Tradewinds is a stellar route on the Incredible Hulk, located between Positive Vibrations and Red Dihedral. The climbing is steep, clean, and sustained, just about as good as alpine climbing gets!
The route starts in an obvious straight-in corner about 40' to the right of the "Triangular Recess" (Positive Vibes starts on the left side of the triangle).
P1 Climb the corner past 2 bolts (11a). Just when it looks like it's gonna get really thin, step left to a great belay stance with 2 bolts. 100'
P2 Make a 5.10 face move back right into the corner, and then scramble up and right on easy terrain to another 2 bolt anchor.
These 2 pitches can be easily combined.
P3 Step left from the belay and make a 5.8 mantle, and then wander up and left on easy ledges to the base of a left facing corner system. Climb the corner past a small roof (5.10), and then face-traverse left below a larger roof to a 2 bolt anchor. 170'
P4 Continue up easy terrain to a steep pillar that blends into a shallow left facing corner, which eventually curves left to form a roof.
Climb past 2 old bolts on thin and exciting moves (11b). This is probably the spiciest lead on the climb, bring small RPs and a cool head. Once the roof is reached, avoid it by busting out right (5.10). Trend right, then back left on easy terrain to a 2 bolt station just below the large "Bivy Ledge".
P5 Some tricky routefinding here, since many routes cross the Bivy Ledge. You're aiming for the prominent left facing flake/corner system that forms the right boundary of the clean "Sheild". There's a distinct looking straight-in corner that's tempting, but I guess this is the Macedonian route and it dead ends into aid climbing. Tradewinds goes to the right of this, and shares this pitch with Astro Hulk.
Wander up short LF corners, passing one old bolt. Shortly after the old bolt, when the corner pinches down, make a cool traverse left past a splitter crack to gain a ledge on the left (5.10+). Belay off gear atop this pillar/ledge.
P6 This is a short 5.9 pitch that climbs the spooky looking detatched flake, just left of the main corner system. It seems pretty solid. We didn't do this, but I think it's possible to link P5&6, probably with some easy simuling. There's a tempting 2 bolt belay up and right here, but it's probably better to belay from a single (new) bolt and some gear just to the left of the 2 bolt station.
P7 The route up to here has been great, but here it gets mind-blowing! Climb the shallow LF corner, past some strenuous thin lie-backing, and then past a few bolts (11c). At the last bolt, lean out left and clip the lone belay bolt, and then make a very hard move to gain the belay stance (11+). The bolt can be backed up with a med-large cam in the flake above.
P8 Very strenuous thin underclinging and liebacking around the flake, past 2 bolts (11d). Higher, enter "The Venturi", the awesome inset roof system, and climb it to a 2 bolt anchor (5.10)
From here, gain the Crow's Nest Ledge and consider your options: Climb the amazing splitter finish to the Venturi Effect (11d), wander right and finish on Astrohulk (5.9), or Rap (70m rope required). Either way, it's been an amazing day on the Sierra's best chunk of rock!
Double set of Cams from very small (000 C3 useful) to #2 Camalot, and a single #3. Extra TCUs would not go unplaced.
A healthy rack of stoppers and small nuts/RPs is helpful. (I placed a #2 BD micro stopper)
11+ pitch into the Venturi
The last move of pitch 7. It's a bit dyno for thos...
Here's a topo I drew for Tradewinds. It's basicall...
BETA PHOTO: Tradewinds topo from RC.com
Sustained 5.11 pitch
If you are wondering what that ugly 4 foot scar on...
|By Brady Robinson|
Jul 25, 2010
Did this with Dave Anderson last week. An excellent route, with a few places that are so so. Here is some additional beta.
First of all, I would recommend using Nettle's topo - it just made more sense to me.
The first pitch felt hard for us - maybe we weren't warmed up but don't give up if it feels hard there. Stem. The RP section on pitch 4 is heads up but there is good gear to be found there. Dave used the trick where you girth-hitch a nut to an RP to extend your reach and was able to place two good RPs before the business started. On pitch 6, GO RIGHT and don't climb that huge scary flake, you can stay on safe ground and then move back left to belay where you should. On pitch 7 I was able to find a lot of stances so it didn't feel too hard. I ended up laybacking the loose flake which didn't feel like the smartest move but it seemed like the thing to do. If you have been doing your yoga then maybe you can stem. Getting to the anchor is tough - when in doubt, go higher.
Pitch 8 is great in some ways and terrible in others. The movement is fantastic, however after clipping the first bolt you end up moving past the hangerless stud of a second bolt which for me kind of ruins the vibe. There is something about climbing 5.11+ terrain knowing that someone thought a bolt should go there and then they changed their mind that causes one to pause. Or at least that's what happened to me. And right there the flake isolated my left pinky and I popped a finger pulley. Ouch. (Just go for it - there is a bomber blue TCU just above you!) And then my rope got really stuck under the flakes and we ended up in a cluster for a while freeing it up. Try to be mindful of where your rope is running. But the top section of pitch 8 is great!
All in all, this is a great route and a great adventure. So you should do it. Bring doubles from small TCU up to #3 Camalot (1 #3 would be OK) and bring a few extra TCUs (blue Metolius TCU size is key), plus one set of nuts and RPs. We rapped with a 60m lead line and a 150 ft tag line and were able to rap the route.
Warning: If you are planning to rap the route, you probably can't pull the rope from the top of pitch 7 through the anchors of pitch 8. We had to build a intermediate anchor at the first bolt of pitch 8 to pull the rope. Maybe you can rap VE if you know what you're doing.
Aug 4, 2010
Nettle's topo is great. The route is great. Lets not supertopo the beta for this route. Leave something for the imagination!! Have fun!
ps: Do the last pitch of the Venturi to finish Tradewinds to the ridge. Its amazing.
|By Nicola Masciandaro|
Aug 20, 2013
Pitches 1, 4, 7, and 8 are very good, with enjoyable sections of continuous moves. The others are not. Be prepared to stay in touch with decomposing granite throughout and be careful what you pull on. A worthwhile route, but not "stellar" or "as good as alpine climbing gets!" (with due respect to the inarguable fact that all climbing is TOTALLY AWESOME).