Native Son, El Capitan
Notes on the route:
Excellent location and honest hard nailing made this fine route an instand classic. We went from the ground to Tree Ledge and then fixed to the ground. When I jugged up the fixed lines, our top line (also our main lead line) was sawed through by about 1/2 from grating on an edge about 40 feet down from the ledge. From this ledge we fixed the 5.9 pitch to get to the base of the "Coral Sea" pitch. The Coral Sea a fine piece of work with a bunch of hooking, some loose stuff, and then a mile of #1 heads and hooks to the belay. A really bad fall is available if you skate at the crux, and it is a ledge fall so be heads up. The next pitch is a 165' job that will take all sizes and goes pretty fast. We fixed from here back to the Tree Ledge Bivy and then did one big haul all the way to the top station the next day. To do this you will need an extra long haul line (260') or pass a knot. Moving on up the route..... at the 9th belay, while starting to move up the anchor to go out on lead, some of the belay pins fell out. Expando would be the word for this action. This same flake later "closed up" and crushed a TCU flat. Pitch 10 is nice and fairly technical with a clanger fall back into a corner if you blow the heads after the tension traverse. Take a look behind "The Golden Finger Of Fate" and tell me what is holding this 200 ft. high feature to the wall. Pitch 15 is a strenuous dihedral that takes a bunch of heads, but you really got to work for them. It is awkward, and if weather is a factor, it will run with water, which will then freeze up the entire corner, making for a dreary day. Pitch 16 starts out on some blades and then goes to hooks and heads up a groove. This pitch also runs with major water during a storm, as we saw first hand, right before we got plucked from the rim by Mugs Stump and Dan McDevitt. Thanks boys.
(info provided by Russ Walling and Walt Shipley)