Getting to the route and gear beta:

Submitted by Russ Walling:
This is a great route! Getting to the base is quasi fuzzy for me. The parking turnout is 1.4 miles from El Cap bridge. Walk into the forest toward the Sentinel until you cross a dry wash and find a climbers trail that also services Manana and Ying Yang. Mental block is the beyond obvious right facing corner. Approach takes about 10 to 12 minutes.

Gear, in order of appearance per pitch:
1. sling, 1" cam, sling, 1.5" cam, 2" cam, 2.5" cam, 3" cam, 4" cam.
2. 4" cam, 4" tube, 1" cam, #7 stopper.
. #7 stopper, 4.5" tube, 1.5" cam, 3" cam, 2" cam
Bring a 5" to 6" cam to push. 5" is probably more useful given the choice.

Topo of Mental Block. To print out, use the pdf link.
Mental Block topo PDF

topo by Russ, Map by SteelMonkey

Additional notes and strategy:

First pitch is pretty chossy and grassy. Not too hard, and soon cleans up once you are into the main crack system. Maybe a bad fall potential, so don't fall.
Pitch two is the main event and is a great right side in problem. You are in the the thing the whole way and it is very secure. Look for the thin pro on the right wall near the top of the pitch.
Pitch three has sort of a hard move out of the belay getting over a tiny roof. From there it is standard fare until you shimmy inside the chimney for the last 20 feet or so. Kinda hard to get into the chimney, but easy after that. The belay ledge has a bunch of loose blocks and crap on the ledge. Bolt anchor with slings to rap from. 60 meter is ok, 70 m is better.... I did it with a 50m.

If you are 6'6" or larger you can stem the entire route. My partner Bob Bolton did this...sad man, just sad. He may not have done a single OW move.

The pushed cam on pitch two is bomber the whole way. The crack climbs like it is low angle and your leg and knee is in the whole way. No worries!
ASCA: Replaced bolts at anchors 2. 3. 5 and the protection bolt 1999, 2001 Jack Hoeflich, Greg Barnes, Peter Carrick & friend

Mountain Project info on the route.


Mental Block, 5.10C
FA: Dale Bard and Jim Bridwell, 5/73































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