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Sentinel Creek Area
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Mental Block 

YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b

   
Type:  Trad, 5 pitches, 400', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: FFA: Dale Bard, Jim Bridwell - 5/1973
Page Views: 3,100
Submitted By: Alexey on Nov 20, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (6)
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Awesome jamming on pitch 2 of Mental Block. The cr...

Description 

This is classic route that has not seen much traffic. The entire route is following right facing corner from pitch 2 to the end. Considered as a good step forward on the road to Twilight Zone
supertopo.com/climbing/thread....
After climbing this route twice I still think this is true 10c, and despite that all individual moves there is easier that start of Generator Crack - you do crux section in the middle of pitch 3 with huge rack and you already not fresh. No way it is 5.9 - it is 5.10
Using one 70m rope is a best for climb and rappel this route. With 60m rope you can have down-climb several feet while rappelling p3


P1. Dirty and not well defined pitch. Bad pro. Start from the tree. First move is very insecure. My partner started on my shoulders to reach a jug. Do not stop at the tree with the rappel slings, - but continue to the right facing corner - the base of pitch 2. Gear belay. 100' , 5.7-5.8.

P2. This is stellar off fingers- thin hands pitch. 100', 10c, Two bolts belay.
double Red aliens, Camalots 2 #0,75 2#1, 2#2 2#3, nuts. There is a new bolt 30 feet up on this pitch.

P3. The crux pitch. It has no well defined cruxes, but I felt two harder sections at about one third and two third of the of this pitch. Most of the pitch is easier to stay right side in, except of last 20 feet , where is thin crack appears on the right side which I used for small gear. You can walk #5C4 Camalot all the way except of first 25 feet.
Pro in order of appearance : #3 Cam, #4 Friend, #4 Friend, #4C4 Cam, #5 Friend , #2 BigBro, #5C4 Cam, #5Cam (old), #3 BigBro, Yellow alien, Green Alien, Blue Alien, Green Alien, Red Alien, #5C4 Cam. 110 feet. 10C. Two bolts belay

P4. OW 10c section there is short. But 5.8 move - entering in chimney with head jam - is amazing and remarkable. Its remind the entering in SS Narrows, but with different body positioning. 70 feet, 10c. Gear belay.

P5. Can be linked with p4, unless you got a tremendous rope drug. Probably possible with double rope system. 30 feet , 5.8-5.9. Two bolts

Location 

As climber trail reach Maniana- turn left, walk about 7-10 min until you see huge right facing corner of Mental Block

Protection 

Nuts for p1&2 and Double set of cams from green Alien to #5C4 Camelot. Big Bro#2, #3. I took Camelot #6C4 , but did not use it. Old #5 is better fit the wide section which has mainly 5" WIDTH.


Photos of Mental Block Slideshow Add Photo
Pitch 3 of Mental Block.
Pitch 3 of Mental Block.
P1.Chossy Start of the route. Above you can see right facing corner - the real route start
P1.Chossy Start of the route. Above you can see ri...

Comments on Mental Block Add Comment
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By Russ Walling
From: www.FishProducts.com
Nov 6, 2008

This route topo as a pdf and more info is available here:

widefetish.com/routes/mental_b...


By Alexey
From: San Jose
Sep 19, 2011

It is interesting feel when you return to route after the while. Both ow pitches felt easier,
and now I can agree with sandbaggers that Mental Block is on easy side of 10c.
But this time crux of all route was 5.8 roof on p4. I can not enter under roof with head jam as before. So I placed my body horizontally - looking in the sky - doing chicken wings and fighting for every inch for few minutes until reach the ledge.
I also noticed fresh bailed slings around fixed nut just before the 5.8 roof.
By Bryan G
From: San Jose
Oct 11, 2011

I didn't think any of the offwidthing was harder than 10a (I'd say pitch 3 is very sustained 5.8/5.9, and pitch 4 has a short section of 10a at the first roof and then the big roof is 5.9/10a). The climb as a whole however is solid 10c because of pitch 2. I noticed on the topo it showed a variation that goes up the face and then traverses into the corner at the bolt. The start of the corner is mungy so this looked like the best way to go. Way harder than the "5.9" the topo gives it imo, especially the final traverse into the corner at the bolt. Then after the bolt it's super pumpy thin hands followed by more pumpy wide hands/cups. The offwidths on the upper pitches seemed casual by comparison.

Also on pitch 1 I began by doing a 5.10 boulder problem about 15 feet to the right of the aforementioned shoulder-stand start.
By david s wilson
Sep 29, 2012

After the first pitches, It was cottonmouth city up there yesterday. So we bailed on the last. I would not link 1 and 2 again as the rope drag was bad ( even with just one piece on P1 ) . Thought pitch 2 was solid 10c with a big loose flake that prevented protection ( bolt is near top of this flake ) as well as grass in the crack low down. I thought pitch three ( I followed ) had no move over 10a but only had one real rest in a whole pitch of OW. There was a crux for me where my knee wasn't fitting at about 40' and then another crux at the top when you face the main cliff. I'm giving this one the 10c as I think on lead it probably is a step up from Ahab or Slack left. The #5 cam really does fit on the whole pitch after the first 30'. Now I need to go back for the top pitch
By The Other James
Apr 15, 2013

I placed a #6 on the first off-width pitch. You can use just #5's since the crack takes #5s just a foot deeper, but if you, say, only have one #5 I would definitely take along a #6 too.

And I also recommend Bryan G's start 10 or so feet to the right, if you're not looking forward to the shoulder-stand start.
By Wylie
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Apr 16, 2013
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

That shiny new bolt on p2 is strangely placed just below where the gear gets good. Wonder why it's not 5 ft. lower where the gear is behind a shite flake that probably won't hold. Oh well, who knows. 3 new #5's would be nice, but who wants to carry that? Good fun!
By Ben Doyle
May 28, 2013

Hot Tips:

1. Bring 2-3 finger sized pieces on the 1st OW pitch.
2. Use a double length runner on gear before the "wild roof" on the last pitch.
3. Bring webbing to replace rappel tat.
4. Wear socks and jeans.
5. Know how to levitate.

Have fun!
By Greg Barnes
Jan 16, 2014

Wylie, just FYI on that p2 bolt, I replaced the 1/4" bolt in 1999 by expanding the original hole.