Incredible Hulk, seen during the approach.
This crag in the Sawtooth Range can honestly lay claim to being one of the biggest granite walls in the High Sierra. Essentially the culmination of the north ridge of Eocene Peak. It is separated from the towers to the south by a significant notch, which forms part of the standard descent route (see below).
The trailhead is at Twin Lakes/Mono Village, to park at the Marina you must pay $10.00.
Hike west along the Robinson Creek Trail to Little Slide Canyon - about where the Hoover Wilderness sign is. Negotiate boggy terrain and a couple of tributaries (sandals recommended, cache on other side) to the south bank of Robinson Creek, go right (west) and pick up "The Switchbacks" which are steep but short. Continue to follow the trail on less steep ground to the talus. Stay left of the creek; follow cairns up to a ramp with trees which passes beneath a waterfall. Here the trail is less obvious, but cairns do mark a way up over granite benches, and ledges to a flat area west of the Hulk and east of Maltby Lake.
About 6 hours with backpacks, 3 hours without. Some people mountain bike to the wilderness sign, some people do the Hulk in one long day, some people camp beneath the climbs - it's up to you, and how you view the mountains.
Descent from the Routes
From the summit, and after paying homage to the Superball - make a steep and exposed Class 3 descent (nervous soloists need not apply) of the south ridge, about 300', near its terminus go left and descend down to the rappel anchor, where a single rope rappel will deposit you in the notch mentioned above. Go right (west) and descend steep and loose scree to a small tower and a branch. Take the left branch and Class 5 down climb the overhanging chockstone - very worrying. A little further you'll reach the main gully beneath the Incredible Hulk's wall - stagger and stumble down some of the worst scree I've ever seen back to the start of the climbs, and then down the final scree fan. Some may take 45 minutes to do this, I've seen it written up as "trivial" - IMHO it's more than both of these.
Browse More Classics in Incredible Hulk
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Incredible Hulk:
5.11 Trad, Alpine, 9 pitches, 1200 feet, Grade IV
5.11d Trad, Alpine, 9 pitches, 1200 feet, Grade IV
Featured Route For Incredible Hulk
Excellent campsites below Incredible Hulk
Just before turning off - view up Little Slide Can...
Climbers on Positive Vibrations (IV 5.11c)
Mike Newheart barefoots it on the hike out - Robin...
Incredible Hulk, August 2005.
Not a picture of the Incredible Hulk, but a crazy,...
My friend Patrick Price goofing at the base of Inc...
Sunset at Incredible Hulk. Summer '05.
BETA PHOTO: This is a bit of a work in progress. I'd love to g...
BETA PHOTO: A topo overlay for some of the upper pitches on th...
Back off- these are my smokes!
Incredible Hulk, Sierra
Often the crux of the approach!
The Incredible Hulk, Sierra
Starry skies and shining granite!
The top 2/3 of Incredible Hulk, as seen near the e...
The Hulk after an early storm.
looks like something on Saturn
BETA PHOTO: Cairn marking the rap after finishing the last pit...
BETA PHOTO: If you can see the suspended plank, you are at or ...
BETA PHOTO: After the single rap from the Red Dihedral final p...
BETA PHOTO: Full Hulk Topo. V2.0
Still needs some corrections...
|Comments on Incredible Hulk
|By Scott Bennett|
From: Colorado, etc
Jul 26, 2009
The wilderness sign mentioned here and in the supertopo is no longer there. To find the right spot to turn off the main trail (Barney Lake Trail), look for Little Slide Canyon on the left, it's the first major side canyon you'll see. Just before you reach it, there'll be a large open meadow on your left, bordered on its west by a dense grove of aspen. Walk across the meadow, find the downed logs to cross Robinson Creek (it's easy to stay dry), and then work your way into the mouth of Little Slide Canyon.
Edit: Apparently these directions might lead you astray, since there are multiple "meadows bordered by aspen" along the Robinson creek trail. Here's another landmark to make sure you turn off the main trail at the right spot: Make sure that you can see the distinct spires (Outgard Spire, Totem, Duck, and Reggae Poles) high on the West side of Little Slide Canyon before leaving the main trail.
There is one earlier "meadow bordered by dense aspen", and then you actually walk through an aspen grove (on the trail), and then enter the correct meadow, from which you can see the spires. Here, leave the main trail, cross the meadow, and cross the creek. Once across, stay just on the South side of the creek for a few hundred yards. You make an unlikely 3rd class traverse on a rocky section about 6 inches above the water, and then enter Little Slide Canyon in a grove of pine trees.
Hope this helps,
From: Prescott, AZ
Dec 3, 2009
Thanks for the video- always inspiring to watch people climb gracefully in the alpine
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Dec 6, 2009
Thanks for posting the video, C.
The Incredible Hulk - Solar Flare was chosen to receive the John Muir Gold Award at the 2009 Yosemite Film Festival. In case you didn't know, it features climbing legends, Peter Croft and Conrad Anker. Cinematography by Jim Surette. Stills by Jimmy Chin.
|By Dmitriy Litvak|
From: Pacifica, CA
May 10, 2010
What is the season for the Hulk?
Is it climbable around Memorial Day ever?
|By Will Anglin|
From: Sykesville, MD
Jun 23, 2010
Would September be too late to climb the Hulk? What temps could be somewhat expected?
From: Oakland, Ca
Aug 24, 2010
More and more people are going to the Hulk and are defecating all over Little Slide Canyon- please please please do what you can to reduce your impact- keep it well away from the water, or even better bring a wag bag.
|By Neil Kauffman|
Sep 8, 2010
NO fires at the Hulk! The bivy area is above the fire elevation limit for the National Forest.
|By Christopher Barlow|
May 11, 2011
It sounds like this year has been a pretty heavy snow season. Does it look like the Hulk will be climbable in late June? We'd be happy to travel over and camp on snow, but we want to climb dry, relatively warm rock. What are the chances of this being the case?
Jun 21, 2011
I second the previous remark. The Hulk good to go? I'm mainly wondering about the descent.
|By Andy Bennett|
From: Tucson, AZ
Sep 1, 2011
(Nearly) Infallible approach beta:
There's been a lot of helpful but sometimes contradictory approach beta posted up here. Let me save you some time and effort, and nature a lot of erosion and social trails.
1) A brand new wilderness sign is definitely present, but it's nowhere near the turnoff, standing at least a good 3/4-1mi before it. Keep hiking past the sign for 15-30min (depending on your load and your legs). You'll soon see Little Slide Canyon reigning above on your left.
2) Keep hiking through a nice long stretch of healthy aspens. Exit this stand and round some curves uphill until you come upon the most prominent pine tree around. There's a lot of cleared earth here around the tree. The correct trail will be obvious on your left. Take it across the creek at the lower (left) set of logs. Huff it uphill.
3) Once you've gained the boulder field, follow the cairns and remain well right (west) of the cliff band for the easiest path.
|By Crotch Robbins|
Jun 12, 2012
The 3rd class traverse across the ridge and the final two pitches can hold frozen water in various forms when the Southwest Face is completely snow free making for an unexpected and excitingly alpine final three pitches to the summit.
|By Kat A|
From: Bart and Lisa Ville, CO
Aug 21, 2012
Some additional beta:
Camping: 8 permits are granted each day for departing the Robinson Creek trailhead, 4 of which can be reserved in advance. Applications must be sent via snail mail to the Bridgeport Ranger station at least 2 weeks in advance (they prefer 3 weeks or more) with a check enclosed,www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5253870.pdf. Permits are picked up at the station the day before or the day of (no later than 10 am or they may give it away). As of April 2012, bear cans are required in all of the Hoover Wilderness, yes, even above 10,000 feet. There was a ranger at the Hulk base when we were there in August 2012.
Approach: When you enter the RV park/campground, take the 2nd "road" from the right, signed with yellow tags on the trees, passing the "B" campsites until you reach a meadow with a "Do Not Enter" sign and a cable strung across the dirt road. This does not have the appearance of a regular trailhead, though after you follow this dirt road a bit you'll reach the National Forest sign then later the wilderness sign. Luke Stefurak posted a great photo of the large rock and pine tree on his dreaminvertical site, which clearly shows where to turn off the main trail to head towards the Hulk. The entire trail to the Hulk was dry in mid-August 2012. Cross the stream, head up the canyon on the left side of the creek, then eventually cross the creek at a narrow point (log bridge) and continue up the canyon on the right side of the creek. There was a decent trail and cairns for most of the approach.
Venturi/Positive Vibrations rap beta: You need a FULL 70m rope. We didn't do the first rap due to a lightening/rain storm (we escaped from pitch 8 of PV to a 2-stopper anchor), but general info for the rest of the raps is as follows. The raps are either straight down or veer to the climber's left, and we found them all without too much difficulty (easier than finding the raps on the Diamond). Tie knots when rapping down the clean Venturi bolted face - this has the big rope stretcher (80m would be nice). To help pull the rope cleanly near the PV chimney, we did an extra 30 foot rap from where the Venturi/PV line meets (a ledge which previously had one bolt, now it has 2 bolts, one with a rap ring). Two of the raps require pedulums - one one the Venturi face, the other to reach the last rap station before the ground.
Sep 4, 2012
Does anybody know if there is still water running up near the base of the Hulk? Or do you have to bring water up with you.. thanks!!
May 10, 2013
I feel like if it takes you 6 hours, even with packs to get to the base, you are a crippled infant. The trail is 3 miles and gains 2,500 elevation.
May 13, 2013
Anybody been up there this spring? Or have recent snow conditions?