Friday, September 26, 2014

Alpine at the Incredible Hulk

We made Hulk happen! My foot held me back a little so the approach and descents took slightly longer than usual. These climbs could be done car to car but we wanted to climb for two days so it made sense to camp. We packed three days worth of food and gear and hiked in Monday evening.

Two hours of this

Another two hours of this

The Hulk has a bunch of 400-500 meter routes, easy access, and the exellent granite. Bivy sites and water are conveniently located. More info about the climbs, permits, and access here. Check Supertopo for detailed topos.

Hulk seen from the approach.

Siskolle: mä synkronoin visiirin mun lähetyspipaan. Toimii!

Our camp is 20 minute walk from the base.

Tuesday we climbed Positive Vibrations (11a). The conditions weren't exactly stellar but the climbing was amazing and made up for the cold and windy weather. Max sent. I'm new to this alpine climbing so everything was exciting for me.

And stressful.

I've never been as stressed out rapping as I was that day. 10 raps. We had to wait for the wind to settle and pull our rope at just the right moment between gusts of wind. It's a miracle our rope did not get stuck on our way down. The night before we witnessed a party of two epic trying to get their rope unstuck half way up the wall.

First crux pitch (P3) of Positive vibrations. Tho, if you ask me, the crux is the thin finger crack/stemming sections on P2.

A couple more raps to go. Rope hasn't gotten stuck. Yet.

Wednesday we hung out at camp most of the day and watched a party of two make their way up Red Dihedral (10b). They ended up bailing after the crux pitch which made me nervous about leading the route.

My favorite rest day activity: stare at the spectacular incredible hulk.

Dinner: cous cous, TJ's Indian Curry sauce, cheese, and smoked trout.

I found a tree in the alpine!

Alpine vegetation is pretty.

Rest day hike to the lake near by

We wanted to go down there but couldn't find a way down. Next time.

Thursday we climbed Red dihedral. I told Max I'd like to lead the crux pitch but that he can have the rest because he is more efficient. Max said "I bet you could lead all the pitches". Right. I asked him many times mid route if he wants to take the sharp end because I'm slow. He declined. At the top I was happy he let me lead everything and that I actually sent. I would have not been able to do it without Max's support. The route finding was tricky for me and I was intimidated by the length of the route.

P2 of Red dihedral

P3 aka THE PITCH, sustained and long dihedral

View from the every belay

P5: splitter fingers to hands

Zoom in and see which shoes Max is wearing. :)

We did the hike off in an hour. There was only one rap but it was stressful all the same.

The descent via the scree gully

Maybe the abundance of slings make up for the tiny bolts..?

Next morning I woke up with sand in my mouth, hair, and eyes. Gusting winds. I got up, made coffee and went outside to enjoy the last view of the Hulk.

This is the best coffee when bialetti/french press is not an option. Also using a burner inside the tent is a great way to burn a hole in your rainfly.

Hulk towers above it's surroundings.

Red dihedral P12 chimney.

Finland? No. The Hoover Wilderness!

 Off to the Needles!

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