It all started on Labor Day of 2008, Lizzy was away doing geology and I needed to go rock climbing. A friend from the gym, Konstantin, suggested that we climb the Red Dihedral on the Incredible Hulk. After doing the route we proposed that almost a year later we should come back, on the 4th of July and do Positive Vibrations. A lot of climbing, training and maturing later we climbed Positive Vibes this past July. I was so amazed by the route I wanted do it with Lizzy and so in August we went back and climbed both the Red Dihedral and Positive Vibrations.
On my first time up Positive Vibrations we got a bit lost and I became intrigued by the variation pitch I had led and wondered about the other routes on the face. I surfed the web, posted on Supertopo and came back with a bunch of information.
I also ended up buying the awesome High Sierra: Peaks Passes and Trails by RJ Secor. This book had been suggested multiple times and I was able to previewed it on Google books and saw the Hulk section had much of the information I was looking for. There were route descriptions for all of the major routes on the Hulk as well as a rough photo overlay with route lines.
Sadly not all is improved in the 2009 3rd edition. My friend Shay has the 2nd edition and on our trip to Mt Langley we discovered his book has a photo topo of the Keyhole Wall, but mine does not…
Topos for the easier routes on the Hulk can found on Supertopo. You can get a free topo of Red Dihedral and more info about Positive Vibrations and SunSpot Dihedral here:
To get the full Positive Vibrations and SunSpot Dihedral topo you have to buy the High Sierra Guide.
An alternate topo for Sun Spot Dihedral can be found here:
In my research I was able to track down a bunch of topos by Dave Nettle
The Venturi Effect 5.12+:
I also found a fairly cool article about Eye of the Storm (V 5.12, 12 pitches, 1500 feet) but no topo….
The MoonBlog confirmed that Airstream had seen a 2nd ascent by Nic Sellars and Tom Briggs.
I pulled the following post from my feed reader since I could no longer track down the actual blog entry from September 2007:
Nic Sellars and Tom Briggs have just returned from a trad climbing trip in the states where amongst other things they made the 2nd ascent of a classic Peter Croft route called Airstream. Nic sent in this report.
“Just got back to Blighty after a fab month long trip to the states to climb in the High Sierras on an Alpine rock trip. Tom Briggs and I managed to make the 2nd ascent of Airsteam, a 12 pitch Peter Croft route on a crag called The Incredible Hulk. The route comprised numerous pitches of 5.11 (E4 ish) up to the crux pitches of 512c (7b+), 513b (7c+), 512c. We managed to on-sight all pitches except the crux pitch which managed to squeeze in all it’s difficulty into about 15 ft of slippery groove technical shinaniggins. I red-pointed this by the skin of my teeth as I was fairly trashed by the climb up to this point. All in all we took 12 hours from bivvi to bivvi. The next day we quested down to a very hot and sweaty Bishop to contratulate Peter on his route with some beers (and meet up with a real US role model). Hope the photo attachment arrives in a useable state.”
Since I was not content with the currently available information I started putting together some more information. This coincided nicely with a few additions that Scott Bennett made to the Incredible Hulk Mountain Project page. The comments he had made, the Nettle topos, combined with my experience and the Secor book allowed me to create the following photos. I’m still working to get all of the routes in photo topo form and will eventually be including BlowHard 5.12+, Solar Flare 5.12+, Sun Burn 5.12-, Airstream 5.13b and Eye of the Storm 5.12+ when I’m finished.
Above and below are the photo overlay topos that I made. Feel free to leave comments here or on MP.com