by We didn't write this
We climb rocks!
On the road, our camping strategy is simple. We drive until the google map is green, indicating national forest land. We have woken up in some pretty neat places.
The Hulk is a gorgeous 1000 foot chunk of granite tucked away at 11,000 feet elevation high in the Sierras. The notoriously rough approach, spanning 5 miles and gaining 3,000 feet has caused many to dub this cliff the “Incredible Hike.” This approach sucks so much that most chose to approach climbs the day before and camp at the base of the cliff.
We arrived at the Hulk trailhead around noon on our rest day. The trail begins at the mega classy Mono Village, a fishing resort and RV park where Country music rules and Coors light flows like water. It was time to make a decision. Do we load our bags with 3 days of supplies and start the trek to the cliff, or do we climb the Hulk in a day and drink beer by the lake?
The choice was easy enough to make and we spent the rest of the day enjoying IPA.
We set our alarms for 3:30am and crashed somewhere in the woods. At 5am, the incredible hike began.
The approach winded through meadows, up scree fields, past endless boulders and over streams. 3 hours later we arrived at the base of the cliff. The hike felt long, but not so bad only carrying a light rack and rope.
On the 2nd pitch of the hulk, I almost ate shit big. Stemmed out, looking at a 70 foot sideways fall directly on an anchor, I noted how much I hated trad climbing. I plugged a small cam into a chossy, flared crack and stalled. At one point, I actually started downclimbing back towards Tara, but soon realized that I could not reverse the moves that got me there in the first place. I did the only thing there was to do… smeared my feet up on choss, and climbed a very unsettling 10 feet to a better placement. Soon, I topped the pitch, feeling happy to be alive.
The next pitch was the crux, a beautiful 5.12+ stemming corner. Here is Tara following.
Some more 5.12 pitches followed
On the hike out, we got pretty tired.
After a few days in San Fransisco, we headed north to Bend, Oregon. While smith rock was much too hot for climbing, the drinking and swimming temps were perfect.
To escape the heat, we drove further north to lush, green Washington.
Now we are kicking it in Little Si, projecting some sport climbs and enjoying the cool weather.