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Ivana at the crux.
Ball Bearing lies on the East Face of The Sentinel. Start left of Fote Hog (5.7) in left-trending finger crack that protects nicely with smaller size cams. Move right along horizontal crack and gain another left-trending crack. When this crack runs out just below the anchors, make a couple of spicy face moves to the 2-bolt anchor. Either rap from here (~100') as we did or continue up second pitch which apparently isn't too great. Fun climb with good gear except for last 15' to the anchors (crux). Fairly sustained.
Nothing bigger than #2 Camalot. Double set of TCU's are helpful.
BETA PHOTO: Ball Bearing, 5.10a. Under the roof are the chain...
Unknown climbers on the second pitch of Ball Beari...
Al Swanson on "Ball Bearing".
Photo by Blitzo.
Oct 24, 2003
I think the 2nd pitch is pretty good. Getting through the left leaning roof/crack just out of the belay is challenging and just a bit spicy. Towards the top I have gone left both times on the route. You have to extend everything to avoid horrendous drag, and there are some interesting moves. In retrospect I wonder if the right would be a better finish, but I haven't done it.
|By Art Morimitsu|
From: Huntington Beach, Ca
Oct 24, 2003
I agree that the moves off the belay on the second pitch are spicy. if you come off you fall directly on top of your belayer. I finished to the left and don't remember any hard moves or the slightest bit of rope drag.
|By tom donnelly|
Nov 8, 2005
First pitch is 5.9 3 starsSecond pitch is 10a spicy.Very shady & cold route.
|By Tony B|
From: Around Boulder, CO
Jan 9, 2006
Great route, and one of the longest routes in the area. The first pitch is a pure joy and the second is almost as good. I thought the moves up onto the shelf were a little weird - I was prepared to really tweek in some pro above the bad nut that was obvious, but then I saw an inobvious move to get up on the ramp that was more like 5.8 than 5.10 to perform - so I didn't bother. Stop there and look around and it's no big deal. Mind your slings low on the climb and the drag up top is not too bad.
|By tony grice|
May 2, 2006
Awsome route!!!!!! pro was good, moves fun.A gimmie first pitch.Second p. a balancy adventure, I blind placed a .5 for the first really solid piece, you can get a small piece just off the belay
|By Dr. Evil|
From: Boulder, CO
May 11, 2006
Beautiful climb. Both pitches are well worth doing.
|By Edward Jenner|
Nov 1, 2006
Do both pitches, or as one pitch (double ropes helpful).
Definitely on of Josh's easy 10a's - more like 8+ by Eldo standards, but very fun.
Also starting in the left crack (as in the photo above), rather than the one marked in the guidebook seems like the nicest way to go.
From: Boise, ID
May 4, 2008
First pitch is barely 5.9 with outstanding pro. Bring 4-5 long runners up with you. Got to go 2-3 moves above your gear to get to the belay. Second pitch is 10a...little funky and good!!
|By Kyle P.|
From: Lander, WY
May 4, 2008
My bro Nick A. and I intended on climbing Fote Hog which was listed in our "Trad Climbing Guide to J. Tree, 5.5 to 5.9" Fote looked run out. Maybe not, but we looked up at the kick ass crack system that turned out to be Ball Bearing. What a surprise. Butts kicked on the first cold day attempt. Success on the second. An amazing route with lots of gear ops. and clean rock. Face holds show when the cracks end. Good times.
|By Pat C|
May 3, 2009
This is quite an exciting warm up for a 5.10 leader. Moves are tricky, but it's more a mental 10a than a physical 10a, if ya know what i mean.
Mar 24, 2010
Both pitches are excellent.
Make sure to have a hand-size piece for beginning of ramp / crux on P2.
Going right up hand crack after ramp on P2 minimizes rope drag and makes for a great finish up 5.7ish hand crack.
From: San Diego, CA
Apr 19, 2010
On the first pitch I went straight up throught two left slanting slashes and added some diffuculty to the route. If you are looking for a 10b variation, do this. It protects with nuts and small cams.
This was linked with P2 (almost) all the way to the top. I needed more slings for the zig-sags.
|By Tommy G.|
From: Irvine, California
Nov 2, 2011
Doing this in one pitch (+ short finish) is the way to go.
Belay when you get to the end of the ramp before you move over the top back to the right. No rope drag to this point if you manage it well (might make it a little spicier).
|By Trad Nanny|
Feb 13, 2012
I really liked this one and protected the "spicy" moves of the P1 belay with a small brassie but just do the move and sink a C4 .75. The layback after was definitely interesting.
I finished left and belayed in a corner to save rope drag. I think I wish I would have gone right to do it all in two pitches instead.
Nov 22, 2012
First pitch feels harder than 5.9. Crux moves just below and right of anchor protected with blue TCU. Really, really cool route. Can get great pictures of people on Fote Hog!
|By Nick Russell|
From: Bristol, UK
Nov 26, 2012
Be careful not to follow the line on the topo in the Wolverine guide too closely. It will take you directly up the first pitch rather than to the right at the horizontal (mentioned earlier as a 10b variation), and then directly through the roof at the start of pitch 2. I did this "variation" on pitch 2 and, although probably not harder than 10a (maybe 10b tops) the holds are gritty and it doesn't protect well.