seth Cohen
From: Concord, NH
May 23, 2016

I heard a rumor that a hold broke off the starting boulder problem, making it considerably harder. True? Details?
By zswan
From: Newton, MA
May 31, 2016

@Seth - I was just there on Sunday and someone else had raised this question (maybe it was you?). I went and checked it out, nothing broken at the start that I could find. Both the right and left hand variation of the start appeared intact.
By Graham O.
Aug 27, 2016

THE best sport climb I have ever touched. If there was a 20 star rating on MP, this would get it. GO CLIMB THIS ROUTE!!!!
By Daniel Kaye
From: Boston, ma
Aug 28, 2016
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c PG13

In response to what Nick Grant asked, it's (b).
In trying this, I did blow the mantel, and came down barley clearing the little rest ledge before this move - sleeve of my shirt caught it as I fell past it. So it is totally possible to land an elbow or foot or worse on that ledge if you fall... IMO you get an awesome mix of heady, technical, and powerful moves in the this climb before the top mantel, all of which seem safe. I don't think the top mantel adds anything amazing to the climb.

Also, start seemed intact. The way I did it, twas not more than a 2-move V3 maybe?
By Hans Weber
From: Hudson, NH
Dec 10, 2016

Best route I've done at Rumney, and a huge confidence builder due to the aura surrounding it! If you can pull V2/3 moves but lack endurance like me this is a very sendable 5.11-- the 3 rests allow for plenty of recovery time. And although intimidating, the dihedral is the easiest part, and I've never stemmed before. Pumped out from the day, I fell several times on the final mantel lol, but every time was left unscathed, so give it hell!
By Owen Silitch
From: Brunswick, ME
May 15, 2017

This route might be the best pitch of rock climbing that I have ever done! Felt slightly sandbagged though IMO felt more like 11c
By ward smith
May 16, 2017

I first did this way back in the day based on it being a new route listed in Climbing Magazine, rated 10d/11a (which seemed accurate at the time). One bolt on the route, and that you could clip from the ground, risking groundfall on the initial boulder problem and then gear off to the sides on the second crux. Pins and brass nuts in the dihedral, my now wife then girlfriend gave me a ball nut for my birthday that protected it better.

The original route finished up a crack to the right. Everyone used the anchor for Technosurfing that was added later at the top of the corner, so I added the finish and retrobolted the route in the 90's. If you think that the top is hard then you are dong it all wrong! Go right young man, top out on the slab, and THEN go left and clip the anchors! There is tons of chalk all over the nothing holds below the anchors. Maybe it is 5.9 or 5.10 if tall - at most.

My brother and I have both toproped it clean barefoot but it has not yet seen a barefoot lead as far as I know.


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