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Elevation: 5,500 ft 1,676 m
GPS: 39.9307, -105.283
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Shared By: Leo Paik on Mar 20, 2006
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Description Suggest change

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 North face and the West face for organizational purpose. The North 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 West 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 West 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 North 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 Suggest change

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.

65 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Bastille

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 2,253
The Bastille Crack
Trad 5 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 855
Werk Supp
Trad 2 pitches
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R
 499
Hair City
Trad 3 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 850
Blind Faith
Trad 2 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 423
West Buttress
Trad 3 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 7
Wide Country Lite
Trad
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R
 695
Outer Space
Trad 2 pitches
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R
 111
Rain
Trad
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R
 75
Wide Country
Trad 2 pitches
5.11- 6c 22 VIII- 22 E3 5c R
 41
Direct North Face
Trad
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 254
Sunset Boulevard
Sport
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c R
 13
The Spice Tour
Trad
5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 61
Hairstyles and Attitudes
Trad, Sport
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 27
Madame Guillotine
Sport
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
 74
Your Mother
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
The Bastille Crack Bastille - N Face
 2,253
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 5 pitches
Werk Supp Bastille - N Face
 855
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 2 pitches
Hair City Bastille - W Face
 499
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R Trad 3 pitches
Blind Faith Bastille - W Face
 850
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 2 pitches
West Buttress Bastille - W Face
 423
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 3 pitches
Wide Country Lite Bastille - N Face
 7
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Outer Space Bastille - N Face
 695
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R Trad 2 pitches
Rain Bastille - W Face
 111
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R Trad
Wide Country Bastille - N Face
 75
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R Trad 2 pitches
Direct North Face Bastille - N Face
 41
5.11- 6c 22 VIII- 22 E3 5c R Trad
Sunset Boulevard Bastille - W Face
 254
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
The Spice Tour Bastille - N Face
 13
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c R Trad
Hairstyles and Attitudes Bastille - N Face
 61
5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Trad, Sport
Madame Guillotine Bastille - N Face
 27
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
Your Mother Bastille - W Face
 74
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in The Bastille »

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