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The Bastille - N Face
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Coach's Demise 

YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 70'
Original:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Ed Body & Mike Brooks 1985
Fixed Hardware: 4 Lead Pins [details]
Page Views: 1,298
Submitted By: Leo Paik on Aug 26, 2002

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  • Description 

    Ever wondered to what route those 4 old pins belonged as you rappelled off the first pitch of Werk Supp? Well here it is. Find this obscure short pitch just above the first pitch of March of Dimes or starting perhaps 15 feet L of the upper 70 feet of Werk Supp's first pitch on the North Face of the Bastille.

    Described by Rossiter's guide as "this pitch parallels the upper half of P1 of Werk Supp on the left." This route probably warrants the bomb rating for the rock bomb potential at least along the line we took. From the little saddle behind the March of Dimes buttress, move slightly R and find a bugaboo (or KB?) a few feet off the ground. You can try to find ways past the pin to the R to avoid touching this huge, tilted, detached flake (now removed) precariously perched up and L of this pin, but neither of us felt it was less than 5.10. Certainly, moving up and R seemed likely to enter X or VS range (if this is the actual line, you should ignore this next bit about the flake and the rating). Then again, so did up and L.

    Our efforts required a gentle lieback on this flake (now removed) and fearful stepping upon it to traverse L. The upper part of this flake shifted an inch with gentle outward pressure inward or outward. Arrggghhhh! Reminiscent of Cannon Mountain (NH) rock, this huge block could take out the belay or belayer below and would definitely take out a car on the road. Don't think you're safe yet. As you gain this up and R ramp, you must face other stacked blocks that make you try to minimize your presence.

    Finally, reach a decent angle pin (partially hidden under a lump of grass in the crack) in solid rock. From here the route is more technically but less psychologically difficult. Continue up to a KB. Here you go up and highstep L into a briefly fractured band. Climb past what-appears-to-be a soft iron pin and reach the belay thankful for metastabilities. On the positive side, at least none of the 4 pins shift with hand pressure.

    Perhaps somethings are better not climbed.


    4 pins (in situ), hmmm, not much else.

    Comments on Coach's Demise Add Comment
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    By Brad Bond
    Aug 28, 2002

    I never knew this route existed before Leo's post, so I had to go right out and get it! I have to agree on the bomb, but it's too bad we couldn't tag on a couple of negative stars. This would be minus-**.
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Jun 25, 2004
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    Well...Seeing people rate a route this badly, I just had to go try it. On TR though, given the death flake warnings. First off, I only found 3 of the pins. Second of all it seemed S but not VS. The 50 pound block loose on top of the death flake was removed with benevolence it now lies 6 meters right of the base of Werks Supp. The remaining flake will easily hold a climber, but I wouldn't take a big fall on a cam behind it...

    The rest of the route was OK. Tricky to lead? Yes. Sandbagged? Yes. Minus two stars? Not that bad. There are numerous hidden holds that bring this into reality. It's on the shy side of a star, but the route is not a total bomb.
    By Mike Munger
    From: Boulder, Colorado
    May 21, 2007

    Tried this route today and I have to agree on the Bomb rating, mainly because of the lack of pro and the large detached flake. Also it may very well be closer to an 'x', at least the way we did it. On lead I got forced left from the top of the flake (5.9) because of the lack of pro, in my opinion, the flake will come off if you fall on the nuts or cams you place behind it. Above that there is no pro till you get to the third pin if you go right from the top of the flake (.10). If you go straight up from the top of the flake it's probably 9+ but again there is very little in the way of good pro till you get to the third pin. Never did see the angle piton but it is probably hidden in the grass off to the left someplace.
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    May 31, 2007
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    About 3 years ago, (on June 25th, 2004 to be more precise) the loose part of the death flake was briefly in the middle of the road. Now, it's more off on the side.

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