Type: Trad, Alpine, 1200 ft (364 m), 9 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Nettle, Hayden, 1999
Page Views: 29,650 total · 167/month
Shared By: Scott Bennett on Jul 26, 2009 · Updates
Admins: Chris Owen, Lurk Er, Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer Ski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Description Suggest change

Sunspot Dihedral is another spectacular climb on the Sierra's best chunk of rock: the Incredible Hulk.

P1&2 Same as Positve Vibrations. These pitches can be linked with a 70m rope or a 60 and some easy simuling. 5.10c

P3 Follow the leftmost crack off the big ledge. This is the same as P.V. until just after the roof, where PV goes right and Sunspot goes straight up. Build a belay just below the next set of roofs (up and left). A short pitch, 5.9.

P4 Go up and left under the roofs, some wild underclinging here (10c). At the left end of the roof, make a big step left into a splitter crack. Climb this until it pinches down to a seam, and then step back right into the main dihedral. Climb the flared corner (tricky pro, offsets useful, 10b) up to a bolt, then step left onto a ledge. Climb up 20' of easy terrain off the ledge to a 2 bolt anchor. This is the first spectacular pitch!

P5 The obvious left-facing corner above. The crux (11a) comes directly off the belay, with some small stoppers/RPs for pro. The rest of corner is sustained 5.10, mostly fingers. There are two sections where large flakes stick out of the corner, forming mini-corners on the left. In both of these sections I found it easier to stay left, climbing the flakes. This is a long pitch, and it ends at bolts. This is the money pitch!

P6 The crux (11b) again come right off the belay. Climb past two bolts (you can get small gear in before the first) in the overhanging corner, using stemming, face climbing, and lie-backing. Once past this, you've reaching the eponymous Sunspot, and are rewarded with some spectacular 5.10 finger and hand crack. This is a shorter pitch, maybe 100', and it ends at one bolt (plus good gear). The third stellar pitch!

P7 There are two left facing corners above, climb the left of these (11a). Follow parallel corners above, switching back and forth to whichever one seems easiest. (5.10) This is a long pitch, and it ends atop a block/ledge, belay with small gear just below a large chockstone.

P8 Tunnel behind the chockstone and climb easy, loose terrain up the ridge, aiming for a large, steep, blank headwall. Belay on a sloping ledge just left of the headwall. 5.8

P9 Climb the short corner above the ledge (5.10), and then wander up ledges with a few more steep corners until you've gained the ridge proper.

From here, it's 4th class along the ridge to reach the base of the summit tower. Here you have the option of a 5.8 loose chimney, followed by a tunnel through (I haven't done this), or a good looking 5.10 corner. Climb the corner, which gets wide (4") at its top, and then the striking finger splitter to the very top (5.10) This can be done as one long pitch.

Location Suggest change

Sunspot shares it's start with Positive Vibes, so just look for the queue forming. If you're fortunate enough to be first up there, look for a prominent triangle on the lower quarter of the face, and the route starts up a blocky dihedral on the left of the triangle.

Descent: From the summit, follow the direction on the main Hulk page. If you've already summited, or the weather looks crappy, it's possible to rap from the ridge down "Venturi Effect" (about 20' south of the PV topout, all bolted anchors) with a 70m rope. This takes a long time.

Protection Suggest change

Rack: Cams from Purple C3 (black Alien) to #3 Camalot, with doubles from Green C3 (blue Alien) to #2 Camalot. Triples in finger sizes might be nice. A full rack of RPs and wires, small offset nuts are useful.