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Sunset Boulevard is located on the west face of the Bastille. To approach, hike up the Bastille descent trail past the West Buttress, past Blind Faith, and past Breakfast in Bed.
Start from the trail where a wide crack (New Chautauqua) leads up to a roof with chalked holds. Start up the face to the left of the crack, wander up to a pin in a bulge and follow the line of bolts through the roof and up the face above all the way to the walk-off ledge for The Bastille Crack.
This pitch has surprisingly awesome rock, really good pro (it's bolted) and killer moves. I'm tempted to give it three stars, but I think we give too many things three stars on this site that may not quite deserve it. Fred Knapp stated in his Best of Boulder Climbs guide that this has become a "classic de jour" and I can see why. I loved this route. The crux is short and it's near the bottom of the route. A lot of guides call this .11c or .11b/c, but I think it's a little easier, maybe even .11a if you're comparing it to T2 or something. Anyhow, after the crux is over the route continues to deliver with absolutely awesome movement up the steep face on better than could be hoped for holds. Definitely worth a go if you're up on the Bastille. Oh, and many guides also note the optional light rack to supplement the bolts. I brought a few pieces but didn't place any, as I thought the bolts were sufficient. It tops out just to the left of Your Mother when facing the wall at a dead tree (belay anchor).
7 or so bolts and a pin down low. Bring some long draws for the first couple clips.
Reaching for the layback above the crux.
Just another overhang.
Chris high-stepping into a kneebar at the pin.
Chris setting up under the crux roof.
Chris making a key right foot placement on a scoop...
Chris nailing the good high hold with his right ha...
Chris at the good edge; the fun isn't ov...
Chris flagging his left leg so he can move his rig...
Chris getting the good hold above the ledge.
Chris pulling onto the ledge; the crux i...
Sarah setting up under the crux roof.
Sarah ready to make the crux reach.
Sarah at the good edge, making the next clip.
Sarah moving up on steep jugs.
Sarah enjoying the steep juggy climbing higher on ...
This section looks intimidating, but the holds are...
Nearing the top; the anchors in sight.
Alan Searcy - Sunset Boulevard
The first crux, at the piton
starting the crux @ the first bolt
A free solo of Sunset by Matt Lloyd.
One of the many post work drinking sessions with A...
|Comments on Sunset Boulevard
|By Charles Vernon|
From: Tucson, AZ
May 23, 2002
I don't climb sport routes very often, but this is as good as any I've done (I TR'd it because it looked so intimidating, but afterward I wished I had led it). The crux is hard but very short and safe, and after that, with the exception of one move on a slab, it's huge jugs on excellent vertical or overhanging rock for 100 feet, somewhat like the upper part of Hair City's first pitch only much longer and juggier! Amazing!
The only place you might want gear is to back up the awkward move past the pin near the bottom. As an alternate top belay you can untie and thread the rope through a pinch, more or less directly above the route.
|By J. Thompson|
From: denver, co
May 27, 2002
I agree this is a good route. I also agree that this route is probably not .11c. It also poses a question- Is a route that is lead using only bolts for pro a sport route? This one is not over bolted, but the cruxes are well protected. Hmmm....
|By Chris Dawson|
From: Denver, CO
May 29, 2002
Here's what I think about sport/trad with bolts. In my opinion, part of the definition of a sport route is that it is well protected enough that there is no potential for long falls or dangerous ones anyway. So if you go by that, routes like Pansee Sauvage or maybe Just Another Girls Climb, or any pitch with an "S" rating, wouldn't be classified as sport routes even though bolts are the only pro. Sunset Boulevard is definitely a sport route.
|By Michael Walker|
From: Loveland, CO
May 29, 2002
Ditto, Roger (on both accounts) - I was climbing up in the Estes Park area this past weekend and a fall on some of the bolted climbs would have been dramatic to say the least: Index toe before the last bolt comes to mind - there is the potential for 50'er (easy rock but uneasy climbing). Some bolted routes are not for the squeemish....
|By Bryson Slothower|
Jun 6, 2002
Excellent route. It feels like an 11-, but you almost forget that you are in Eldo. There's definitely no need for sketching around trying to will an RP into the rock, I did it out of old habit going for the onsight but will probably just use the bolts from now on. At most sport crags, I think this would probably get an R rating as well as three stars. I wouldn't be too psyched to use only the dead tree as a belay anchor, this route is pretty good at spitting people off. I used some nuts, a #2 Camalot and a long sling to make a solid anchor at the walk off ledge.
|By Fred Vanden Bergh|
Jun 12, 2003
There is now a beefy, two bolt 'sport anchor' that allows a true sport climbing experience, right here in Eldo. (The Action Committee for Eldo web site reveals that this was applied for and approved in the Fall of 2002). This anchor makes this a really fun, quick sport route to do before work. A 60m rope was plenty long for the TR/rap off - the application on the ACE site states that the anchor is "97 feet above the ground".
|By Mike McKinnon|
From: Golden, CO
Sep 25, 2003
I did this route yesterday and it was great. I thought the bolts were perfect and although I had extra gear on me I did not place any. The wall looks intimidating as it is overhung the whole way but there are some great rests (no hands) and all jugs. Just keep pulling clipping and you will get through it. Amazing position and a great route to jump on on the way down the Bastille from another route.
|By Anonymous Coward|
Aug 19, 2004
Hey folks, climbed this one for the first time in a few years onsighted (loved) it the first time, got spanked the second time, flashed (loved) it the third time, the first time up the route was right after it went up and the thing that impressed me the most was the quality of rock/movement and the well spaced bolts. Except for the second bolt, I found the second bolt to be unnecessary and a real energy sucker AND out of character with the well spaced bolts on the rest of the route - my advice to those who follow is to ignore the bolt and go for the good holds. I understand that this bolt may take some of the commitment off the edge of the crux move but climbing in Eldo requires commitment even when on a sport/mixed route. Also, having climbed the route before and after the newly installed chain anchor. I found the route to be more enjoyable, in the style of Eldo climbing, when the route continued to the ledge - c'est la vie = have fun - thanks, Chris.
|By Chris Archer|
Aug 19, 2004
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- E4 5c PG13
A point of clarification to the ac who thought the 2nd bolt above the crux was unnecessary. I added that bolt to protect the second. Without it, a fall at the crux while following the pitch sends the second into space and necessitates lowering to the ground and starting over.
|By Alan Searcy|
From: Pine, Colorado
Sep 1, 2006
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- E3 5c PG13
Though it's too new to be in the Boulder Climbs South guide, I've seen folks on it and kept marching on by without giving it a second thought. I'm happy that tradition ended and we jumped on it finally. The bolts are in good spots, but I backed up the pin out of habit. If you blow the first bolt and your belayer is narcoleptic, you could deck I guess. The moves through the first and second roofs are exquisite and the slab work past the white round inclusion was superb. The end left me wanting more, kind of like a slutty supermodel lingerie show.
|By Chris Weber|
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 4, 2007
I too enjoyed this route and agree that it is soft for Eldo--I felt like I was on the beach in Thailand while powering through the jugs while clipping bolts (in more ways than one). I wasn't sure of the grade beforehand and thought it was hard 10 or easy 11 (not that I am an authority). The runouts were totally manageable on easier ground but I did place some gear (equalized two small tcus)in the stratum below the first bolt as I didn't know what I was getting into. In hindsight, the clip wasn't bad. All in all, this helped my ego in contrast to all the sketchy 10+/11-s in Eldo.
|By Tevis Blom|
Apr 23, 2008
Lots of fun, the start looks intimidating but is pretty solid. A small RP can back up the pin and a blue Alien/blue TCU can be found at the ledge before getting to the first bolt. It is also pretty easy to clip the first bolt and downclimb for a rest.
This was my hardest redpoint and onsight in Eldo to date, felt easier than some 10s though. I'd like to call it 11a, but other routes of the same grade seem harder (first p. Genesis, Vertigo, C'est La Vie). People who haul overhanging jugs at the gym will do fine on this.
A warm up on Hair City yesterday was perfect before Sunset Boulevard.
Oct 4, 2008
My gear (other than bolts/piton): #1 Camalot before piton, nut after piton (can't remember which one but about size of little purple TCU), and slung horn up high (not necessary but cut down on somewhat spacey (but reasonable) bolts. Not many (or perhaps any!) routes like this in Eldo--a real sport climb (with a small bit of supplemental gear as noted). Lots of fun; I wish there more.
|By Drew McLean|
From: Denver, Colorado
Jul 12, 2011
rating: 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- E3 5c
Looks like the pin is new(ish) as it is not even rusted. You can back it up with green Alien or small nuts. It's all good once you get the 1st bolt above the pin.
May 2, 2013
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- E2 5b
4 bolts and 1 pin? How about 6 bolts and 1 pin. No gear needed as the pin is really good. Although if you blow the moves to the first bolt, you will crater onto the ledge. I think the move over the pin to get to the 1st bolt is harder than the "crux" move getting to the 2nd bolt (but this is because I am on the taller side and can reach all of the good holds through that section). Anyways, I posted this because I saw the 4 bolts posted which is incorrect. Mods...if we could change this that would be great!
Great line for sure. Def not 5.11 compared to say the first pitch of Genesis or other 5.11- routes nearby. Recommend a 70m rope, not necessary, but tie a knot when lowering with a 60 as this is a longer pitch than it appears.
|By Mike McHugh|
May 2, 2013
Fixed it, Matt. The online database of fixed hardware is a pretty new feature, and some of the data needs lovin'.
Not unlike much of the hardware in our beloved chosspile.