Type: Trad, Alpine, 700 ft (212 m), 5 pitches, Grade III
FA: Chase Leary, Andy Puhvel, Peter Croft
Page Views: 5,045 total · 119/month
Shared By: Andy Puhvel on Dec 19, 2020
Admins: Chris Owen, Lurk Er, Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer Ski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Description Suggest change

Green Thunder 5.13b, 5 pitches

This new addition to the Hulk has absolutely fantastic climbing up a mostly overhanging wall for 5 long pitches of immaculate clean granite goodness. Green Thunder breaks the mold of almost all High Sierran rock climbs being mostly overhanging the whole way, including one of the steepest cracks around! It follows clean laser cut corners on the dark north side of the Hulk and stays shaded every moment of the entire year. In addition to constant shade, this due north aspect of the Hulk receives a small fraction of the prevailing southwest winds which blow over Ice Pass most of the summer season. These common zephyr winds rip across the main west face, plaguing Hulk climbers, and have been the punchline of many an epic tale of surviving the notorious Hulk airstream beating. In over 30 days of climbing on the north side however, there was hardly a single day when the winds were more than breezy, regardless of the strong winds around the corner on the Hulk’s main face. Every pitch requires a lot of traditional gear and there are also many bolts along the way. Once again the Hulk proves itself King of all Sierran crags!

Pitch Breakdown:

All pitches are roughly 30-35 meters, so retreat with an 80 meter rope is always possible. All bolted belays. Start approximately 300 feet up and left of Blowhard.

  1. 5.12b - After fifty feet of easy third class, start up the slab seam with 3 bolts marking the way. Cut right after bolt 3 and enter the crack. Thug your way up the steepest crack on the Hulk. 4 bolts, Double cams up to 4”.
  2. 5.12d - Leave the belay and step left into the laser cut corner. Immaculate face climbing for 60 feet is protected almost entirely with bomber rp nuts and a couple of tiny tcu’s. Two bolts take the edge off and lead to easier terrain and then to a large comfortable ledge system below pitch 3. 2 bolts, doubles on rp nuts, doubles on tiny tcu’s, and singles to 1.5 inches.
  3. 5.13b - Start up the cutter “Wheat thin” flake directly above the belay protected by medium cams. Then enter, exit, and decipher the laser cut stemming dihedral, eventually exiting right to an easier crack finish and a semi-hanging belay. Ultra technical and awesome! 9 bolts, double set of cams to 2”.
  4. 5.13a - Leave the belay, cut left and around the corner on hard moves. The rest of this amazing pitch follows shallow corners and face climbing on the buttress with bolts and many small tcu’s for protection. Quite continuous and pumpy! 7 bolts, double set small tcu’s to 3/4” (Metolius yellow). 
  5. 5.12d - Climb out right and then up the very technical shallow corner past 6 bolts, suddenly the crack opens up and a final 100 feet of 5.11+ mega classic 2” enduro corner plops you on the summit of the Polish Tower. 6 bolts, double cams from 1.5-2.5 inches, extras in 2” range.

Descent- Although it is possible to rappel the route with an 80 meter rope, a few directionals would be needed. It is a lot easier to rappel down Blowhard (also requiring an 80m rope) until at the Blowhard belay #2 ledge. Be sure to stay on the right face on these rappels and avoid getting sucked around the corner left which puts one back on the overhanging wall of Green Thunder. From the Blowhard #2 ledge it is then easy to rappel onto the north side of the Hulk and the talus field at the start of Green Thunder.

Location Suggest change

300 feet up and left of Blowhard. Look for the huge left facing overhanging corner with a 12 inch crack running up it. 100 feet of 3rd class leads to a belay below 3 bolts marking the start of the route.

Protection Suggest change

Double rack of cams to 4 inches

Including double set of tcu’s

Double set of rp’s

10 quickdraws

Gear notes: Large cams are only needed for pitch 1 (3” and 4”). The next four pitches can be very safely climbed with gear to 2”. Triples in small TCU’s (Metolius purple, blue) may be helpful on pitch 4. The final pitch has a 100 foot corner crack which takes many 1.5” - 2”.