REI Community
f. The Guides' Wall (Madame G's)
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Asphodel T 
Bag's End T 
Beatle Brow Bulge T 
Beginner's Delight T 
Bitchy Virgin T 
Blueberry Ledges T 
Blueberry Wine T,TR 
Columbia T 
Delusions of Grandeur T 
Don't Shoot T 
Finger Locks or Cedar Box T 
Friends and Lovers T 
Funny Face T 
Hawk T 
Hyjek's Horror T 
Immaculate Virgin T 
Le Teton T 
Madame Grunnebaum's Wulst T 
Minty T 
Mr. P's Wurst T 
Northern Pillar T 
Peregrine T 
Small Furry Mammals' Club T,TR 
Snooky's Return T 
Son of Bitchy Virgin T 
Southern Pillar T 
Tetonia T 
Tipsy Trees T 
Triple Bulges T 
Twin Oaks T 
Unamed T 
Willie's Weep T 


YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 290'
Original:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a [details]
FA: Willie Crowther, Gardiner and Mary Perry, 1958
Page Views: 5,782
Submitted By: John Peterson on Mar 13, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (104)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [1 person likes this page.]
Hawk (5.4). With smart placements and long runner...


Locate a clean crack system leading past a big pine to a smaller one about 50' right of Minty. This pitch is often used by guides to toprope beginners.

P1: Climb the crack to the upper tree. 5.3, 80'.
This pitch was highly impacted by massive rockfall in 2008. See comments below.

P2: Climb up a short corner (about 10'-15'), place a LONG runner, and traverse right about 15' to another corner. Place pro and commit to a "old school" gunks 5.4 move stepping right around the corner. Things ease up about 20' later and you can continue right and up to the GT Ledge at the base of a large corner. 5.5, 140'.

Not a pitch for a first 5.5 lead - the crux is very steep and even with the big jugs it's scary. Also, it's very easy to lock yourself down with rope drag on this pitch.

P3: Up the corner to the top. 5.3, 70'.

Descend either to the left (Minty) or the right (Madame G's). Or walk left to the Uberfall Descent. The Madame G's rap is better on weekends since it doesn't interfere with climbers coming up.


Standard Gunks rack; small cams will make you feel better at the crux.

Photos of Hawk Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: 1st & 2nd Pitch, waiting for the party of 5 in fro...
BETA PHOTO: 1st & 2nd Pitch, waiting for the party of 5 in fro...
Rock Climbing Photo: A view of the entire route from the base of Hawk.
A view of the entire route from the base of Hawk.
Rock Climbing Photo: Starting the short, third pitch of Hawk
Starting the short, third pitch of Hawk
Rock Climbing Photo: pitch 2
BETA PHOTO: pitch 2
Rock Climbing Photo: Melissa at the third corner
Melissa at the third corner
Rock Climbing Photo: Just after the crux
Just after the crux
Rock Climbing Photo: Finishing the traverse...  2nd pitch
Finishing the traverse... 2nd pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: 2nd pitch
2nd pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: start of traverse on pitch 2
start of traverse on pitch 2
Rock Climbing Photo: soon after the rock fall...
soon after the rock fall...
Rock Climbing Photo: Scars and smashed trees from the rock fall
Scars and smashed trees from the rock fall
Rock Climbing Photo: Bob leading the second pitch of Hawk.  Bring the l...
Bob leading the second pitch of Hawk. Bring the l...

Comments on Hawk Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 11, 2017
By Bill Hutchins
From: Bethesda, MD
Oct 6, 2007
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c

The second pitch is spectacular. Lots of exposure and interesting moves, all at 5.4. Only in the Gunks. Use runners to limt rope drag. The runner on the protection just before the traverse around the first corner needs to be very long to keep the rope from being dragged across the corner.
By Sambo
Oct 8, 2007

P2- Difficult route-finding; climbing is easy yet exhilirating. The runner around the first corner should, as mentioned above, be very long. There is some old webbing with a steel screwgate at this point- be judicious about using this of course. Highly recommended pitch.

P3- Extremely short, but with (in my opinion) the most difficult rock climbing moves of the climb.

Rappelling off Madame G's requires about about ten feet of easy down climbing (using a tree). Rap bolts are not noticeable from above, so get beta on this before leaving the ground.
By asmith
Oct 11, 2007

Nice climb. Second pitch is often wet.
By Tim Schafstall
Apr 2, 2008

The first pitch is always dry and is an excellent first climb for a new trad leader, especially if the upper pitches are wet and noboby else is doing the climb.
By Jim Sweeney
Jul 25, 2009

The first pitch is now......sad, and not the same at all.

Most trees are gone from near the base of the climb, and in the nearby talus, having been replaced by broken rock from the fall. The ledges are now covered with so much broken rock and sand that it could be considered dangerous, for the leader, the belayer, and anybody walking by. It will rain on your belayer.

We went past the original first pitch ledge, to the next ledge up, where there's a small pine tree still intact. It's just big enough to rap off, which my partner and I did. The rap webbing was newly installed on July 11. A 60 meter rope makes it to the ground.
By Jason Antin
From: Golden, CO
Aug 18, 2009
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c

Fun route - Just a "heads up"; I was there on Saturday and there were several instances of falling rock (more than usual) from the GTL.

Have fun!
By divnamite
From: New York, NY
Oct 11, 2009
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c PG13

Pitch 1 is not the same as before the rock fall. A lot of loose pebble and rocks on each of the ledges. Pros and moves are slightly more difficult. Not for a new 5.4 leader.
Pitch 2, the route finding is easy if you remember to stay below the pins. Just keep traverse right and follow the natural line.
By Climb-On
Nov 7, 2009
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c

Jim S is correct that the first pitch is very different now, but note that the loose material is on easy, flat ledges - this doesn't affect any of the class 5 moves. Pitches 2 & 3 are unchanged and not littered by debris. Don't hesitate to do this wild and fun climb if you are up for it!
By -sp
From: East-Coast
Oct 15, 2010

Climbed it last weekend (10-10-10). The first pitch is getting cleaner but it is by no means ready for un-helmeted belayers. Fortunately the second and third pitches are unaffected and both offer great climbing.

BTW, the third pitch dihedral is almost as long as the first pitch, and leads you to the top of the cliff. It's great climbing and great gear exactly when you need it. Don't pass it up for the ugly crawl to the rap station!
By worth russell
From: Brooklyn, NY
Nov 14, 2010
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

pitch 1 is dangerous. Loose rock poses a threat for both belayer and traffic. Pitch 2 may be a 5.5 but it has major exposure and is often wet.
By TarikaM
From: New York, NY
Oct 18, 2011

I swear by my Climbers Guide to the Gunks, but this is not a 5.4!! Pay attention to feedback from MP, despite what the book has it rated, this is not the best climb for any of your first few leads. It is a really amazing climb, unbelievable exposure, but I'd say it's a 5.5+ at least.

If I remember correctly there are a couple times where you kind of have to step across the void to head right across a corner that make for great exposure. There is good pro all along, but the way it traverses does make for a lot of rope drag. Recommend using long runners as well as revolvers if you have any on your rack.
By kenr
Jun 12, 2012

There's still plenty of loose rock on P1, though I couldn't say for sure that it's more loose rock than some other ledges in the Gunks, e.g. Easy O / Baby. I would not belay or stand around the bottom with climbers above, without my helmet on my head.

The obvious tree around the top of P1 is getting a bit old.

Difficulty: Some guidebooks rate both P2 & P3 as 5.4. It seemed to both my partner and me that P3 would then be one of the easiest 5.4s in the Gunks. My memory is that P2 was mostly like other Gunks 5.4 pitches, provided you could handle the exposure. Much of P2 had big-enough + positive hand-holds, and a couple of sections of somewhat balancey traversing with little hands but pretty reasonable feet, except ... I remember one short sequence in P2 where it was pretty tricky (tho well-protected) to move up to reach the next positive hand-hold. So if I call that move 5.4+, then add a little for the overall exposure, gets the difficulty to 5.5.
By Jon Booth
Jul 24, 2013
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

No rap stations on P1 or P2. After P3, walk right to Madame G's rappel, can go all the way to the ground with 60m doubles.
By Logan Schiff
From: Brooklyn, NY
Aug 26, 2013
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

Climbed this for the first time Saturday. Accidentally started the second pitch about 20 feet to the left of what I think was the short corner where you are supposed to start. I climbed up about 15 feet and then made a long traverse with almost no pro. Small feet and small but passable hands. Had one move that felt about 5.5/5.6 before getting to Hawk proper and definitely would have resulted in a ledge fall. Had there been pro it would have improved an already awesome pitch. DO NOT FOLLOW MY CHALK MARKS if you are not up for some 5.5/6 R climbing.

I used a lot of long runners and was able to link up pitches 2 and 3 without too bad drag even with the "alternative" longer start. Pitch 3 is very mellow with one fun well protected 5.4 move. It was easy to scramble down a little ways to the Madame G's rappel.
By Dan Africk
From: Brooklyn, New York
May 3, 2015

Classic Climb! Well protected throughout, nice big ledges for belaying (good route if you have a couple of followers), interesting climbing. The first and third pitches are easy and straightforward (nice warmup), the second money pitch has some 3 very exposed and intimidating corners (the kind that may have you questioning why you do this to yourself..), but the climbing isn't difficult once you commit to it. Definitely intense for a 5.5.

The second pitch has some serious rope drag even with double-length runners at the first two corners, but it's manageable. Bring a lot of trad draws and a couple double-length ones! I didn't link the last two pitches because I was out of trad draws, but I probably would next time, I don't think it would make the rope drag much worse.

You'll have to build gear anchors at the top of the first pitch, and the second if you don't link them. But the latter has a big block at the base of the corner that you can probably just sling.
By WillK
Nov 10, 2015

Did this last weekend. I didn't take a hard look at the second pitch from the ground, so I didn't notice the large dripping wet streak down the middle of the second pitch. It was dripping right where I believe the crux of 2nd pitch would be even if it was dry - which is just past that nest of manky slings.

I don't know if I'd recommend this when wet. Unless you don't mind climbing on wet rock and were aching for a little excitement that day. It's jugs throughout, but those holds got pretty slimy, too.
By David Kerkeslager
From: Brooklyn, NY
Sep 11, 2017
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

This would be a 4 star route and probably a bit easier if the loose rock and dirt were stripped. Second pitch is amazing, overhung, lots of exposure, with interesting moves.

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About