Szu-ting has wanted to climb a big wall (which is defined by a route that typically takes longer than one day to climb) as long as I have known her. We did some practice aid climbing at Index and Lover’s Leap and then headed to Yosemite to try a route on El Capitan. We ended up not having all the gear we needed for the climb and my thoughts (having climbed a few big walls in Yosemite and other locations in the past) was to “warm up” on something smaller and Szu-ting suggested The South Face of Washington Column. We climbed and hauled our gear up to Dinner Ledge, fixed the pitch above and went to sleep on a spacious ledge. The next Szu-ting got some valuable experience jugging steep traversing pitches and top stepping in her aiders. She quickly realized aid climbing was not all grunt work and there was a relatively steep learning curve to becoming efficient!
Next we headed to the Incredible Hulk in the northern Sierra’s. I had visited the area with Brady Robinson in 2010 and was looking forward to returning. We hiked in set up camp below the Hulk and the next day climbed the 13 pitch Red Dihedral 5.10b. Szu-ting led the two hardest pitches and also did great route finding on the upper wandering pitches. The weather was great, but hot, causing a huge mosquito hatch and they tortured us as we descend the climb. We quickly packed up our gear and hiked out while we still had some blood left in out veins.
I borrowed a couple clips from my previous time in the Hulk