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Routes in Incredible Hulk

Airstream T 5.13a/b 8a 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c
Astrohulk T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Beeline T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Blowhard T 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b
Escape from Poland T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Eye of the Storm T 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
Lenticular Gyrations T 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Lost in the Sun T 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Polish Route, The T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Positive Vibrations T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Red Dihedral (aka "Yggdrasil") T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Solar Burn T 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
Solar Flare T 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b
Sunspot Dihedral T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Tradewinds T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Venturi Effect, The T 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
Wind Shear T 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Order Wrong? Sort Routes

Description

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).

Getting There

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. 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.

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.

17 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Incredible Hulk

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 19
Beeline
Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 246
Red Dihedral (aka "Yggdrasil")
Trad, Alpine 12 pitches
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 32
The Polish Route
Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 10
Escape from Poland
Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 194
Positive Vibrations
Trad, Alpine 12 pitches
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 66
Sunspot Dihedral
Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 8
Astrohulk
Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 21
Tradewinds
Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 6
Lost in the Sun
Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 4
Wind Shear
Trad, Alpine 13 pitches
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
 17
The Venturi Effect
Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
 3
Eye of the Storm
Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
 4
Solar Burn
Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 3
Lenticular Gyrations
Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b
 9
Solar Flare
Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Beeline
 19
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
Red Dihedral (aka "Yggdrasil")
 246
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, Alpine 12 pitches
The Polish Route
 32
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
Escape from Poland
 10
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
Positive Vibrations
 194
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad, Alpine 12 pitches
Sunspot Dihedral
 66
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
Astrohulk
 8
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
Tradewinds
 21
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
Lost in the Sun
 6
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
Wind Shear
 4
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Trad, Alpine 13 pitches
The Venturi Effect
 17
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
Eye of the Storm
 3
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
Solar Burn
 4
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
Lenticular Gyrations
 3
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
Solar Flare
 9
5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Incredible Hulk »

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Photos

C Miller   CA  
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.

Climb Safe,
-Scott

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,
Scott Jul 26, 2009
Luke Stefurak
Seattle, WA
Luke Stefurak   Seattle, WA
Here is a consolidated post with all the beta you could possibly want about the Hulk:

tradgnar.com/incredible-hul…

Enjoy! Aug 11, 2009
Chris M
Hailey, ID
Chris M   Hailey, ID
Thanks for the video- always inspiring to watch people climb gracefully in the alpine Dec 3, 2009
jmorse
Santa Barbara, CA
jmorse   Santa Barbara, CA
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. Dec 6, 2009
snowhazed
Oakland, Ca
snowhazed   Oakland, Ca
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. Aug 24, 2010
NO fires at the Hulk! The bivy area is above the fire elevation limit for the National Forest. Sep 8, 2010
Andy Bennett
Tucson, AZ
Andy Bennett   Tucson, AZ
(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.

Enjoy Sep 1, 2011
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. Jun 12, 2012
Kat A
Bart and Lisa Ville, CO
Kat A   Bart and Lisa Ville, CO
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,fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DO…. 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. Aug 21, 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!! Sep 4, 2012
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 10, 2013
Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
Chris Owen   Big Bear Lake  
safetyfourth - while I have the power to edit your comment, and make you seem to say practically anything, I will refrain -- I could make you sound like an insensitive oaf, but you've already done that, I will say that I take exception to being called a crippled infant, I am a crippled old man, which is quite different. Mar 10, 2014
Gargano
Arizona
Gargano   Arizona
Due to marauding bears in Twin Lakes/Mono Village you can no longer store food in the ice house. Consider only bringing food you need for the hike in, or appealing to a RV resident to cache your goods until you come back out. Jun 13, 2014
Wally
Denver
Wally   Denver
Is there a reliable water source for camping near the base of the Hulk in August? Jul 12, 2014
Vlad S  
Yes. However, by August the little stream that runs though the campsites usually turns to a trickle. It's best to get water in the evening as the snow melt slows down by the morning. If it's bad you might have to walk 100 feet down to get water. I haven't had to do more than that in prior Augusts so far. Jul 14, 2014
Jan Tarculas
Riverside, Ca
Jan Tarculas   Riverside, Ca
Went up there August 27-29. Vlad is right, there was a small stream/water hole about 100 feet below the camp site for good water.

Climbed Sunspot Dihedral August 28 and saw Peter Croft, David Nettle and another guy putting up a new Route to the Right of Sunspot. It was my first trip up there and Peter Croft was the one that inspired me to go there. I can't believe I was climbing right underneath him and had Nettle rapping next to me while watching me climb his route. Anyways, look out for another excellent route up there by these guys. Aug 31, 2014
Stas Yurkevich
San Francisco, California
Stas Yurkevich   San Francisco, California
There is Buckeye hot springs very close to Bridgeport. Highly recommend to soak after the climb. Jul 5, 2016
This past July I got married on top! First wedding up there? An absolutely beautiful and exciting place to be. Climbed the Red Dihedral. Filmed by Cheyne Lempe, officiated by Drew Smith.

youtube.com/watch?v=_W-M38s… Oct 25, 2016
Tomko
SANTA CLARA CA
Tomko   SANTA CLARA CA
The MP beta for the descent is spot on, but it also does not adequately convey the fact that the descent is scary, sketchy, and can take a good long time. The 300' scramble down is a little tricky to find and is quite intimidating with loose rock and potential long falls. The gullies, if filled with snow and you lack good shoes for it, can be scary and slow going.

CONDITION REPORT: As of July 4th week this year if you've not done the approach before it is easy to get lost right now due to the large amount of snow covering most of the trail. Also, with the final gully full of snow the descent took me 3 hours. Jul 9, 2017
snowhazed
Oakland, Ca
snowhazed   Oakland, Ca
Snow in the descent gully makes the descent go way faster assuming it's late in the day and the snow is soft. in 2011 we skied down in our guide tennies, took 25 min, instead of the usual 45-60 of scree ramblin'.

If you can climb the Hulk, this descent should not be a problem, although I have bootied gear there, so ymmv. Jul 12, 2017
Ben Kraft
San Francisco, CA
Ben Kraft   San Francisco, CA
We lost a set of big agnes tent poles hiking out on 7/17 -- pm if found.

Also, re: walkoff: If there's snow that's too hard to "ski", I've found downclimbing the snow with sharp rocks in hand works well. tcpros are stiff enough to kick steps. I've also cleaned anchors from the gully. Jul 19, 2017
Aaron Formella
Atascadero, CA
Aaron Formella   Atascadero, CA
Working link to information page on The Incredible Hulk from Dream In Vertical blog:

dreaminvertical.wordpress.c… Aug 14, 2017
Mr. Stevens
Boulder, CO
Mr. Stevens   Boulder, CO
For traveling/road tripping climbers, be aware that there are NO bear boxes at the TH parking. Several years ago they let me store food in the ice house, but this year they did not. Best to make friends with an RV person and use their box, or just don’t have excessive (or any) food in your car upon arrival. Jun 16, 2018
USFS has posted a sign near the TH stating that climbers going into little slide canyon need backcounty camping permits. We also saw two backcountry rangers on the Robinson Creek trail so they are out there. Jul 25, 2018
Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
Chris Owen   Big Bear Lake  
Yes - if you are overnight camping you need a wilderness permit. Do not abuse this! Or we'll find that there'll be no climbing allowed up that canyon before you can say "Fred Beckey". Jul 25, 2018
Professor Snax
Atlanta
Professor Snax   Atlanta
The Hulk is an incredible alpine arena, it certainly lives up to its name!

Just a quick PSA: I think most people would agree the Hulk is NOT a good destination for a group of three or parties climbing at their limit. The routes are relatively long and it's a popular destination. On the popular moderate routes you should be able to MOVE. Efficiently. My last visit there was a party of three on Red Dihedral, the leader was bringing up two climbers (who had to hang-dog the pitches) one-at-a-time... no good for parties below them going c2c.

Between the information folks have provided here on MP and the Supertopo it's super easy to find the approach turn-off, routes, etc. The descent info here was spot-on and way less hairy than some describe (this is all subjective but if you frequent alpine you will find the descent to be quite enjoyable). As always, in cairns we trust.

The daily permits are free from the ranger station in Bridgeport but to park at the marina/campground it is $10. There are trees marked will yellow tags to get you through the RV campground to the trail-head. As others have mentioned, if you get to the substantial creek bridge from Robinson Creek TR then you have gone to far. The right-hand turnoff is just a stones throw back.
Enjoy and climb safe~ Jul 26, 2018
There’s glacier runoff at the base next time I’m just bringing up enough water for the hike up 8/13/2018 Aug 13, 2018
Max Tepfer
Bend, OR
Max Tepfer   Bend, OR
The rappel bolts to rap into the top of the descent gully are in sore need of an update. You can back them up with a #2 or #3, but someone still has to pull it and commit to hanging from 2 old quarter inchers. Sketchy! Aug 25, 2018

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