Trip Report
Lost In The Sun/Polish Route- Da Hulk
Tuesday July 23, 2013 11:54am
Where's my opening shot of the Hulk on approach? I mean, how can I possibly start a Hulk TR without a picture of the dang formation?

Perhaps none of this actually transpired on the Hulk. Perhaps this is a completely different piece of ridiculously perfectly steep and splitter alpine granite with a high concentration of five star routes.

Yeah right, there is no such other mountain in the High Sierra. The Hulk stands alone.

I can always count on the Hulk for some full throttle fun. Toettch was already out there guiding his boss up the RD, and with a huge amount (read: none whatsoever) of arm twisting he got me to join them. I soloed around in Tuolumne getting my legs and then started the hike in at 4 PM last Thursday.

Hiking in alone was actually quite enjoyable. I purposely took my time on approach, savoring the landscape and keeping my heart rate reasonable. I ran into my friend Ben who was coming down after upgrading anchors for rappel on the Venturi.

Even though I thought I was going slow, I still made it to the bivy in 2:45. An hour later toettch descends to camp quite happy with the long day guiding. The only shitty part of their day was coming through the birth canal at the top, choking on the pungent aromas of human sh#t. The next day a party would confirm it by not only stepping in the sand covered mess right next to the top of the route belay, but by also READING THE SUMMIT REGISTER entry where the two Canadians boasted of their fecal fecundity. Dude. Seriously. F*#k Canada.

On to better things. Toettch and I had selected Lost in The Sun, a pretty new 5 pitch 12a put up by cultureshock that has to his knowledge not seen any traffic beyond the FA and FFA.

The first pitch starts out as a beautiful laser cut 5.10 corner that goes from hands to nothing. I am jamming and laybacking up a perfect pitch and get to a point where the layback gets more powerful and the feet get more slick. I can see the anchors about 20 feet up and a bit of the crack that leads to them. In between me and that crack is a blank face with fragile nubbins and no discernible holds. And I am already hanging out in a power layback, so I do the only thing I can, and commit to the face.

I reach over to touch the crack out left, to find that it is shallow, flared, and incipient. Bear huggning the edge of the arete and the 'crack' I fight for inches, tenuously bumping the side pulls and stepping through technical foot moves. I'm starting to feel the fear. I continue further, fighting to avoid the fall, fighting, scrapping, summoning. I finally get to a hold that would later be the key to the sequence.

Later.

This particular time touching it my hands are greasing and I haven't figured out how to properly use the hold, and then one of the foot nubbins blows up and my stomach lurches and I prepare for air.

Later.

Although not much. I recover and then a fraction of a second later my other foot nubbin rips off. About 25-30 feet later I come careening to a stop over the corner. Now that is better than coffee. The second go I climb the corner much higher, place a higher piece, then down climb back to the face hold. The moves are still tenuous, but it all feels much more in line with 11a.

Looking down the Pitch 1 corner
Looking down the Pitch 1 corner
Credit: snowhazed

Toettch is able to send with my stream of beta. He agrees that this sequence is way hard for the grade, an onsight of this pitch would be proud. (Though I have a feeling someone did it the very next day. More on that later)

Toettch styles the second pitch and I follow clean. Really interesting sequences over some unique terrain make this short pitch very very fun.

P2
P2
Credit: snowhazed

The crux pitch climbs some wonderful techy 5.11 with bolts to a very sequential, sustained and amazing corner with a 12- crux that continues into sustained 11+. The corner caps off with a cool arete sequence leading to a thought provoking face traverse. Toettch sends after 2 falls, and I follow with one hang, just barely flaming out on the last hard moves.

Past the crux, but still plenty of work to be done
Past the crux, but still plenty of work to be done
Credit: snowhazed

All that try hard has my stomach feeling funky- also possibly because we left all of our food on the ground. I am in warrior mode and launch off into what would prove to be a truly phenomenal pitch of 5.11 climbing. Jugs, shallow stemming, hard laybacking, wide stemming past a roof, and a tricky face exit add up to to a proud onsight for me. Psyched!

toettch follows p4
toettch follows p4
Credit: snowhazed

The fifth pitch is a juggy 5.10 romp to a beauty of a ledge. From here one might choose to continue up another pitch to join RD, or from here you can rap with a single 80. For the record, this climb is a worthy addition to the Hulk. I highly recommend more parties to get on it, with more traffic this will hold its own against other routes on the Hulk.

We cruise down to our stuff, pound some cheese and tortillas, and then start walking down along the base. We had started Lost in the Sun at 11 am, and it was now 330. As if by omen, the only shade at the base was a tiny little pocket at the start of The Polish Route. We hid there for awhile, and at some point said well, f*#k it. Let's go.

Toettch fights hard to link the first 2 pitches in an 80M stretcher of 10+ hands and fingers.

Credit: snowhazed

Following I can't believe how long this pitch is, and how much my hand jam muscle is cramping. The sustained climbing, lack of calories, and beating sun whoop me good, but I came here to play and the Hulk always provides.

I'm shredded as toettch passes over the gear. Last year Townsend led the OW link, and following it was a breeze. But that was following, and that was fresh. I spend the next hour on lead, at first taking my time to dance delicately on the edges and flakes, and then buried in the OW. The first section goes smoothly, and I hit the hand crack. I'm thankful for all of those creek trips as I run it out 30 feet on perfect 5.10 hands. Then the OW crux shows up. Just 40 more feet of #4 splitter, with one #4 on my belt. I fight for fatigued inches. Pulling up the rope, trapping it with my knee, so that I can slide the 4 with 220 feet of rope out. Finally I have to leave the piece behind, and after some cruxy moves I can place the last cam on my belt, a #1, and then run it out hard to the anchor. I've been in some fights before- and I will remember this one for a looooong time. After following, toeetch said, "Jeez man, this route makes me feel like I've been doing battle all day in Indian Creek." YES

I still had nuts, but they just barely didn't fit in the #4 crack....
I still had nuts, but they just barely didn't fit in the #4 crack....
Credit: snowhazed

On rappel we start chatting with some guys coming of Sunspot, and sure enough one of them is cultureshock. Way too much fun to meet the guy who put up Lost In The Sun, and to be able to tell him first hand and immediately how much we enjoyed his route!! A few days later, I get a message from Townsend, the guy I did Polish with last year. Regarding Lost in the Sun, "We followed your chalk marks on Saturday. Thanks." :)

toettch rapping on the left, cultureshock and friend on the right
toettch rapping on the left, cultureshock and friend on the right
Credit: snowhazed

Dear lord I love pulling hard, screaming loud, catching air, sending pitches, seeing friends, making new ones, and even slogging out and driving home. Thanks Hulk, see ya next time.

  Trip Report Views: 1,057
snowhazed
About the Author
snowhazed is a trad climber from Oaksterdam, CA.

Comments
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Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
  Jul 23, 2013 - 12:55pm PT
Righteous.
WyoRockMan

climber
Flank of the Big Horns
  Jul 23, 2013 - 01:06pm PT
Proud day!
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
  Jul 23, 2013 - 01:43pm PT
Lost - nada. Sounds like you found a beauty.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
  Jul 23, 2013 - 01:53pm PT
Sweet!
TFPU
Tad
cultureshock

Trad climber
Mountain View
  Jul 23, 2013 - 03:06pm PT
Rad!! Nice photo of P2!

So psyched to run into you guys and then Townsend and Clay on Saturday.

Another shot of the Lost in the Sun for the folks at home:

Lost in the Sun Topo
Lost in the Sun Topo
Credit: cultureshock

Glad you guys had a good time!

 Luke
ct

climber
CO
  Jul 23, 2013 - 02:19pm PT
Yeah!! So awesome... way to fight for every inch!

Dang, this makes me salivate for some high sierra granite...
Impaler

Social climber
Oakland
  Jul 23, 2013 - 05:08pm PT
That's awesome! Praying for the weather to improve on the WE, so I can go sample some of Luke's work myself. Thanks for the stoke!
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Jul 24, 2013 - 03:08pm PT
Arise, ye glorious TR, arise from the forum deeps and breath in the light.

Outstanding! Three cheers for pushing limits.
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Jul 24, 2013 - 04:12pm PT
You used "send" and "beta" in one sentence. You need a new hobby man. One with a broader, less trendy vocab.


Naw. Way to shred. Rad effort up on the high and windy. Keep the hits coming. We dig the updates from the sharp end.

By the way. If I wanted to take some old climbing buddies (who are now pedestrian backpackers once a year) into the Hulk and just climb to the summit, via the easiest route....what's it like? Is there a class III or IV way up that thing. Would it be a cool "peak bag?" We get together once a year for a hike, trout fishing, cigars and a summit and I thought it would be cool to head up into that canyon and sit on top. How do yall descend? Is there an "old" way up?

Lemme know. I'd be much appreesh.

Scott

micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Jul 24, 2013 - 05:12pm PT
Credit: internet photo grab. not mine.
And Yeah, I'm aware the Hulk is a nebulous "summit". Just wondering if it's possible to reach the top of all the climbing routes in mountaineer's style.

Impaler

Social climber
Oakland
  Jul 24, 2013 - 04:32pm PT
Scott, most people do a short rap near the summit to get off. The alternative is to climb down a bit of easy 5th (5.7 ? or so - I don't remember) that is supposed to be loose. The rest is 3rd class rubble, like the mountaineer's route on Whitney. Probably more than your cigar-smoking friends are interested it.
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
  Jul 24, 2013 - 10:36pm PT
That was truely an excellent blow-by-blow account. Great job, on your super day and on the write-up.

Rather pitiful about the poop, though.
phyl
snowhazed

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
Author's Reply  Jul 25, 2013 - 03:12am PT
That shot of the sawtooths and conness is wicked Scott!

Impaler has it right, Although you could get to the top of ridge where positive vibes et. al. end, but up a lot of heinously loose 4th class out of the north couloir. I do remember seeing a summit register post from someone who claimed to have fourth classed to the summit, but I don't know how. That being said you might be able to hike past the hulk to the pass out of little slide and then ridge traverse over to the "true" ridge summit? Pretty cool place to go back packing regardless, and then you would get to stare at the Red Dihedral and Beeline- which are certainly available to you and your skillz.

Yeah!
Footloose

Trad climber
Lake Tahoe
  Jul 25, 2013 - 10:26am PT
Snowhazed,

Glad you got in there and got some!
No doubt you got the alpine spirit, climb long and prosper!!
msiddens

Trad climber
  Jul 25, 2013 - 03:34pm PT
great report and thanks for the share
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Jul 25, 2013 - 03:43pm PT
Yeah, looks like a rad route! Cool tr & some amazing pics.

Can't wait to go up there & take a sh#t someday.....
Dirka

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Jul 25, 2013 - 03:57pm PT
Awesome!! Berto!!!
snowhazed

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
Author's Reply  Jul 25, 2013 - 04:35pm PT
Sorry for talking sh#t on your country Ryan. While I understand the silliness of hating on an entire nation for 2 people, I call a free pass because the Hulk is sacred ground!!

RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Jul 25, 2013 - 06:03pm PT
Understood Snowhazed, they were probably French Canadians anyhow :-)
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jul 28, 2013 - 08:39pm PT
Awesome TR, thanks!!!!
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Jul 28, 2013 - 09:58pm PT
Great TR, I was gripped!
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