Yes, the Sentinel's head angle sits in what used to be downhill bike territory, but that doesn't mean it climbs like a big, sluggish gravity sled – far from it, in fact. The overall weight is very reasonable, especially considering the lack of any lightweight carbon components, and it felt more energetic on the climbs than I'd expected.
The 76.9-degree seat tube angle is in-line with the latest batch of bikes I've been testing, as is the 613mm top tube length. Those numbers, combined with the 30mm rise bar meant that I felt right at home the moment I sat on the Sentinel.
It's on straight ahead, technical sections that the Sentinel's length and head angle are beneficial – there's a level of slow-speed stability that makes it easy to maintain forward progress on tricky, chunky climbs.
There was minimal pedal bob during seated climbing, and a small amount of motion from the shock when I shifted my weight forward during out of the saddle efforts. Overall, I was content leaving the shock in the fully open position for the vast majority of the time. I'd put its climbing manners on par with those of the new Norco Sight, and a little behind the Ibis Ripmo, which has a shorter wheelbase and a slightly more efficient feeling suspension design.
Now, in saying all this, the Sentinel is still more focused on the descents than the climbs. It's very manageable on tamer terrain, and I was perfectly content pedaling it around for 4-6 hours at a time, but it also isn't going to deliver that super snappy, turn-on-dime feeling that would come with something shorter and steeper.