American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Wyoming, Tetons, First Ascent of Red Sentinel

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1951

First Ascent of Red Sentinel. The Red Sentinel, a very spectacular 200-ft. spire rising abruptly on the ridge which joins the W. wall of Disappointment Peak, was scaled for the first time in July 1950 by Mike Brewer, Dick Pownall, Bob Merriam and Leigh Ortenburger. The last attempt on this very sheer pinnacle had been made in August 1947 by Hans Kraus, Don Brown, Adolf Snow and Haldon Smith. This party had made 20 ft. of direct-aid climbing on the N. face and then stopped, within 30 ft. of the top, under a pitch that they reported as being not only vertical but smooth and devoid of piton cracks. The 1950 party ascended a steep 60-ft. jam crack on the S. face and then made a tricky friction traverse (60 ft.) on high- angle rock to the knifelike E. ridge. From there they completed the ascent by sensational rock climbing on the perpendicular N. wall. A vertical 60-ft. pitch, with minute hand- and footholds, led to the top of the E. ridge. Thence a 60-ft. scramble took the party to the summit —or rather to the highest point on the sharp summit ridge. Descent was by a 120-ft. rappel down the vertical and overhanging N.W. side. Pitons were used for protection only.

R.P.

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