The Incredible Hulk, free routes. On July 3, Peter Croft, Dave Nettle, and Greg Epperson established Airstream (V 5.13), considered the most difficult free climb in the High Sierra. In August, Croft returned to the Incredible Hulk with Andrew Stevens and Hans Steingartner to put up Blowhard (IV 5.12+). Finally, on September 4 Croft and Nettle finished the season with another new route, The Venturi Effect (V 5.12+). See Croft’s feature article in this journal for details.
East Fuller Butte, Eagle Buttress, and Eagle Dihedral free ascent. Dave Nettle and I may have made the first free ascent of Eagle Dihedral (IV 5.11-or 5.10 A2) on August 21. We freed the crux pitch after wiggling the original pitons out by hand. This route was established by Galen Rowell and Jerry Coe in 1971. This natural line starts with a sparsely protected groove chimney and ends with a steep, spectacular hand crack. Dave and I also established a new seven-pitch line left of Eagle Dihedral. Eagle Buttress (5.11+ AO) consists of well-protected face climbing that links natural features. The first pitch (some bolts) starts at the base of the 4th/5th class ramp of Eagle Dihedral. The line is almost free, except for 5 feet on the third pitch.