Type: Trad, 140 ft Fixed Hardware (1)
FA: Jim McMillan, Larry Bruce 1968 (5.8 A4). FFA: Ed Webster, Steve Mammen, Scott Woodruff, Brad Gilbert, 1975.
Page Views: 1,266 total · 12/month
Shared By: Scott Bennett on Sep 21, 2010
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

6 Opinions

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Access Issue: Seasonal Closures Details


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.


NF of the Bastille, between Werk Supp and Bastille Crack.


Standard rack up to #1 Camalot for Nexus. Maybe doubles from #0.5-0.75. Plenty of long slings.


Scott Bennett
Scott Bennett   Michigan
This is a cool way to start a "barber pole" girdle traverse of the Bastille. From Bastille Crack P2, continue on the traverse to Outer Space, but instead of heading up the well-chalked dihedral, continue right on strata to join a dihedral on XM. Take this to the Outer Space ledge, and then continue around the ledge to the West Face and summit from there.

You could probably start further left still, somewhere on March of Dimes, for the longest traverse.

There's not too much shade in Eldo in the summer, we've got to maximize all the climbable surface on the Bastille! Sep 22, 2010
Boulder, CO
claytown   Boulder, CO
Got on this route yesterday. I recommend keeping a red Alien or two for the traverse as I was sketched out on techy, lichenous feet with a piece that prob wouldn't hold a fall when my last bomber piece was 15 - 20' left on Werks Supp. I was confused when I got to the bolt on Madame Guillotine, cuz I thought you're supposed to continue right to Bastille (which looked sketchy). My partner followed this way. To offer her a little pro, I ended up lowering off the bolt, traversing a rail to the bastille and running it out maybe 60 feet so the 1st piece on that route would give some sort of top rope pro instead of forcing a penji whipper to the right on follow. A little strange, but it worked fine. I recommend just sacking up and going straight up the bolts on the 11 pitch to the typical gear anchor atop Bastille P2. Continued into Outer Space for a good, spicy, continuous 10+ / 11- route up the Bastille. Oct 18, 2010