Type: Trad, 230 ft, 2 pitches, Grade II Fixed Hardware (5)
FA: FA: Briggs, Foster, 1967. FFA: P1: Erikson. P2-4: Ferguson, Peterson, 1972
Page Views: 5,026 total · 27/month
Shared By: Tony B on Jul 15, 2003
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Seasonal Closures Details


This route sees some traffic, but is one of the less-traveled 'popular' routes on the Bastille. The name, Wide Country, does nothing to describe the cracks in it, which are seldom larger than small-stoppers. The name more well describe the amount of territory covered in order to climb the route - lots of back and forth and rising traverses, some of which are not closely protected. The route is good, with a typical Eldo crux on the first pitch. It's thin, a little off balance, and committing, but well protected. After the crux, the route lets up enough to let you recover from your pump, or climb despite it. The second pitch is more obscure and less protectable, but can be avoided by doing the (superior) finish on X-M to Outer Space.

To climb the route: P1: Begin to the right of Bastille Crack and start up into a shallow, left-facing, 5.9 dihedral, climbing up past scant protection (if you bother with any) and after some distance getting gear and stepping right into a second, more broken corner system. At the top of these cracks, perhaps 70' up, you arrive at a decent fixed pin, and then a bolt. Clip the pin with a long runner, then the bolt with a short one, then go hard left through the crux. 2 bolts lie above this previous pin, but are of a different route. From the bolt go up and left on mild runouts through easier territory, aiming for the bottom left side of a hanging flake. Place gear along the way on long runners if desired. On the hanging flake, you can place a 0.75" (+/-) cam or two on a long runner on its left side before launching out under it and up under it to the right, where another cam can be placed 1-1.5" before rising up under the flake (5.10b/c, S?) to a right-facing corner to reach the bolt and chain anchor. According to the Rossiter book, the climbing can be made easier but no less runout by traversing out on the face and then climbing upwards to skip the rise under the flake. The bolted belay is good; it would require 2 ropes to rap from.

P2-P3: An obscure and seldom done line traverses directly left from the belay and then climbs up a fairly indistinct line parallel to the Bastille Crack. (with a fixed pin at the first crux, and gear at the second). Then follow a left-facing corner (10b,S) left of Hairstyles and Attitudes to the top. P2-P3: Better yet, from the bolted belay, continue on X-M to Outer Space or one of the many other possibilities.


A few fixed pieces along the way, particularly protecting the crux. The trad gear is RP's + stoppers + narrow cams to 2". Don't bother with doubles of anything. Take a good number of 2' runners. There are significant runouts in the 5.9-5.10- grade, but after the crux, falls would probably be clean and relatively safe.


Also, if you do the entire route (which nobody does) you will agree that the crux of the climb is moving left from the XM belay, which involves a move harder than anything on the first pitch. See "The Direct North Face" for a description of the "route" as it is commonly done these days.-SL Jul 18, 2003
The third pitch is a "must do" for all us sandstone junkyard junkies. Jul 18, 2003
I agree with the comment by Anonymous Coward that: "the traverse to the left off the XM belay is the crux of the climb" rarely is this interesting little piece of climbing attempted. In all my years around Eldo I've never seen anyone even try it. It's a mystifying no-hands high step onto a nubbin. I've lead this section a few times and must say that when one puts it into the context of Duncan Ferguson and Don Peterson in EBs on-sighting it ... it's really quite impressive. Try it and see for yourself. It's a bit of a run-out and may give you a dry throat! Kevin Worrall and I did a nice finish to this climb as well. The climbing extends the original line and maintains the standard and personality of the route. Description of the pitch is in Steve Levin's Eldorado climbing guidebook. Nov 15, 2004
This was one of the harder 11a climbs I've attempted in Eldo. The slightly awkward and fairly scary though short crux seems a bit harder than 11a to me - also, if you blow it you'll swing down and right, into the small broken dihedral that you traversed from (could hurt quite a bit). Granted, I hate to fall, so a mental edge is needed here, and for the RO that follows the crux. The RO sections of 5.9 climbing that precede the crux aren't too bad, and the climbing is really nice; though a fall shouldn't be considered a choice. I'd certainly give this climb a balzy rating. BTW, the rock is absolutely bomber. Oct 5, 2005
Jeff Chapman
Boulder, CO
Jeff Chapman   Boulder, CO
I did the first pitch again today. Even more classic than I remember. One thing concerned me, though. There is a block that you have to pull on at the end of some run-out climbing just before the crux. It is actually what you're standing on just before launching into the crux. This block sounded very loose when I tapped on it. Perhaps it has always been this way, and I've just never noticed before. Does anyone know whether it has always been loose, or has it only become so recently? The above comment about the rock being absolutely bomber makes me wonder. Anywhay, be careful, but don't be deterred. Just try not to pull out on it. Oct 14, 2005
Wyatt Payne
Littleton CO
  5.11a/b R
Wyatt Payne   Littleton CO
  5.11a/b R
Sick Onsight, if you are reading this page to gather beta before you climb it you are missing out on a great gut check. Stop reading now while you still can! Even with beta I think it's a stout lead, it seemed more scary than XM. Bring lots of runners and balls. Don't fall it looks like it hurts more than your ego. Aug 12, 2007
Scott Bennett
  5.11a PG13
Scott Bennett   Michigan
  5.11a PG13
I really enjoy this climb, it's a great quick single pitch to do in the summer. I don't feel that it's particularly dangerous, all the runouts are on much easier ground and the crux is very safe (though hard!).
I found that double ropes really helped to maximize the pro on this pitch. Jan 22, 2009
Lisa Montgomery
Golden, CO
Lisa Montgomery   Golden, CO
After the crux at the bolt, you can place a finger-sized piece or nut in a crack near the Bastille Crack attached with a double-length runner.

Save a 0.75, red Alien, and yellow Alien for the top. Sep 10, 2014
  5.11a PG13
  5.11a PG13
The crux is insecure but safe on a big shiny bolt, although clipping that bolt is a little spooky and reachy from a just barely secure stance. The runouts are indeed on easier terrain and probably warrant an R rating (clean but looong), but if you pulled the crux, then there's no way you're going to botch those moves. Agree with Scott that it's a great summertime Eldo pitch early in the morning. Sep 3, 2016