Type: Trad
FA: Briggs & Candelaria, 1975
Page Views: 7,555 total · 36/month
Shared By: Josh Janes on Nov 3, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Interesting route on the west face of the Bastille. Starts out with some dicey moves on loose rock and then immediately shoots up an exposed arete on positive huecos.

I found that Rossiter's topo made finding this climb, based on features, rather difficult. However, it is easy to find - it is the first obvious line to the right of Blind Faith. When facing the obvious Blind Faith crack, look about 50 feet uphill. This climb is immediately to the right of the broken, rotten strip of rock, and it starts next to a huge Christmas tree up on a ledge. Scramble up to this ledge (Rossiter indicates that you should climb uphill and then cut across on the ledge, but it's just as easy to go straight up it to the tree). Begin the climb here - look for a piton and a fixed stopper up on the broken rock in front of you.

The climb initially traverses right on scary rock (requiring balancey moves), and then shoots straight up a chimney right next to the arete, eventually moving out onto the arete. The climb tops out on easy ground (5.4) and belay's at a tree. Walk off the top.

I found the climb to be well-protected but probably requires some looking around for good placements. However, once you move out onto the arete the jugs are so huge and positive that it's easier to just run it out. The climb's hardest moves are in the beginning and it progressively gets easier the higher you go.


Standard Eldo rack (with perhaps some longer runners).
Which way do you start the climb right above the piton??? I went to the left and did a hard mantle with a marginal nut placement...it definitely felt weird and psychological. Jun 12, 2002
If we're talking of the piton that is below and left of the initial dihedral, then I've always started it to the right of that pin. That starts you directly below the overhanging dihedral. These moves are stout, intimidating and not too easy to protect. Blow the moves and you'll probably bounce onto the ledge. I've always thought this was one of the more sustained and tricky 8s in Eldo. At least one solid Eldo 11 leader I know put in about six pieces before commiting to the initial mantle into the dihedral, but again, this was right of the piton.

When you're getting pumped higher up, remember one word - "kneebar". Jun 12, 2002
Where else but Eldorado Canyon would you find 50 feet or more of back-leaning trad 5.8 with a low ground-fall-potential crux? The rating is fair, but you wouldn't guess it looking up on the sharp end. I found Ballnuts a valuable piece of gear for a thin crack that shows up regularly; they set quickly, and when you're getting pumped, due to over-gripping caused by anxiety, that means a lot. Jun 24, 2002
Ron Olsen
Boulder, CO
Ron Olsen   Boulder, CO
There's a bomber placement for a #1 Camalot or #2 Friend above and right of the old pin that protects the initial crux. Also, there's a great crack handhold in the right wall of the initial corner that simplifies the crank past the above placement. Once established in the corner, there's a bomber placement for a #3.5 Camalot or #4 Friend. I'm never worried about groundfall potential on this pitch. Whenver the climbing gets difficult in the corner/chimney, swing right onto the arete and climb up overhanging jugs instead. Jun 29, 2002
Ernie Port
Boulder, Colorado
Ernie Port   Boulder, Colorado
I backed off this lead after four tries, not trusting the piton, and a small cam placement I put in loose rock to the right. I just couldn't commit to that first back leaning move on lead. Fearing the ground fall potential I decided to hand the sharp end over to my younger, fearless partner for a go at it. He had no problem and made it look easy, and its not a super hard move, fairly graded at (8), but if your having a bad day, and do peel...well, you get the idea. The rest of the route is fun. It gets pumpy at the halfway point where you have to move out onto the arete and pull up on several huecos. Good exposure on this sustained route but as mentioned above, kinda tricky. Oct 3, 2002
Rick Casey
Fort Collins, CO
Rick Casey   Fort Collins, CO
Did this Sunday, Oct 6 with James Balasalle. Although a little funky to start, this was acutally a pretty cool pitch, more fun than I expected. Protection requires close examination, but is there. At the start, it is *not* necessary to traverse left and clip an old, upward-driven pin (!). Just plug about a #2 cam/Friend in an obvious vertical slot and go straight up the dihedral. Nearly the entire pitch is overhanging slightly, so look for rest stances. Pro is a mix of medium to small cams and nuts in the cracks along the dihedral, with one place for a big cam (#4 Friend) in a chimney-like recess towards the top. The more you can climb daringly on the big jugs on the outside of the face, the more exposure and adrenaline rush you will have!

The upward driven pin on the traverse out left at the beginning should be removed. It is misleading since the traverse is not needed, and badly placed. Oct 8, 2002
Clint Locks
Clint Locks   Boulder
Kreighton-you found the knee bar. Nice, huh!?

The traverse out to the base of the climb is a cool element of the climb, but if you want a few more feet of climbing, (must usa a 60mtr for this) start directly under the climb just off-trail and choose from a couple of ways: * There's a licheny slab to a fun bulge or, further right, **a short, thin, overhanging finger crack to a ledge, (through a bush or two!). Both ways lead up to the starting ledge. I think they're written up in the guidebook, but I just kinda eyeballed 'em, as they're pretty obvious.

By the way, the 'fixed' nut is no longer there, and at the bottom...sure! Why not clip the pin. With a long runner. Back it up, if you can then go for it! One of my favorite routes in Eldo. -CL May 19, 2004
Tonya Clement
Boulder, CO
Tonya Clement   Boulder, CO
I love this climb! The crux is directly off the ledge and yes, you want your piece to be bomber. I place a red Camalot in a slot on the edge of the mantle...quickly pull up and reach for the bomber hold as Ron mentioned on the left-facing dihedral. The climb continues to back off the higher you go. This is a long fun pitch. You can walk off the standard Bastille descent. Jul 26, 2004
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
From the name, this route appears a casual cruise -- but it is not! If you don't notice the hold mentioned by Ron (it is not that obvious) you can pump yourself silly searching left and right for the easiest way. Once you find it, the next few moves are very committing and it overhangs slightly, making pro placement strenuous. Also a few of the handholds in this section are thin and might snap off.

Beyond this the difficulty eases, although it is still amazingly steep. This climb is much better than it looks from the ground! Jun 6, 2005
Tim Stich
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Tim Stich   Colorado Springs, Colorado
I'm with you George! I found this climb to be rather tricky at the bottom, too. The [balance] is just hard to dial in before you get into the main crack. A stiff 8 for sure, IMO. A very nice line, however. -Tim Stich Jul 10, 2005
This route didn't offer much to interest me. There was a lot of rope drag due to zig-zag climbing at the start. I was unimpressed by the huecos as they are not the crack that Rossiter [described]. Looking for a 5.8 crack? Try Star Wars on Lower Peanuts wall just 5 minutes farther uphill. Jul 18, 2005
Guy H.
Fort Collins CO
Guy H.   Fort Collins CO
No need to clip the old pin, there is a perfect #1 Camalot placement at the lip. I think the old pin is part of a different route which is rated 5.10d. This route joins "Breakfast in Bed" after about 30ft. There is also a fixed nut on this adj. route.

This route felt harder than "Hair City" due to the pumpy nature of placing gear. Fun stuff.... Sep 6, 2005
Guy H.
Fort Collins CO
Guy H.   Fort Collins CO
I believe the route to the left is a Hersey route called Overhanging Talus (5.10d S). With a name like that, you can understand why there is not a line.

Although I have not climbed either of these routes, the route New [Chautaqua] (5.10c) is to the right of Breakfast in Bed. Sep 8, 2005
Jayer Chung
Jayer Chung  
Protect the crux with a #1 Camalot @ 1 o'clock from the old pin, which is unnecessary. I would not recommend this climb for the beginning 5.8 leader. Huecos are fun. Nov 4, 2005
Not sure what you mean by "not a good route for the beginning 5.8 leader" as the route is easily protected and only requires a little [commitment] after the cam at the lip. I would submit that this is an excellent route for the beginning 5.8 leader. Nov 4, 2005
Kirk Woerner  
I agree with Jayer and others. While this is a good route [fairly] rated, it would be (is?) spooky off the ground for a beginning 5.8 leader. Nov 4, 2005
Dylan Waller
Golden. CO
Dylan Waller   Golden. CO
Super fun route, steep, balancy, and tall. I also agree that it would be very scary for a new 5.8 leader though. Apr 9, 2007
Gary Schmidt
Boulder, CO
Gary Schmidt   Boulder, CO
Definitely not a beginner 5.8 lead. While everything is there, as mentioned earlier, it can be hard to find a restful stance from which to place pro for the first third of the climb or so. A nice steep, strenous route though with interesting sequences to decipher. Traverse left from the Bastille trail just past two rather large trees to the start. It is quite exposed, but the moves are easy. May 14, 2007
max seigal
max seigal   boulder
No need to clip the pin or even place a cam before pulling the lip, there is a little hole that you can sling a runner through, bomber and makes the scary move a little bit less frightening.... Jun 28, 2007
Longmont, CO
taimi   Longmont, CO
The 5.8 part is fun, true, but my favorite part is the finish: 5.5 Very exposed buckets. Airy! Sep 17, 2007
Boulder, CO
claytown   Boulder, CO
Definitely NOT for the 5.8 leader. Feck potential on the first real moves in a typical Eldo, rotten band roof. Switch between the corner and a steep 5.8 bucket haul. Go to the end of the rope and belay at the tree.

Really cool route but S at the beginning for sure.

CL May 31, 2008
Jay Eggleston
Jay Eggleston   Denver
Definitely not an S rated climb. After the #1 Camalot at the crux, there is a great placement for a #0.3 Camalot before you commit to the crux moves. The moves are awkward, but you won't hit the ledge if you find the gear. Jul 10, 2009
Jay Samuelson
Denver CO
Jay Samuelson   Denver CO
Sweet route with some fun, airy climbing. I would not recommend this to a new .8 leader though. Apr 28, 2010
Phil Lauffen
Innsbruck, AT
Phil Lauffen   Innsbruck, AT  
This route is pumpy!! I found the red Camalot at the lip to be adequate to pull the crux and then just hang on till you can find something else and get into the rest. Cool 5.8 though. Sep 12, 2010
James Hulett
Boulder, Colorado
James Hulett   Boulder, Colorado
Pumped myself out before finding a crack right and up of the perfect #1 cam placement in the vertical slot. There is a shallow, right-facing dihedral and the cracks are on the right of it. This hidden crack makes the climb much, much easier. Oct 4, 2011
Keith Earley
Portland, OR
Keith Earley   Portland, OR
I almost convinced myself not to do this route about hearing my friends' and MP's comments about steepness, pumpiness, sketchiness, etc. As a self-proclaimed moderate 5.8 climber, I thought the gear was great the whole way (couldn't even get a biner into the pin), there were multiple rests, (2 no-handed), and all the holds were there. Do not hesitate to jump on this if you are on the fence about it: it's a pretty cool route. Apr 6, 2013
Nathaniel Dray
Boulder, CO
Nathaniel Dray   Boulder, CO
Highly recommend for a new 5.8 leader or one with only a couple 5.8s under the belt.

If you feel OK with holding giant jugs, leaning back slightly, and placing easy-to identify cams and a couple nuts, then do this climb. There is very little groundfall potential as long as you know how to stick cams in a basic crack or nuts in a clear v-slot, which any 5.8 leader should be able to do.

Bomber pro, great position. Do it! Watch out for loose rock at the belay, fist-sized pieces could easily make their way to the trail below or your belayer. May 4, 2014
Mountain Matt
Boulder, CO
Mountain Matt   Boulder, CO
As of Sunday May 4th, the intitial piton right off the deck is gone. May 6, 2014
Brighton, CO
plantmandan   Brighton, CO
I really enjoyed this route. Steep and pumpy with contrived moves and numerous hands free rests when you need them. Lots of fun. Sep 24, 2017
Keith W
Keith W   Denvah
Great pitch. The start is quite sustained, but there are jugs everywhere. One of the steepest 5.8s I have done. Look for a good kneebar about a quarter of the way up too. Pro is decent, but you will most likely end up running it out a little. Dec 4, 2017