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Airstream is an 11-Pitch 5.13a/b in the High Sierra

In 2004, Peter Croft established three mega lines on Incredible Hulk that are now must-climbs

In 2004, Canadian Peter Croft and Dave Nettle and Greg Epperson made the first ascent of Airstream, the classic 11-pitch 5.13a/b on the Incredible Hulk in California’s High Sierra. The line heads up between Positive Vibrations 5.11 and Sunspot Dihedral 5.11b and is considered the test-piece route on the wall. There are three stout pitches between some stellar 5.10 and 5.11 pitches.

Approximate line of Airstream

This is one of three routes that Croft climbed in 2004 on the Incredible Hulk, the other two being the 260-metre Blowhard 5.12+ and the 500-metre The Venturi Effect 5.12+. In 2005, Croft wrote a piece about his amazing season for the American Alpine Journal which you can read here.

In his story, Croft wrote, “I can, however, take some solace in the fact that all the factors that have guarded the Sierra from overdevelopment are still in place. Strenuous approaches, thunderstorms, and thin air are just some of the defenses that make highcountry climbing what it is. But the host of variables that make alpine rock climbing distasteful to some make it nirvana to others.”

The pitches to at 5.10, 5.11a/b, 5.11a/b, 5.11b, 5.11b/c, 5.12c, 5.13a/b, 5.12b/c, 5.10a/b, 5.10c and 5.11. The crux pitch is described as, “More technical stemming and crimping on even smaller holds, leads to thin face climbing trending up and left around a bulge to anchors just below yet another dihedral. This is a strenuous pitch that is a bit conditions dependent, and is worth getting to before the sun hits, unless it’s a cloudy afternoon.”

If you’re looking for a splitter alpine 5.13 to work on in 2023, put Airstream on the list. Watch a short video from Gravity Lab that shows an attempt from this year.

Airstream on the Hulk