Trip Report
Sunspot Dihedral + 30% TStorms + a Deer =.......
Wednesday September 14, 2011 2:27pm
Aug 27th 3:30AM The TM campground is repeatedly pierced by the screaming whines of a horse. At 4:30 AM the cacophonous neighing is still going as we drive away towards Bridgeport. Maybe the horse knew something we didn't and was trying to warn us, instead we conclude that less sleep is just what we needed to send.

The sky is thick and overcast at 6 AM in mono village. We should probably make haste down the trail and realize halfway to the Hulk that we left our helmets in the car. Nice- who needs helmets on the Hulk anyways? I've been fortunate to make it out to the Hulk 8 times, but this was the first time the weather was clearly swirling and folding on itself. As though the monolith itself doesn't inspire ample anticipatory feelings! We cross paths with several climbers who are on their way down, fleeing the inevitable. We receive many looks of incredulity, of judgment that we are stupid etc. I reason aloud with one guy that the clouds are pushing north and east so it will probably miss us... or it will collide with everything on the east side, build to massive proportions and then turn back west to destroy us. He smiles and says- "only one way to find out!" After 2 hours and some change we are at the base of the talus field.

Credit: snowhazed

Hulk from the North
Hulk from the North
Credit: snowhazed

With a the weight of uncertainty in my belly I look at the clouds one last time, half hoping for a lightning strike so we can call it all off. Instead about 80 feet up I am hit with the first of many raindrops. Now its just funny. I link the first 2 pitches to the terrace and bring Jared up.

Credit: snowhazed

Dihedral is part of the name of the route, so we will be sheltered right? Jared onsights the amazing 10c traverse pitch that finishes with the balancey 10b corner. Now I am at the base of the enduro corner, and sure enough the weather lets off and its go time. In my mind if I can make it past the 11- stemming with 15 feet of rps then I was going to send the pitch. Soon I'm stemming, bridging, and hand foot matching and feeling like an all around rock star. The corner opens up to mostly fingers size with sustained mid 5.10 climbing and I am crushing. I get to the rest before the final 20 feet of 10+ liebacking and see just one cam left on my belt that will fit. I launch up into the lieback, and about 10 feet above the last piece I start making those climber screams that go some thing like "DAT!" and "DEEE-AAP!" with each move. The next sound is "wooooooo hoooo!" as I take the biggest ride of my life in the alpine. A little slack and the dynamic elongation of a 9.2 rope add up to a nice 20+ whip into space. Sometimes this feels more rewarding than sending the pitch. Finish it up fine after a rest. Then Jared comes up and onsights the crux pitch. Proud! Here he is above the burly 11b boulder problem in the great 5.10 corner of the sunspot.

Credit: snowhazed

The weather starts to break and we hoot and holler our way up the last amazing pitch. After the 11- liebacking there is a 10c step right that offers exposure of the finest caliber.

Almost there!
Almost there!
Credit: snowhazed

The 80m rope gets us down Solar Flare, Airstream, and the Polish- and victory is ours!

Credit: snowhazed

We tromp out of there with one thing on our mind. The Mobil. We hit the car for a roundtrip time of 13 hours. It's in the bag! Right? Right? Wait, the horse had been warning us about something.... nah nevermind.

Halfway to Bridgeport a car going in the opposite direction starts flashing me with his brights. I drive an Audi with the xenon headlights so I often get people flashing me who think my brights are on when they aren't- but I still veer to the right a bit- but unseeing as the brights of the other car are blinding me. Then- Dink! Ssssssssshhhhhhhhh! And my tire goes instantly flat. We managed to clip a deer that had already been hit and was down in the middle of the road. The only part of my car it touched was the valve stem- snapping it in half! The tire was fine, but the wheel was done. Maybe I can change out the spare fast enough to get to the Mobil? The Germans in their infinite wisdom put bolt locks on the tires, because people are constantly trying to steal audi tires? Good thing they gave me the wrong key in the kit. Tired and defeated we eat cheese and a snickers and wait on the side of the road with no cell reception until a us forest ranger finds us. A little while into all of this, the deer gets up and walks away. No joke. Yep, he was clearly working with the horse!

A rest day at Budd Lake with mycological enhancement, and a 45mph trip back to Oakland on the spare finish off a perfect weekend! Yeah Mountains!

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About the Author
snowhazed is a trad climber from Oaksterdam, CA.

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  Sep 14, 2011 - 02:31pm PT


Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
  Sep 14, 2011 - 02:41pm PT
"We managed to clip a deer that had already been hit and was down in the middle of the road."

You didn't, "Put four in the head and one in the A$$???


Great TR!!!

Mountain climber
  Sep 14, 2011 - 02:54pm PT
lol, an epic like no other...

Oakland, CA
  Sep 14, 2011 - 03:00pm PT
A little while into all of this, the deer gets up and walks away. No joke... A rest day at Budd Lake with mycological enhancement...

Sure about chronology, or was it enhancement, and THEN the dear stood up, tightened his purple suspenders and melting bowtie, and shimmied away stage-left? :)

What a great TR, thanks for that. Had anything gone wrong you'd have the Mon Morning QB's all over you for risking the wx, but going into the teeth of it all can and does work out sometimes. Good mountain resilience on you two.

High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
  Sep 14, 2011 - 03:02pm PT
I'm jealous, way to go.

The storm stuff is way over-talked. Good on you for pushing on.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Sep 14, 2011 - 03:15pm PT
Great write up. Proud line and great sense of humor. I would chase and beat the sh#t out of that deer.

  Sep 14, 2011 - 03:45pm PT
"with mycological enhancement..." Ahhh, wish I could have been there for that. Beautiful photos. Proud send boys!

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Sep 14, 2011 - 04:22pm PT
Excellent! The deer ending makes it seem like a movie, maybe the prequel to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

Trad climber
Station Wagon, USA
  Sep 14, 2011 - 05:22pm PT
13 hours CTC, 20' whipper on a 9.2 and climbing 11+ (rain decimal system) while the rest of us cower? Yeah, there was only one way to find out and you were rewarded for your fortitude. You guys are awesome!

Trad climber
The land of Fruits & Nuts!
  Sep 14, 2011 - 09:07pm PT
Ha ha, I'm pretty sure I was the dude you met on the trail headed down that said "only one way to find out" or something to that effect.

We'd already climbed a bunch of crap up there and only had desire to climb the Polish route that day and used the weather to talk us into a change of venue. Try and climb some mid .10 O.W. in a possible thunderstorm or head over to the Sonora Pass HWY for some craggin in the lost world with food and beer.. No brainer for us.

Glad to hear you guys made it out of there without inconvenience.

Awesome TR.
adam d

  Sep 14, 2011 - 09:42pm PT

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Sep 14, 2011 - 10:11pm PT
You sir are burlY!

Proud send. Miss you Berto!

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
Author's Reply  Sep 15, 2011 - 02:08am PT
Thanks everyone!

Salamanizer- you had climbed sunspot the day before? If so it was definitely you.

Dirka I miss you too bud!

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
Author's Reply  Sep 15, 2011 - 07:34pm PT
man these things dont stay around very long do they- mainly bumping this for my shout to Dirka

Dirka I say!

Gym climber
  Sep 15, 2011 - 09:16pm PT
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Sep 15, 2011 - 10:55pm PT
Sweet, love the dear getting up part, way to make the most of a rainy day!!!!

  Sep 16, 2011 - 12:43am PT

  Sep 16, 2011 - 12:48am PT
Nice TR.

But cheese and crackers or fresh deer meat?

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
  Sep 19, 2011 - 08:02pm PT

right here, right now
  Jul 12, 2012 - 10:19pm PT
Bump for feeling like an all-around rockstar, for a deer playing dead, for mycological enhancement!

Recommend disarming the Audi wheel locks. Yo.

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Jul 13, 2012 - 12:25am PT
Another great Hulk trip I missed!

Thanks to whoever put the bump on this!
Inner City

Trad climber
Portland, OR
  Jul 13, 2012 - 12:51am PT
Loved the TR! You bad-ass rock motha fu...the car problems on exit make the report even better.

'a little while later, the deer walked away' --a priceless line!


Trad climber
Hustle City
  Jul 13, 2012 - 09:05am PT
Awesome send berto! I very much miss climbing with you.

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Jul 13, 2012 - 10:18am PT
Well written! Thanks.
The Alpine

The Sea
  Jul 13, 2012 - 10:21am PT
Budd Lake is a great spot for mycological enhancement.

Nice job climbing into the unknown.

Thanks for the inspiration.
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