Climbing The Hulk tr


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Trad climber
Bishop, Ca
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 10, 2012 - 08:29pm PT
Let me preface my remarks with the following disclaimer: I am not rad.
Having gotten that out of the way let me add that while not rad I am not bad. In fact I consider myself closer to rad than I am to bad. Ok then, here goes:

A few days ago I climbed the Red Dihedral on the Incredible Hulk with a long-time friend and partner. Both being well into our fifties we decided to hike in the night before and bivy, get an early-ish start, do the climb, bivy again and the following morning do Outguard Spire on the way out. Neither my partner, we’ll call her D, nor I had climbed the route before, though we’d both visited the hulk years prior. D climbed Positive Vibrations a few summers ago while I’d done an early ascent (second or third) of The Sun Spot. We didn’t expect to have The Hulk to ourselves given all the hype its received lately and its close proximity to the road. Whatever, we figured, we’ll deal…

What we hadn’t counted on was the rudeness of the two women we overtook after only a few hundred feet. “You can’t pass, we have to hike out and drive back to Tahoe today.” were the first words to cross their lips when we caught up to them atop the third pitch. Huh, an interesting greeting I thought. Maybe you could put it in gear then…

I didn’t say that because D’s a much nicer person than I am and I didn’t want to piss her off. Plus I’m working on being a nicer person myself.

And that’s the way our day went, D or I would spend ten to twenty minutes leading a pitch, bring the other up and spend another forty-five waiting for them, on and on. And on…

I won’t name them, that would be mean and I am working on being a nicer person. I’ll just refer to them as K and K, from Tahoe. If they read this they’ll know who they are. And so will their friends. I’m not working on being that nice a person.

Anyhow, the two Ks not only remained oblivious to the obvious- you two are moving twice as fast as us, this is a big ledge, why don’t you pass… but never once offered so much as a smile or a friendly word. It was really quite sad. In all fairness though, I should add that most of my dealings were only with K2 since K1 was doing all the leading.

Meanwhile, out to our left, on PV Tony was doing a marvelous job! I’ve never met Tony and had no real interest in him or how marvelous a job he was doing but his partner sure let everyone know: “Nice job Tony, looking solid! Yeah man! Way to go!….”

“Did you say something Steve?” D asked me. She was about sixty feet into her lead, waiting for K2s rather large ass to move.
“Tony’s doing a wonderful job,” I said. “Keep climbing.”
At this point several things happened, one was the rope snapping tight in my hand. I later told D that it was my fault she laughed, hence fell and therefore she didn’t get a demerit. The second thing to happen was Tony’s partner shutting up, which was my goal. The third was K2 fixing me with a baneful glare, about which I couldn’t care less.

D and I got to the 3rd class ridge a few seconds after the two Ks. As luck would have it it was a few seconds shy of beating them to the final pitches. K1 informed me that she got HER beta from HER GOOD FRIEND- DAVE NETTLE. At this point she paused for dramatic affect, as if she expected me to faint, or congratulate her. Whatever. ( At this point the author should inform the reader looking for useful information about ascending said formation that some will be coming up shortly and I’ll let you know.) anyhow ‘HER GOOD FRIEND DAVE’ she informed me, told her to do the .10a corner pitch to avoid the chimney of choss. I groaned. I lay down in the dirt. I told D I just couldn’t watch any more and to wake me up when it was over, D hit me, somehow it was less painful than watching Ks 1&2 flail and thrutch and moan and wank.

So if you are looking for some useful information to climb The Red Dihedral this is your moment. Somewhere along the route I found a copy of the Supertopo version (We were using Croft’s topo since he’s our buddy and we goet his guide books for free- he autographed D’s but not mine. I think he likes her better.) and in the
Supertopo Wac says that the .10a corner is a ‘bad choice’ in real life I thought is was the third best pitch on the route. D told me to put in some gear 2/3 of the way up and it would have been nice except we left the 5 inch piece in her garage. But it was still way cool. I pulled over a little ledge the there were the two f*#king Ks, still wanking it out so instead of waiting, again and risking my head blowing up I did some new and most likely unclimbed crack out right on the north side which was ok but not as wonderful as the rest of the route.

I guess the attentive reader will have gathered by now that I didn’t think too highly of the Ks 1&2 and the reader would be right. They didn’t even have the manners to thank us for our patience. In fact, the whole point of this narrative is to remind every one that there will always be some one faster than you and slower than you and that good manners are free. They cost nothing to use. Thank you.


Trad climber
Bishop, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 10, 2012 - 08:45pm PT
We blew off Outguard. By the time we got there clouds were building and my dog was sick of hanging out at the base. the walk wasn't too bad for D. She has this formula all worked out where since I'm 40% heavier I get a 42lb pack to her 27. For some reason I still haven't figured out she still gets half the food.

Trad climber
Aug 10, 2012 - 11:07pm PT
That's annoying. I hate dealing with people's ego and pride on climbs. Just keep trying to have a good time.

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Aug 10, 2012 - 11:28pm PT
No photos, but you painted a very vivid picture! Please let me never be a K!
Stewart Johnson

lake forest
Aug 10, 2012 - 11:34pm PT
welcome to tahoe wherern the bitches are too cool...
its called the upside down smile.if you turn them upside down they smile.
i really dont get it.something in the water? altitude?
its like CU Next Tuesdays everywhere no nice girls here.
import then...
"three feet tall no teeth and green,move to squaw and be a queen
and dream of nettles on the screen"

was it kathy and kate? they are so slow i would of punched both of em
Whillans style.

Gym climber
the secret topout on the Chockstone Chimney
Aug 10, 2012 - 11:41pm PT
Somewhere in Tahoe, a K is getting very huffy right now.

just southwest of the center of the universe
Aug 10, 2012 - 11:50pm PT
Good job Steve,

D seems to be a good influence, and I guess we've both probably grown "nicer" and more tolerant; 15 years ago we probably would've each cordially invited a K off the porch swing with a piece of flaming 4mm tag line for such behavior.

dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Aug 10, 2012 - 11:50pm PT
F the K's.

Aug 11, 2012 - 12:12am PT
Roadie, that was f*#kin' hilarious.

(Dude, what are you doin on here?)

And you are rad. And sometimes bad.

Good stuff.

Trad climber
Bishop, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 11, 2012 - 12:17am PT
Thanks for the nice feedback one and all. Wow Scott! the last time I saw you it was 1999 and we's just done the PO!
Yeah, f the Ks! or at least feel sorry for them. D called today to cangradulate me on my patiance and ask about Keeler. We have a new rule D and I:anything steeper than 45 degrees I get to be the boss. I think it'll be a good rule.
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Aug 11, 2012 - 12:36am PT
ha, ha! this is a really fun read for sure.

Trad climber
Aug 11, 2012 - 01:09am PT
Hate the bad vibes but nice TR

Aug 11, 2012 - 02:02am PT
haha. all too common scenario, but glad it worked out.
too bad the hulk can be such a zoo these days.
we got stuck behind 2 parties on PV. they were cool enough, but really slow, causing us to bail halfway up. I'd take the bitchy K's over slow cool dudes any day!

Aug 11, 2012 - 02:08am PT
Thanks for the reminder that patience and good manners are a virtue.

Trad climber
West Los Angeles, CA
Aug 11, 2012 - 02:12am PT
That was a really entertaining TR, thanks for posting Roadie.

Did Tony end up crushing PV? Did the K's make it up and off and back out before dark?

Trad climber
Aug 11, 2012 - 02:50am PT
Am I the only one who found the OP a bit self-righteous? You are hard. Compared to me and compared to the girls. So cut some slack. Get up earlier or don't climb a route someone is already on. Or ask politely to pass, and if refused accept the refusal politely. You don't have to trash people for climbing at whatever their speed is.

My story. On Cathedral Peak (you can tell I am not hard) with my daughter and her boyfriend. Get to start at same time as a couple. Since they are two I let them go first and wait. Then while belaying first pitch another two guys show up. Hardmen no doubt. They start up first pitch while I'm still belaying my leader. They say they are taking a different line when I protest - which they do for about a 60 feet. Didn't ask, just dropped in. And after the first 60 feet they are on our route and crossing their lines with ours and with the first party. They then proceed to slow down the whole conga line for at least 4 pitches until they finally pull ahead. All up they added probably an hour to our climbing time as we waited for them to get out of the way at each belay. Now if they were really hardmen they would have soloed. If they were gentlemen they would have waited or taken any one of the other 10 routes on the face. If they even wanted to try to appear polite they would have asked. But no. Just climb over peoples lines, bugger up the belays, and act like deserving hard men.

I can say, no doubt sometimes people who pass are way fast and I'll give them 10 minutes of my time if they don't slow me down (or drop sh#t on me) later. But more often then not the guys who are racking-up while droppings names about their last hardman route and asking to pass end up ruining my day by climbing more or less at the same speed I am. But how can you tell until you let them pass? I say first one on the route gets to make that call.

Trad climber
OAK (nee NH)
Aug 11, 2012 - 03:07am PT
Hi Steve.

Your experience, as related, sounds rather frustrating. I imagine the weather was nice, however.

You should consider screaming this next time:

I have been missing your (published) poetry. What gives?

Considering a move back to Telluride. Now, that would be weird. Maybe we can go skiing.


Trad climber
Chamonix, France
Aug 11, 2012 - 06:28am PT
Roadie, I have to agree with you. Refusing to let obviously faster parties past you is one of the most selfish acts in climbing. Unfortunately it's a trait that British 'Alpinists' tend to suffer from in the Alps. They complain bitterly of Frenchies and other continentals, often guides, barging past them with no consideration blah blah etc etc. Never once do they question WHY it happens to them so regularly. Congratulations on your sangfroid, I doubt I could have remained so calm in those circumstances.

Aug 11, 2012 - 06:43am PT
Loved it Roadie. Hilarious!

Trad climber
Novato Ca
Aug 11, 2012 - 09:46am PT
Hey, It was good talking to you in the parking lot at Twin Lakes, We had just gotten down from Matterhorn Peak and you were leaving for the Hulk. Sorry you had to deal with attitude on your climb.
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