This an odd, but very worthy, route on the left side of the North Face of the Bastille. I will describe the pitch the way we did it, joining the tail-end of Madame Guillotine
Apparently you could continue further right, joining the Bastille Crack
earlier and skipping the 11a section on MG
, which would probably keep the pitch at 5.10. This would avoid what I thought to be the best climbing, though.
Start up Werk Supp
, and follow that route for ~50'. Look for the prominent, undercling flake shooting up and right. Climb delicately out this flake with frequent and good cams (finger to thin-hands size), 5.10. After the flake ends, move right onto a subtle ledge system.
Here, one can apparently traverse into the Bastille Crack
(?) or continue straight up past a bolt. You have now joined the upper part of Madame Guillotine
. Continue past two more bolts (thin, balance-y crux, 5.11a), and then head up the easy face to join Bastille Crack
at its second belay (fixed pin, 1-2" cams).
Both Rossiter's and Levin's guidebooks give this an "R" rating, but I can't see why. Great gear can be had the whole way. Maybe the R is a holdover from before MG
was bolted and those bolts were added?
Either way, Nexus is a worthy outing for those who think they've climbed "everything" on the Bastille. It's enjoyable, well-protected easy 5.11 climbing on good (if a bit dirty) rock with great pro.
After joining the Bastille Crack
, you have many options. There are no fixed anchors, and you're 140' feet up.
You could traverse down and left to the anchor on Werk Supp
and make two single rope rappels down that route.
You could also continue up the Bastille Crack
, or traverse further right to finish up Outer Space
Standard rack up to #1 Camalot for Nexus. Maybe doubles from #0.5-0.75. Plenty of long slings.