First Free Ascent of Sentinel West Face


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Social climber
carmel, ca
Nov 27, 2016 - 08:17am PT

lol you wish you had half the stoke that other's that have been up there have...and I gotta admit, the sand bag of the WF burned a long time lol.


Trad climber
JTree & Idyllwild
Nov 27, 2016 - 09:25am PT
photo by bob gaines
photo by bob gaines
Credit: BG

Nov 27, 2016 - 11:24am PT

Thanks for telling me what my stoke level and wishes are.

I said this was a cool story, it's probably even a classic route on a beautiful piece of stone.

But it is not IMO a cutting edge route, sorry you feel it is the best thing since sliced bread was first invented.

Yeah it's me, don't worry- I taught them some manners.
Yeah it's me, don't worry- I taught them some manners.
Credit: RyanD


Social climber
carmel, ca
Nov 27, 2016 - 11:34am PT
lol "probably a classic". Good to know someone born decades after it was put up has figured that out.

Now work on your manners.

Roger Breedlove

Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Nov 27, 2016 - 11:36am PT
So, you're the dude in the Superman tee? Do you have a Cleveland connection?
Jeremy Ross

Gym climber
Nov 27, 2016 - 11:54am PT
r things being cutting edge under 5.13 these days......

There aren't any.

Clearly this guy has never heard of yosemite 5.9

Nov 27, 2016 - 12:14pm PT

Thanks for the tip.

Again, congrats on all of this.


Trad climber
Idyllwild / Joshua Tree Ca.
Dec 23, 2016 - 06:57pm PT
That route looks burly from the Steck Salathe.
Proud project!

Gym climber
sawatch choss
Apr 15, 2018 - 06:27pm PT
Super cool line. Check it out:

Social climber
Wise Acres
Apr 15, 2018 - 07:51pm PT
Nice to see the video!

Trad climber
Wolfeboro, NH
Apr 16, 2018 - 07:31am PT
Thanks for the video. Brought back a few memories having done the route in 1971, but certainly not free. I remember that lay back on the 1st pitch, since I don't like lay backs.

Apr 16, 2018 - 07:37am PT
The dyno was awesome.

I think if Bachar would have known of that variation he would have freed the route back when he tried it as he was like one move from doing it free back then .....

Gym climber
Apr 16, 2018 - 09:05am PT
Not knowing much about this history of the route, my buddy TD and I went up there to see what we could do. This was about 20 years ago.

I think what scares most people away from this route is the pitch that's labeled "5.10c OW Fist." At least that's what scared me. I like underclings, so the .11d undercling was my pitch (I didn't notice the A0 tacked on at the end).

Needless to say, I couldn't touch the undercling and flailed on the short aid section above that. But the rest of the route was beauty, even the very wonderful .10c OW!
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Lassitude 33
Apr 16, 2018 - 10:44am PT
Enjoyed reading this thread and Largo's story on the first FFA. Dave Evans and I did this back in 1976, following Bruce Carson's example, and bagging perhaps the 2nd "all clean" and hammerless ascent. This seems rather unremarkable by modern standards, but even into the late 1970s, going without a hammer and pins was uncommon (old style hexes and stoppers being the best equipment available).

I remember those wide dogleg cracks as being super burly indeed. We had borrowed from Mike Graham a couple of his extra wide hexes (#10 hex stock, custom cut to 4 and 5 inches) which at least made it possible to place some protection. In one case, I'm not embarrassed to admit that I stood on the nice platform formed by one of those hexes.

A place where Blue is the new Black...
Apr 16, 2018 - 01:01pm PT
Awesome video.

Loved the juxtaposition of Frost and Chouinard with Ben and Kevin, not to mention the amazing cinematography.

Trad climber
Washington DC
Apr 16, 2018 - 07:04pm PT
When we climbed the West Face in the early 70's that flake was an expando thing we banged pins into. I remember the doglegs as being run out as heck but I always felt secure. The old bolt in the video that Yvon steps on is the same one I hung, hauled and my partner jumared on, all at the same time. Back when we really trusted quarter inchers.
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