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The Bastille

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Bastille - N Face, The 
Bastille - W Face, The 

The Bastille  


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Elevation: 5,500'
Location: 39.9307, -105.283 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 1,003,505
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Leo Paik on Mar 20, 2006
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BETA PHOTO: The north and west faces of the Bastille.

5. Werk...

Climbing reopened after flood MORE INFO >>>

Description 

The Bastille is a cornerstone of climbing in Eldorado Canyon State Park. According to P. Ament in High Over Boulder this was once called Chimney Rock and may have been named The Bastille by Stan Shepard in 1957. This modest, 350 foot crag can be divided into The N face and the W face for organizational purpose. The N face is steep, shaded, and has exceptional routes for intermediate climbers and advanced climbers who seek out the mental challenges in addition to the physical. There are those who counts the seconds attempting to set solo speed records here. There is probably little for the lower end difficulty climber nor the high end climber here. The W face provides a wonderful afternoon exposure for the cooler months. Topping out provides a wonderous view of this spirit-elevating canyon.

Once, the summit provided an anchor point for the cable upon which crossed Ivy Baldwin on many death-defying crossings of the canyon. Today, the cable remains testament to a disappearing breed of adventurer. Climbing here began at least in the 1950s. There are legends of Frenchmen swilling champagne during an ascent up this rock on French Independence Day. The legendary, Jim Erickson, elevated himself to the challenge of an onsight, solo, first ascent of Blind Faith on the W face. Today, this remains a crag that holds a special place in the hearts of climbers who have progressed to climb some of the great walls and peaks of the world.

Our climbing history shows the first recorded ascent within the canyon when two Army climbers ascended the Bastille Crack in 1954 according to P. Ament in High Over Boulder & R. Rossiter in Boulder Climbs South.

This crag has been a proving grounds for some of Colorado's finest including: Layton Kor, Steve Komito, Ray Northcutt, Pat Ament, Larry Dalke, Dave Rearick, Bob Culp, Stan Shepard, Roger Briggs, Jim Erickson, Art Higbee, Duncan Ferguson, Dudley Chelton, Jeff Lowe, Kevin Donald, Rob Candelaria, David Breashears, Ed Webster, Christian Griffith, Colin Lantz, Derek Hersey, Mic Fairchild, Steve Levin, Chris Archer, among others.

Some of the finest routes here include: The Bastille Crack, 5.7; Hair City, 5.9 s; Werksupp, 5.9+; West Buttress, 5.9++; Blind Faith, 5.10a; Outer Space, 5.10c; Northcutt Start, 5.10d (likely Colorado's first 5.10 in 1959 by the gifted Ray Northcutt); X-M, 5.10d s; Rain, 5.10d s; Northwest Corner, 5.11a s; Wide Country, 5.11a s; Sunset Boulevard, 5.11b/c; The Spice Tour, 5.11 s; Hairstyles and Attitudes, 5.12c/d; Your Mother, 5.12d.

There are so many variations, linkups that it may be hard to list them all and unmotivating for most to submit these to the database.

Note, there is still significant amounts of loose rock on this crag and pedestrians & cars lie below. Also, there is much aging fixed hardware here.

Descents off the top traverse along a break/ramp near the top to the N side of the rock and gain a 3rd class ramp down to the Fowler Trail. From here, descend the West Face hiking trail (3rd class near the bottom) back down to the base. A few of the routes have rappel descents, but they are the minority.

Come and climb here, but realize that many share your passion for the experiences found on this stone.

Getting There 

Once you enter Eldorado Canyon State Park, you will hopefully find parking within 200 yards in one of two areas. Park. Walk uphill to the obvious bridge across South Boulder Creek. Look up and left. This is The Bastille. The N face is accessed off the road. The W face is accessed off a 3rd class trail just around the corner and up the steep slope.

Climbing Season



Weather station 0.2 miles from here

55 Total Routes

['4 Stars',8],['3 Stars',21],['2 Stars',16],['1 Star',7],['Bomb',1]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',2],['5.8',6],['5.9',7],['5.10',15],['5.11',21],['5.12',4],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The Bastille:
The Bastille Crack   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 5 pitches, 350'   The Bastille - N Face
Werk Supp   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 2 pitches   The Bastille - N Face
West Buttress   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 3 pitches   The Bastille - W Face
Hair City   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R     Trad, 3 pitches, 310'   The Bastille - W Face
Blind Faith   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   The Bastille - W Face
X-M   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R     Trad, 3 pitches   The Bastille - N Face
DNF 5.10 variation   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad   The Bastille - N Face
Outer Space   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R     Trad, 2 pitches   The Bastille - N Face
Rain   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R     Trad   The Bastille - W Face
Northcutt Start   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 60'   The Bastille - N Face
Northwest Corner   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad   The Bastille - N Face
Wide Country   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R     Trad, 2 pitches, 230'   The Bastille - N Face
West Face [Bastille]   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 2 pitches, 270'   The Bastille - W Face
Direct North Face   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c R     Trad   The Bastille - N Face
Interceptor   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c R     Trad, 1 pitch   The Bastille - N Face
Sunset Boulevard   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport   The Bastille - W Face
The Spice Tour   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c R     Trad   The Bastille - N Face
Madame Guillotine   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 180'   The Bastille - N Face
Hairstyles and Attitudes   5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch   The Bastille - N Face
Your Mother   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport   The Bastille - W Face
Browse More Classics in The Bastille

Featured Route For The Bastille
Tom Maino just below the crux on 1st pitch.

West Buttress 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a  CO : Eldorado Canyon SP : ... : The Bastille - W Face
One of the best 5.9 routes in the canyon, with varied and funky climbing. Scramble up below the west wall of the Bastille a little ways to a level section below a large block. The bolts on Hair City should be directly above.P1-place pro and traverse 10 feet straight left above a bulging wall (this bulging wall is the direct 5.9+ start, protected by a bolt, not to be confused with the direct variation above) to a thin crack with a couple of pitons. Climb it for about 10 feet (crux, s...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of The Bastille Slideshow Add Photo
The Bastille from the Rattlesnake Gulch trail.  "Not so big and scary now, are ya?"
The Bastille from the Rattlesnake Gulch trail. "N...
View of the North Side of the Bastille.
View of the North Side of the Bastille.
Winter sun on the Bastille.  The most sun it gets all day during September through May :-)
Winter sun on the Bastille. The most sun it gets ...
View from the top of the Bastille.
View from the top of the Bastille.
The Bastille with a climber on The Bastille Crack.
The Bastille with a climber on The Bastille Crack.
Some climbers on Hairstyles and Attitudes at dusk.
Some climbers on Hairstyles and Attitudes at dusk.
A shot of the Bastille north face from across on the Red Garden Wall on a another beautiful Sunday evening.
A shot of the Bastille north face from across on t...
The Bastille with climbers as seen hiking back on the road from the west.
The Bastille with climbers as seen hiking back on ...
An impromptu arch left after the road at the base of the Bastille washed away. Isn't rock awesome?
An impromptu arch left after the road at the base ...
The Bastille
The Bastille
A shot of the Bastille from Ruper.
A shot of the Bastille from Ruper.
The Bastille from South Boulder Creek.  Photo: James Beissel, October 2008.
The Bastille from South Boulder Creek. Photo: Jam...
Kids, get off the road, it's dangerous.
Kids, get off the road, it's dangerous.
Climber on the Bastille late in the afternoon.
Climber on the Bastille late in the afternoon.
Summer 2013 pre-flood.
Summer 2013 pre-flood.

Comments on The Bastille Add Comment
Show which comments
By Paul Hunnicutt
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 19, 2007
Last week two base jumpers launched themselves off the Bastille. Everyone turned around to watch as the parachute made a huge pop when deployed. It was quite amazing to watch, but seemed just super sketchy. The chute opened probably half way down and it seemed rather easy to be blown onto the towers across the river. Still pretty amazing...I'm guessing this is illegal? But does anyone know? Curious to see if anything happened to them as I can only imagine the rangers saw it.
By Tom Hanson
Sep 19, 2007
Hank?