The North Sentinel is a striking wall, yet supposedly unclimbed. Likely due to a much larger Grant Sentinel towering above it. Climbed or not, Brian Prince, Daniel Jeffcoach, Brandon Thau and I established the first known route to ascent it's sheer Northwest Face in early May of 2016. To our luck we took a continuous crack system which was taken from the bottom of the wall to the pyramidical summit pinnacle.
We decided to climb the route as a party of four so that we could get to know Brandon, as it was the first time Daniel, Brian and I climbed with him. We managed to avoid most of the cluster-fucks and climb with some efficiency - the leader would tag a line and bring up the two followers, one of which would belay the new leader and the other would bring up the fourth. #stillclusterfuckedit
Most of the belays were cozy and fun - as fun as watching someone battle a hard offwidth could get. After two approach pitches (5.10 and 5.11) we got to the base of the crack systems we scoped. Brandon climbed a pitch to the base of a beautiful splitter, which turned out to be a flaring crack which transformed into a seam fifty feet up from the belay. I bailed from the base and decided to take the wide system to the right. There, I bailed again. Not comfortable running it out up a thin layback flake, I went into a slightly overhanging offwidth of varied #5 size. With two #5s on our rack, a splitter offwidth seemed appealing. I pushed the cam along as I made slow progress and at some point found a nice calf jam so that I could shake out. To my disappointment, the crack never got big enough to knee-jam, although I lost a good amount of skin trying. The crux was transitioning into the chimney, where I found varied, clean climbing inside.
|Daniel found REAL climbing on the 40 meter approach pitch. He is not posing! :)|
|North Sentinel. The chimney system and the big OW tops out pretty much in the middle of the wall (in this photo)|
|Brian throwing down some SEKI gang sighns|
|Brandon and Daniel|
|Crack into nowhere|
|Called it FML for a reason!! :)|
|Me on a little pinnacle on top of the route|
|Our route is the yellow line. Approach pitches not shown.|
Brian took the next pitch, which had more awesome climbing. Slightly annoying because we had to perform a pendulum in order to connect to a neighboring crack systems, as the one we climbed ended. I was happy to follow this pitch as some of the climbing was fairly damn cruxy and likely much more fun on top rope! :) Same could be said for the following pitch. We had to drill a bolted anchor on the bottom and the top of it and our doubles in #5 and 6 inch cams were not enough to protect this beast! Brandon took the sharp end and I was happy to climb in a team of four, as talking shit from the safety of belay and following on top rope was much better than leding! The crux was a overhanging tipped out #6 size. #burlbrah. I barely got this spot clean while following and thought it was about a 5.11 Odub.
|Perfect looking splitter, unfortunately far from perfect for rock climbing|
|Getting into the #5 slightly overhanging Odub through laying it back in the beginning|
|Brandon figuring out the high feet beta on the crux below the main chimney system.|
|Chimney makes you grasp for air|
|Brian on the pitch to the base of the big OW|
|Brian, Brandon and Daniel keeping it gangsta on top.|
|Views up towards Bubbs Creek|
|Daniel getting close...|
|Ran into two idiots on the way down. One of them is Daniel and the other is me...|
|Daniel and Adam on the side there. I am no Tom, but this is the closest thing to El Cap report in SEKI! :)|
|Bubbs Creek Wall looked like a sad slab from the top|
On the way out, I got a few photos of Daniel and Adam climbing mid-way up the wall. A part of me was burning with envy, but my knee and the lower back were burning with pain. Next day, I went to work, following which I had enough PSYCHE to send the gnar at the gym.
|Sick beta for sending the Cookie Monster in the Valley. Don't layback, do splits...Just Kidding|
|Gotta crank brah|
|Brian on Separate Reality|
|Angels Wings, Cherubim DOme and the Globe above them|
|The Fin and Castle Rock Spire|
|Looking west from Eagle Scout Creek drainage|