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Hammer of Thor 

YDS: 5.10+ French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 20 British: E3 5b

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 80'
Original:  YDS: 5.10+ French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 20 British: E3 5b [details]
FA: Larry Harris, Tony Karzen, et al, c.1987
Page Views: 110
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Aug 16, 2003

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  • Description 

    Hammer of Thor heads up from the second bolt (not including the pin at the start) of Velvet Elvis. The climbing is nothing to write home about; Velvet Elvis and the nearby Hunka Hunka Burnin' Love are both better routes. My partner and I both felt that this climb was more difficult than the crux of Velvet Elvis (which is 11a), but it may have been that we were tired and hot.

    Rap off the last bolt or scramble easily up to the anchor above Velvet Elvis (from which, incidentally, you can rap to the ground with a 70m rope - a 60m is likely to get you down in one rap as well).


    8 or so bolts.

    Comments on Hammer of Thor Add Comment
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    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Aug 18, 2003
    rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

    The route was full of what I called Kryptonite... rounded cobbles of white kryptonite. While Red kryptonite turned superman into a hairy monster, & green kryptonite sapped his strength, I am pretty sure the rounded white kryptonite must have made his hands sweat and forced him to overgrip. Climb the cobbles when it is cool out.

    From the 3rd (?) bolt of this route, you can continue straight up the wall, skipping the left-hand traverse and last 3 bolts of Hammer of Thor. The crux as such is pulling up onto the ramp above and felt like 5.11-. The move is 20+ feet over the last bolt and is a little exciting. Call it 5.11a, S. Above that, you run another 30' of easy slab to the anchors up and left (5.5, VS). Probable FA of this variation: T. Bubb, 8/16/03 (?)

    Either way, beware the wasps in a deep pocket near the 2nd bolt.

    There are better climbs around. This one might have been more fun with less heat/sunshine.

    Felt harder than Velvet Elvis.
    By adam brink
    From: Boulder, CO
    Oct 18, 2004

    I cannot believe that both comments on this route were negative! Both my partner and I found the climbing to be of excellent and sustained quality. If the anchor situation was better I would even go so far as to say that this beautifully cobbled and pocketed face is one of the best sport routes around Boulder. To the single lower bolt at the top of the slab is a hundred feet of unrelenting pebble pulling and high stepping on a beautiful vertical sea of knobs.
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Nov 13, 2008
    rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

    Sorry, my comment was not to be interpreted as saying the climb was bad. I thought it was a 2-star climb. But then again, I encountered terrible August heat in the sun on posiched cobbles... and wasps. I might have enjoyed the climb better if it had been cooler that day. it was certainly not a bad route.
    By Craig Miller
    Nov 29, 2008

    FA - Larry Harris, Tony Karzen et al., circa 1987.
    By tony karzen
    Apr 26, 2009

    As the author of this climb, I can say that commentary is more or less in line, both good and bad. In the summer heat, this climb is best avoided if you're not up there at sunrise, otherwise you'll bake like you're mama's Thanksgiving turkey! I left a bit too much runout at the end...still considering throwing in a new anchor....

    That said, in the right conditions, this climb is a great route, challenging but not heinous. I rated it 5.10+ at the time, and in cool conditions feel that rating is accurate. Under the additional torture of the baking summer sun, it could be called 11- but no more.

    Background on the name.... When Larry and I put this up, I used a "hand drill", as in rotate, hammer, rotate, hammer, etc. etc. etc.. I was so beat when I was done I figured only a hammer of the gods could do that and thus... Hammer of Thor was born.
    By Larry Harris
    Aug 28, 2011

    Wow! Tony Karzen!!!! Man has it been a long time. A little story... Tony and I were roommates for a bit back in HS. After HS, we ran into each other while he was going to CU and I was living in Boulder. At any rate, we did a little climbing together, and I thought the obvious line would be a nice gift for a first FA for Tony. Originally my intent was to put it up on lead, but hooking the first knob and drill smacking 2" Rawls in kinda turned out to be above my thrill factor. So, Tony and I took turns banging the drill on rap, and if I remember, it was friggin' hot and miserable. Actually, I thought the name was derived by the fact that I took it upon myself to do some much needed "cleaning" at the bottom--eliminating a big ugly, loose flake thing with my rigging axe. At the time, this was pretty taboo, but I had the hammer and it just had to go! lol. Either way, it was a good time being up there with Tony, which is to say something because I absolutely hated putting up routes--especially with a hand-drill.
    By Bruce Hildenbrand
    Sep 7, 2013

    Dale Haas and I added a second belay bolt (3/8"x3.75" SS Powers 5-piece bolt) to the top of this climb. The other belay bolt was a 3/8" SS stud without a hanger, so we added a hanger there as well. All work approved by Boulder OSMP.
    By alex wilson
    From: Las Cruces, New Mexico
    Dec 6, 2014

    If you liked it so much, why didn't you put up a picture?

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