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FA: Mike Farrell & Doug Robinson

This is a phenomenal climb, really the cream of the crop for granite crack climbing. The setting, the line, the rock quality and the climbing itself are all absolutely superb. Although it's continuously steep and strenuous, the movement is very straightforward and above all, fun. No awkward or unaesthetic sections, just clean finger and hand jamming.

P1: 5.9/10a crack. Still not fully awake at this point. Legs as stiff as tree trunks from the hike in.

P2: 5.10c. This starts in a striking finger crack. This woke us up! Excellent sharp fingerlocks in the cool morning air. Higher, follow features right, then left to a ledge.

P3: 5.11a. Some moderate climbing, then the first crux, a blank traverse right. This is one of two pitches rated 11a and we found it to be the easier of the two. The crux is a little reachy (easier if you're tall) but it's over quick. You do traverse past your gear for a couple moves on thin smears but you can see what you're reaching for- a bomber steep handcrack which takes you to the belay.

P4: 5.10b. Really nice stemming and jamming in a big chimney to a huge ledge. This pitch is easy to spot from the base. From here you move onto the upper arete, which is followed for another 4-5 pitches. A very fun pitch.

P5: 5.9/10a. Already giddy from the fantastic climbing so far, we looked up and realized the best was yet to come. Meander up and left to a deluxe handcrack next to the arete. This takes you to a classic belay ledge right on the arete, at which point you should be pretty much euphoric. We thought this was a standout pitch.

P6: 5.11a. The crux pitch starts in a steep dihedral with tricky thin moves in real smooth rock. It's pretty full-on (5.10c/d), one of the most insecure sections on the route. Climb up to a roof (also 5.10+, also full-on) then up a nice finger crack to a small stance. The crux finger cracks cut up and left across golden, vertical granite to another airy stance on the arete. The moves are technical and exposed and just COOL. Steep thin fingerlocks, great body position... at risk of hyperbole, THIS is a classic pitch!

P7: 5.10c/d. Go up 2-3" cracks for a ways into a right facing corner with a detached block. Below the block, traverse right and crank through a technical, sustained stemming/thin crack section. We split the pitch in two, and this last section still seemed really hard. In any case, it's brilliant climbing, another beautiful pitch.

P8: 5.10b. A handcrack leads to a small ledge on the arete, just below the ridge. You do not need to go all the way to the ledge, but we wound up here and were fine with breaking this pitch in two as well. It's actually a pretty sweet ledge, secure and very airy. Either way, you want to get over to the plum-straight hand crack about 15' right. This takes you right to the summit ridge. The dizzying exposure here is augmented by the incredible geometry of the ridge. We thought this was one of the coolest pitches on the route, and a great finish to the hard climbing.

At this point, you're on the leftmost tip of the sharp ridge which appears from below to be the summit. (It took us 10 pitches to get here, in our pedestrian fashion. The guidebook says 8 which is certainly reasonable.) Now you traverse right for 100-150 yards. We thought the routefinding was slightly weird, actually, perhaps someone has better beta on the "best" way to go here. In any case, you shouldn't be doing anything too difficult or gaining any altitude, and you should be out of sight of the valley below. After a bit, you can see what you're aiming for, the final wall with a blocky crack in it. Climb two moderate pitches (see the Red Dihedral description for info on these pitches, and the descent) and through the weird manhole to the top. Congratulations on a super climb and a great summit! Location On the NW end of the Hulk. The first 4 pitches follow right-angling crack systems to a big chimney. The rest of the climb follows the knockout arete above. Protection full rack to 3". Many finger-hand size pieces.

The Venturi Effect is a spectacular line, maybe the best of it's grade in the Sierra (or California, or the US...?) Continuously difficult, the bulk of the climbing is sustained 5.11, with plently of vicious, well-protected 5.12 cruxes. Do this route right now!

P1 starts at a thin flake with a bolt on the right side of the "Triangular recess". It's not the wider crack that forms the actual right side of the triangle (that's "Eye of the Storm"), but just to it's left. It's hard right off the deck, but hey, that's what you signed up for! 11+, link with 70m rope to the "Terrace" ledge, otherwise use an intermediate 2 bolt anchor which is recommended as it is problematic in terms of rope drag, gear, and providing a proper belay for the follower who will be doing the crux right off the ground with a lot of rope out

P2 From the right side of the "Terrace" Ledge (shared with Positive, Sunspot, etc), look for a piton in a thin horizontal crack. Traverse past this and into a vertical, flared crack. 11+, a bit spicy. Belay off fixed nuts just below the obvious corner.

P3 The stellar corner! Make some exciting moves up and left to gain the corner (5.11), and then battle you're way up it with every corner technique you've ever even dreamed of. Probably the best pitch, anywhere. 5.12 Belay at some fixed gear atop the corner.

P4 Up, past some committing lie-backing, and then step left and wander over to Positive Vibes. Climb it to the Bivy Ledge. 5.11

P5 A short, easy pitch to a two bolt anchor on a good stance. Start as for Positive, then bear right. 5.10-

P6 The start of the fantastic "Sheild" Pitches. You're aiming for a splitter with 2 bolts, which has bouldery 12a crux. Belay at the first 2 bolt anchor.

P7 A good long pitch, past one older 2 bolt station. Up high, there are plenty of new bolts, but the crux comes at the only old bolt (Crux is at only old bolt on the route, but there is good pro nearby.) (5.12) At the end of the a right facing corner, traverse left to a 2 bolt anchor.

P8 Up a flared, thin splitter, then past 2 bolts (5.12). Traverse the short roof on its right, and gain a overhanging splitter on the right side of the arete (killer position!) Climb up maybe 10-15' to a fixed nut, then make tricky (not so obvious) traverse right into a splitter on the face. Climb it, then pull crux thin slabby moves past two bolts to the belay (5.12)

P9 Climb up and clip a high bolt then DOWNCLIMB 20' (crux) before climbing back up left-facing corners into "The Venturi" a cool inset roof feature, past a few bolts (11+) Stem past the rooves (5.10) to gain the Crow's Nest ledge.

P10 Climb the obvious flared splitter to the ridgeline. (5.11+)

From here, either Rap (70m rope, easier with and 80m) or continue on the ridge to the summit for the last 2 red dihedral pitches.

Protection 2-3 sets of small cams, doubles to #2 Camalot, single #3. Full set of stoppers and small RPs.

FFA: Croft, Nettle & Davis, 2004


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