Big Up Productions for sending us the video.
This film shows Lisa Rands, one of the most accomplished boulderers in the US, and crack legend, Peter Croft, repeating his and Dave Nettle's 2004 Alpine rock route on the Incredible Hulk, Venturi Effect (5.12+). Croft describes the Hulk as the best Alpine face in California's High Sierra and the crux pitch of Venturi Effect as the best stemming pitch he has done anywhere. From a man brought up on the granite of Canada's Squamish Chief, (whose on-sight of the 5.13 dihdral there 'The Shadow', in 1988, is stuff of legend), not to mention his Yosemite Valley pedigree, this is a pretty big statement.
"For those operating at 5.10 and 5.11, the Incredible Hulk has some other 'gems', in particular, Positive Vibrations. This follows a series of perfect hand cracks for 500m and is as good as any granite climb I have done anywhere."
In 2005, Nic Sellers and I made the first repeat of Croft's other route on the Hulk from the previous year, Airstream (5.13). Like Rands, we had been inspired by Greg Epperson's superb photos of the face and the climbing. After Airstream we climbed the first half of Venturi Effect, with Nic on-sighting the 5.12+ stemming pitch. Alas, we had overslept and were too tired from the previous day to complete the route. I can confirm Croft's hyperbole though - it is a truly stunning pitch and it would be great one day to go back and complete the whole route, including the spicy upper pitches, from which Rands takes a flyer in the film.
For those operating at 5.10 and 5.11, the Incredible Hulk has some other 'gems', in particular, Positive Vibrations. This follows a series of perfect hand cracks for 500m and is as good as any granite climb I have done anywhere. So venture away from the crowds next time you're in Tuolomne (or if it's too hot in the Valley) and bushwack (only kidding, though the approach is notoriously tricky) your way up to the Hulk. You won't be disappointed.
More info about the Incredible Hulk including detailed route descriptions for selected routes at www.mountainproject.com
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