Trip Report
If you like Off Width, You'll Love Tradewinds on the Hulk
Thursday August 2, 2012 4:57am
The title of this trip report pays homage to perhaps the finest TR on this site- Woof/tahoe523's screed on The Crucifix:

As a supplicant beneath the Sierra Nevada's finest chunk of rock, the sunset reflected off of the the Hulk illuminates my hand drawn copy of Dave Nettle's topo. Over 8 pitches I see "5.11" 4 times, "thin" 4 times, and "5.11+ thin" once on the last pitch. A few days earlier my friend asked what my plan was- and I linked her to Tradewinds. She said "oooh a Nettle route. I hear that guy goes hard in the paint." Good thing I have been getting into good OW shape!

Credit: snowhazed

This season started off in a big way for toettch and I- climbing the NEB of HC and then a week later after being inspired by the aforementioned TR we returned for The Crucifix. Toettch also sent the Steck-Salathe via the Flying Buttress Direct start (not on purpose hahaha). And most recently our adventure up the Harding Route on Conness ( ). I can assure you all, after uncounted meters of squeezing and off-widthing- the psych still flows! To me, the next most obvious route would have to be Tradewinds- don't you agree?

This was my 10th time out at the Hulk. The previous 9 I climbed one of the supertopo big 3- RD, PV, and SSD. Time to step up.

The 20% tstorms scared most away- the other party out there took a semi-bad fall on RD and bailed early- so we had the thing to ourselves on a Sunday. Racking up I marveled at the feeling of carrying nothing bigger than a single #3. A wise man once said "let's not supertopo the beta for this route" and I am inclined to agree- so I will do my best.

The first pitch is 11a thin, and involves some outrageously cool stemming sequences. I linked this through pitch 2 for 200' of spectacular climbing.

Pitch 1
Pitch 1
Credit: snowhazed

Pitch 3 flew by via 180 more feet of perfect 5.10 rock, and then toettch took over for the "11 thin" pitch 4. More truly aesthetic sequential hard climbing- pillar dancing, secret side pulling, and improbable body positions over rps and tiny tcus brought us happily to the bivy ledge.

Pitch 4
Pitch 4
Credit: snowhazed

Toettch styles through the next 5.11 pitch- again- sequential climbing on perfect rock with small gear. I then get the pleasure of a 60' "5.9" pitch- yes that flake is as awesomely detached as it looks. I instinctively reach for the #5- oh yeah- we are not offwidthing today- what a sandbag!

Pitch 6
Pitch 6
Credit: snowhazed

We've cruised the climbing to here, but now I'm up for 140' of "sustained 5.11". This has to be one of the finest pitches in existence! Red, green, and purple c3s forever, with yet again out of this world sequences- heel hooks, arete piches, hard liebacking. I fall a couple times before getting to cryptic blank climbing to reach some bolt protected face climbing in the corner. At the last one I am faced with a "hard reachy move to the belay." My sar buddies had mentioned this- so I knew just what to do. Without hesitation I coiled up into the corner and all points off dyno'ed sideways to the belay stance- stick it?- aww hell yeah!

Starting Pitch 7
Starting Pitch 7
Credit: snowhazed

Looking down Pitch 7
Looking down Pitch 7
Credit: snowhazed

This is all going down too easy- so why not throw in some driving rain on the crux pitch? Fortunately for us there was no boom boom and the intermittance of the precip allowed for the magic alpine air to evaporate the wetness away with speed. Never the less- the added intesity reminds us that the Hulk always means business- especially on "11+ thin lieback". Toettch goes into beast mode and gets through the crux climbing and sends the rest of the sustained 5.10 through the venturi.

Pitch 8
Pitch 8
Credit: snowhazed

You know when you encounter some hard climbing- and you think to yourself- 'wow this is hard'. And then there's that other type of hard climbing- and you think to yourself 'arrg ooh ah oh so desperate wow so hard arg take arg arg!' Yeah, there's about 8 feet of that second one there. I need to climb more squeeze chimney and do about a billion more situps. The end of the venturi does in fact have 6 feet of 5.8 offwidth- where's the #5 when you need it? Sandbagged again.

The 80M rope gets us down in no time and I now have a new favorite route- and yet another route to aspire to send without any falls. The couple from RD left us beers packed in glacial snow- a gesture of significant civility. Climbing the Hulk breeds that kind of kinship. Tradewinds is pure magic- so you should definitely go climb it- you know- if you like offwidth.

bye bye
bye bye
Credit: snowhazed

  Trip Report Views: 5,199
About the Author
snowhazed is a trad climber from Oaksterdam, CA.

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Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
  Aug 2, 2012 - 07:25am PT
the mountain is your sentence;
joy to the adventure villian.

gramatically you are an exclamation point
climbing in and out storied dreams.

that peak!
and upon nettle's edges!
good for you and thanks,

Sport climber
tel aviv
  Aug 2, 2012 - 08:39am PT
Oh man this looks like some FANTASTIC climbing. Thanks for the TR!
The Alpine

The Sea
  Aug 2, 2012 - 10:43am PT

Trad climber
going big air to fakie
  Aug 2, 2012 - 11:13am PT
wow-that looks amazing!

right here, right now
  Aug 2, 2012 - 11:23am PT
Thanks for a glimpse at the good life!

Trad climber
Golden, CO
  Aug 2, 2012 - 11:45am PT
She's a beauty!
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
  Aug 2, 2012 - 11:47am PT
Looks so good it hurts.

Like your writing style, too.

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Aug 2, 2012 - 12:49pm PT

Social climber
London, Paris, WV & CA
  Aug 2, 2012 - 12:51pm PT
Awqesome report - made my morning reading this. Got me psyched for my trip to the Hulk in September.


Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
  Aug 2, 2012 - 01:11pm PT
That is a beautiful piece of stone, and that's a nice piece of climbing. Jealous of your frequent visits....
Jebus H Bomz

Sacramento, CA
  Aug 2, 2012 - 01:14pm PT
Beers in the snow? Damn, that's nice, but the thought of humping those up hurts my legs (that are still sore from my visit to the Hulk). Great TR! Now I REALLY can't wait to get back for PV after my RD foray.

Social climber
  Aug 2, 2012 - 02:04pm PT
Aweome TR! The route looks so clean!

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Aug 2, 2012 - 05:26pm PT
Very nice!

Gym climber
  Aug 2, 2012 - 05:50pm PT
A good trip report makes me want to get out and climb.

A great trip report makes my palms sweat.

A fantastic TR makes me whimper. That pic looking down P7, I am whimpering.

Oakland, CA
  Aug 2, 2012 - 07:11pm PT
Oh so good!

But is Woof's/Tahoe's TR still standing as the finest on the site now that this one has appeared?!

I love it when writers mix basketball metaphors into their subject, so love it. So here's to routes that go hard in the paint!

Final thought, which will probably be annoying but isn't meant to be: Isn't it strange that nevertheless is one word? As a person who works with grammar and text everyday, that one always mystifies me. (This is the kind of grammar comment that gets people slapped on forums, but no need I've already slapped myself for being this way).

This-man-can-write edit:

...pillar dancing, secret side pulling...

Takes me right there.

Trad climber
Mammoth and SLO.....Life is Good!!!
  Aug 2, 2012 - 10:46pm PT
Nice report!

The Hulk is quite possibly the single best piece of backcountry granite in the range.
gonzo chemist

the east coast, for now.
  Aug 3, 2012 - 01:09am PT
there is only one word, and that word is........'word!'

cool TR! The IC looks like one of the best rock formations I've ever seen in my entire life. I pretty much HATE it every time I see one of these trip reports.

  Aug 3, 2012 - 04:42am PT
Really, really good stuff.

Oakland in the house!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Aug 3, 2012 - 09:48am PT
Stellar TR and job, Thanks!

Trad climber
the Magic City
  Aug 3, 2012 - 10:02am PT
Awesome TR! That route is great. That first pitch sure is a stout wakeup! Kinda sets the tone for the rest of it.


Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
Author's Reply  Aug 5, 2012 - 12:42am PT
Thanks for the shout outs.

Nevertheless, never-the-less, never the less, regardless irregardless! :)

Yeah alpine- that first pitch is good stuff, some of the more creative stemming I've ever done. I had to practically fall out of the stem back into the corner at the second bolt- madness!
The Warbler

the edge of America
  Aug 5, 2012 - 12:57am PT
That's a fine looking route, looks like it's got it all. Thanks for the report!
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
  Aug 5, 2012 - 02:13am PT
wow - great TR

Social climber
granada hills
  Aug 5, 2012 - 01:24pm PT
WOW thanks!

Social climber
  Sep 14, 2012 - 05:43pm PT
Great photos, evidently a spectacular climb!

The very first picture is particularly striking. Love it.

Gym climber
sawatch choss
  Oct 30, 2012 - 06:02pm PT
Winter intermission drool bump.

Trad climber
Mountain View
  Oct 30, 2012 - 07:08pm PT
Tradewinds is a rad route! I should have know that I would like it since I dig off-widths...

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Oct 30, 2012 - 07:15pm PT
Sweet.....looks like a great route!

Trad climber
  Oct 30, 2012 - 09:58pm PT
another amazingly good tr. wow st is getting better by the minute

Mountain climber
The Ocean
  Nov 3, 2012 - 12:01am PT
That detached flake scares the crap out of me.

Awesome climb!

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
Author's Reply  Nov 5, 2012 - 08:03pm PT

Trad climber
Mountain View
  Jun 27, 2013 - 03:34pm PT
Bump for a sick dyno!

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Jun 27, 2013 - 04:33pm PT
Notwithstanding le_bruce's grammatical non sequitur, which nevertheless contributed to this heretofore excellent report... inasmuch as the climbing content is good...


Trad climber
CA Central Coast
  Jun 27, 2013 - 04:55pm PT
hats off to an excellent TR!

hats off!
hats off!
Credit: Roxy

Trad climber
  Jun 28, 2013 - 01:08am PT
TFPU- great read, much fun

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
  Jun 28, 2013 - 01:24am PT

Way out there....
  Jun 28, 2013 - 01:30am PT

Trad climber
The fake McCoy from nevernever land.
  Jun 28, 2013 - 01:52am PT
sandbagger! goood stuff.

Trad climber
Mountain View
  Jan 4, 2018 - 10:29am PT

Trad climber
Salt Lake City, UT
  Jan 4, 2018 - 06:35pm PT
excellent bump culture. badass tr!

Social climber
  Jan 4, 2018 - 08:03pm PT
Credit: shylock

looove it. though did not link.. nice one.

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Jan 4, 2018 - 08:26pm PT
"I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General"
This is the very model of a most-majorly perfect trip report.

and something Tarbuster said up thread sure struck a chord.

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
Author's Reply  Jan 5, 2018 - 03:54pm PT
nice shot of that pitch shylock!

Hadn't checked into the forum in many a month- fun to catch an old piece get bumped

winter training stoke :)

Trad climber
Boston, MA
  Jan 13, 2018 - 01:46pm PT
Roberto! Just read this for the first time. Freaking awesome!!!!
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