The Incredible Hulk is an amazingly consolidated piece of alpine rock located in the High Sierra. Last summer, while on a two month road trip, my friend Will and I left Yosemite Valley, spent a few days in Bishop, and then made our way to this monster in order to climb a route called "The Red Dihedral." The route is a 12 pitch, 5.10 that follows different crack systems to the summit of The Hulk. For more information on the route itself, check out the Mt. Project description
The approach to The Incredible Hulk is beautiful and strenuous. After getting a parking permit from Mono Village, we started our trek through a glorified trailer park and onto a well maintained hiker's trail. We followed this for about an hour until we came to a small climber's trail appears on the left. There is a lot of discussion about where this trail is, but basically, it is pretty easy to find. It is in the beginning of a clearing just after hiking through an aspen forest. There is a boulder at the the mouth of this climbers trail and it takes you directly through a grass field and toward a stream.
For our ascent of The Red Dihedral, we opted to hike in around the afternoon of our first day, camp in the boulder field below the wall, climb our second day, and hike out on day three. This is very conservative, since some people decide to do the hike and climb in a day. We preferred the time in the back country. Finding camping below the wall is pretty easy and there are a lot of make-shift platforms and shelter to be had next to big boulders.
|Our campsite. Beautiful!|
To start the climb, we made or way up some pretty easy (4th class) terrain until the rock became vertical. We put on the rope at this point and pitched it out from there. One mistake I made during the climb was right after the Red Dihedral pitch. I loved the actual dihedral, but when i got to the top of it, I tried to continue upward. I kept trying and backing off for a bit until I decided to build a belay and give my partner a go. When he got to the anchor, we discovered that the rout stepped right after this section and i was attempting some stupid, unnecessary boulder problem.
|Me leading the 10a pitch near the top|
What we decided to do for the descent was to rappel The Venturi Effect. Our issue was that, as we traversed the ridge to the left, we decided to rappel from the first station we came to. This station was made out of some shitty tat, we were tired, so we just went for it. Basically, this put me into the middle of the wall with nothing else to rap from. I had to do some shady traverses to get further left and eventually to the bolted anchors to Venturi. The best part was that, after we got to the ground, grabbed our gear, and headed to our tent, we were confronted by a woman in the boulder field. The first thing she said was "what happened to you?" I was tired and kind of a smart ass and said what we just climbed The Incredible Hulk. She clarified further and asked "how come you summited three hours ago and just got to the ground now? How come you traversed the whole face?" We explained our situation, satisfied her inquiries, and made our was to bed.
Overall, this was an amazing route in the most perfect alpine setting. There was plenty of water around our campsite to make living quite comfortable. Do this route! It is a classic!