Camp at the Mono Lake RV park at the trailhead for the Incredible Hulk is a huge maze of RVs and few tents. However, camping was cheaper ($16) than Tuolumne ($20) and coin-operated showers on site offered us our first shower in a week!
Follow the trail to Barney Lakes for 2.5 miles, turn left at the wilderness sign, bushwack across beaver dams and up into the canyon.
Looking up Little Slide Canyon. The Incredible Hulk is the craggy peak on the left with the clean west-facing face.
As we got closer the Incredible Hulk began to appear more incredible!
The Red Dihedral route is on the right side of the peak. The very obvious, long, skinny dihedral in the middle of the route is obvious.
Looking up the route. Two pitches gain the amazing and sustained red dihedral above.
Looking down the first pitch.
Looking up the second pitch.
Bill worked his way up the awkward-feeling 5.9 section to more enjoyable climbing above on the second pitch.
This shot really shows the red dihedral above.
Seconding the second pitch.
Looking up a clean crack system on the upper half of the second pitch. (We linked pitches 2 and 3)
Bill sometimes belays with his eyes closed. He can just feel the slack. Check out the dihedral above!
I'm stepping up for the sustained 5.9 hand crack and dihedral. How sustained? I had to take on the rope a couple times to take a break before continuing up. The 5.10b bulge move at the top felt easy compared to the sustained nature of the dihedral.
From my first hanging break in the dihedral I took a moment to look down.
Bill starting up red dihedral pitch.
It offered superb hand and foot jamming for nearly 100 feet.
Getting ready for the 5.10b bulge and step out right to easier ground.
Leading up the fourth pitch started out with airy and exposed 5.7 on fabulous flakes.
The face to the left of the route was awesomely clean and white. I'm sure a hard route or two exists up that beauty.
Self portrait at the belay for the fourth pitch.
Looking across the face of the Incredible Hulk down the approach valley.
Oh glorious sun! It wasn't really that cold climbing in the shade but the sun is always welcomed on high alpine routes.
Some final moves to finish seconding the fourth pitch.
Super awesome belay ledge!
The fifth pitch started with 5.7ish fun climbing to the stellar hands crack splitting the clean face at the top of this photo. My lead---sweet!
Getting ready to jam away for 60 feet!
To trad climbers, this is heaven.
Hands and feet in the crack and plenty of green and red BD camalots as well.
A big exit jug made the top out move easy!
The view down the stellar hand crack up the clean face.
Airy stance at the top of the fifth pitch.
More fun flakes!
Sometimes belay ledges can really suck. This is not one of those times.
Leading the seventh pitch of mostly easy climbing with a short section of 5.8 laybacking somewhere in there.
Near the ridge crest, the rock quality deteriorates a bit but wasn't bad.
Leading up the eighth pitch to gain the ridge.
Following the eighth pitch on way-fun-but-too-short terrain.
From the ridge we third-classed it on blocky terrain over to the dirdty, blocky 5.8 chimney on the left in this photo.
After the 5.8 chimney was this 5.6 squeeze chimney to tunnel-through at the top. I started to lead it but it was a pain and not too fun so Bill took over and made it look almost easy.
The tunnel-through was amazingly small. I'm not sure how Bill got through with the rack hanging on him. I passed him the pack through here and the grunted and groaned for nearly five minutes trying to get through. (movie evidence forthcoming.)
It's small man!
Grit it out! An entry in the summit register said it was like passing out of the womb and once was enough for that. I agreed!
Bill on the summit of the Incredible Hulk!
Self portrait with the Incredible Hulk bouncy ball on the summit.
California third class downclimbing is more like Colorado fourth class as it turns out.
One 90 foot rappel got us down to the loose descent gully.
Wide and loose!
Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about! (OK, this is a lame caption.)
Exiting the tunnel through near the summit was extremely difficult and embarrassing