The Spice Tour
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One of the beauties of climbing on the north side of the Bastille is the ability to combine pitches from neighboring routes, in effect selecting the "tour" you want to climb. One such excursion, dubbed "The Spice Tour", takes on several runout, serious pitches which together form a cohesive climb.
Begin with "Interceptor" (5.11b R), a beautiful pitch of face climbing which heads straight up from the "direct start" to XM, on the north side of the Bastille between Wide Country and the Northwest Corner. A moderate, runout section leads to the crack-flake (fixed pins) just left of the obvious offwidth start to XM. Place gear as high as possible in the flake, and when it ends punch straight up onto the blank slab (a green Alien can be placed before the hard move). Have a long runner handy to wrap a flake for pro on the 5.10 slab. Now climb easily to the chain anchors at a small stance (the top of Wide Country P1, and XM P2).
Pitch two climbs "Inner Space" 5.11b R/X. Head out right from the belay past a superfluous bolt, to a corner (directly above the crux of the NW Corner) and climb up and left to a left-leaning flake overlap. Place gear, then runout 25 feet on thin face (5.10a X) to a bulge with a seam-crack in it (good pro). Now climb a short, difficult 5.11b section, and climb straight up the crack (5.9, you are now on upper XM) to the large ledge at the base of the upper Bastille headwall (below the last pitch of Outer Space).
Pitch three climbs "Saturnalia", 5.11b PG, an exciting direct finish on the headwall. Climb a short but unprotected 5.8 section on slopey jugs (watch loose rock) to a bolt. Make a difficult pull, then up and slightly left to a second bolt. Climb the short, left-facing corner directly above the bolt (5.11b) to a hollow-sounding flake system which leads up, slightly left, then back right to the top. A direct finish, climbing out right from the flakes, has been toproped, but so far (to my knowledge) has not been led (5.11c or d).
There, you've done "The Spice Tour".
Standard Eldo rack, with RPs, Aliens to a 2.5" cam.
|Comments on The Spice Tour
|By Steve Annecone|
Jun 23, 2004
Wow! Got on this wild route recently and we completed the first 2 pitches (ran out of time to do the 3rd). Although I got scared and backed off the 1st pitch, it wasn't too bad in retrospect, with pro at your feet during the crux moves (the green Alien), then much easier moves to the flake pro mentioned above. The next pitch (Inner Space) was much scarier, real glad I wasn't leading that! The crux felt very technical, even for Eldo, and I would rate it 11c.... at least the pro there was reasonable, pretty good gear at your feet as you start the hard moves. The dihedral above that was very funky and awkward and felt like solid 5.10, but the pro here was decent. The quality is absolutely excellent throughout, funny how some of the best routes in Eldo are the spiciest!
|By Rob Kepley|
May 27, 2006
rating: 5.11b R
An outstanding link-up! Climbed this today with my bro Joe. I got Interceptor and Saturnalia, he sent Inner Space. Interceptor is such a classic pitch. Just keep it together, the run-out is not too bad. I followed Inner Space after this. This is one fantastic journey up the Bastille. It wasn't quite as desperate as I thought it would be. All the really big run-outs are on moderate rock. I think the spookiest part on lead would be getting over to the top of the Northwest Corner. There is absolutely no pro in this section. The crux is protected with bomber pro at your feet. Saturnalia was a good pitch. It sorta wanders a bit. Totally out of character with the previous two pitches. All in all, The Spice Tour is great climb.