NW Adventures,  Maps & GPS Tracks

Gothic Rock (attempt) 5-17-15

Gothic Rock (Five Finger Sentinel), in central Oregon, 35-miles north of Sisters. Not sure when the last time this rock was climbed, but I do know that it’s been a long time since it’s been climbed by the route we went up. The first pitch was covered in thick moss over a truck load of powdery dirt. Lots of nice ledges to step on if you can dig them out under all the dirt. The crux is at the top of the first pitch…the rock is really loose with limited placements. We all got up to the saddle, and contemplated…two of us decided to rap off the ugliness. I took the sharp end up the final pitch for a ways, till I didn’t feel comfortable with all the looseness…and the large rack of gear constantly grabbing the looseness. I kept imagining moving the one rock that was holding Gothic together.
Fun Shit, Fun Day!! I felt honored to be with this team that has so much experience on this adventure junk. Today’s team: Tim Olson, Mike Schoen, Keith Campbell, Matt Carter, and me, Karl Helser.

First good look at Gothic Rock…Whoa!!

Looking up the first pitch gully…

Karl after leading the second half of the first pitch…

Second pitch. I got to where the red line ends…

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9 thoughts on “Gothic Rock (attempt) 5-17-15

  1. ronda

    We tried gothic rock too. Loved the first pitch. Scott bailed off second pitch in roughly same spot. Has anyone in last 10 years finished 2nd pitch?

  2. Karl Helser Post author

    Ronda, not that we know of…and as much dirt we swept off of the ledges on the first pitch, I don’t think so. Next time we plan to do the east face…much more solid rock. Will bring the Bosch… 🙂

  3. B

    Hey guys, we just sent it today.

    Appreciate all the beta and cleaning of that first gully pitch 🙂 I just got home from the climb, but I will write up a TR of our outing and post a link here. We ended up going right of where you guys went. If I could some up the climb with one word? Terrifying.



      1. B

        Hey Karl, I don’t usually blog (too busy climbing) but I felt obligated to create a TR for this, mainly because of the severe lack of beta. I put up a TR on my website:


        I would never recommend this climb to anyone, but at the same time, I love adventure – so if I can help I try. 🙂 Thanks for putting up the Steeple route. Would you mind sending me the directions to it? I’m happy to share any beta you need for climbs around here and Eastern Oregon. Let me know if you get out this way.



        1. Karl Helser Post author

          Cool! Thanks for sharing your Gothic Rock TR. Great pics…and the lines you drew are worth a thousand words! What kind of pro did you use once half way up the final pitch.
          The Steeple…a fun spire. Doesn’t see much business, so it was pretty dirty, although not as dirty as Gothic. We updated the anchor on top of the Steeple, and added a few bolts on the final pitch, so it’s a safe climb now. You can email me here (karlhelser@comcast.net) and I can get back to you with directions to The Steeple.

          Twin Pillars is still on my list…just say’n

          1. Brandon

            Hi Karl,

            Yeah, no problem – hopefully it helps. On the last pitch I believe we used #1 and #2 camelots and I don’t recall anything else. I do remember that the pro was very suspect and not something you would want to test.

            Thanks for Steeple beta, I will email you here soon. Also, I hear you on Twin Pillars, it’s still on my list as well. 🙂



    1. Karl Helser Post author

      Hi Matt,
      It’s very easy. The road is a nice gravel road that you can speed most of it at 30-40mph. The parking spot is about 34 miles from Ray’s in Sisters. I don’t have the road number here at work, but I can get it and email you. I also have a GPX track from Sisters to the rock…so who need the road numbers! If you want the track, let me know. The parking spot is only about .75 of a mile to the base of the rock, so not much of a hike or approach. The surrounding area is pretty rugged, but wide open and great for cross country.


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