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The Bastille - N Face
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March of Dimes 

YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Dudley Chelton and Duncan Ferguson
Fixed Hardware: 2 Belay Bolts, 2 Anchor Bolts [details]
Page Views: 9,292
Submitted By: Ben F on May 28, 2001  with updates from Carl Schaefer

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BETA PHOTO: The north and west faces of the Bastille. 5. Werk...

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  • Description 

    We did this route instead of waiting for the The Bastille Crack to access Outer Space. Friends of mine were at Eldo last Memorial Day weekend and said it was dead. That was not the case this year. If the first pitch we did didn't have a semi-gully section, this route would get another star.

    This route starts to the left of Werk Supp. The start is about even with the chain anchors on top of the pillar that people with one rope use for rappel #2 off the first pitch of Werk Supp. The first pitch (about 5.9) follows a thin crack after doing some face moves lower. Protection is better than it looks from the ground. Continue past the chain anchors, up some less than aesthetic climbing and belay on the ledge at the base of a thin layback crack. Ascend this crack to its end (10 foot, 8+/9-), move right a bit, and head up varied climbing to another belay ledge. From this ledge, head right to the crux thin, left leaning crack (10). The crux is well-protected. At the end of the crack, move up and right on a low angle, wide dihedral to join the The Bastille Crack. Finish via the last pitch of the The Bastille Crack or do the variation (8/9) like we did to the right.

    The harder sections of this climb were high quality - the first 40 foot of P1, the first 20 foot of P2 and P3 were great. This climb was well worth doing. Once you do this climb, it can only be easier (10-), but why repeat a route when there is so much else to do?


    Bring a standard rack - #0 TCU/blue Alien up to a #3 Camalot will suffice.

    Per Carl Schaefer: two-bolt anchor with rap rings at the top of P3.

    Photos of March of Dimes Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Shane on the first pitch of March of Dimes.
    Shane on the first pitch of March of Dimes.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Michael Goodhue on the crux third pitch.
    Michael Goodhue on the crux third pitch.
    Rock Climbing Photo: DC cranking the traversing crack on the last pitch...
    DC cranking the traversing crack on the last pitch...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Shane gettin' busy on pitch one of March of Dimes
    Shane gettin' busy on pitch one of March of Dimes
    Rock Climbing Photo: Starting the crux finger crack on pitch 3.
    Starting the crux finger crack on pitch 3.
    Rock Climbing Photo: At the good finger jam before the crux traverse le...
    At the good finger jam before the crux traverse le...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Tony Bubb starts up one of the possible P1 options...
    Tony Bubb starts up one of the possible P1 options...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Almost there, allllllmmoooooossssttttt thhhhheeerr...
    Almost there, allllllmmoooooossssttttt thhhhheeerr...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Alright, gettin' into the meat of it.
    Alright, gettin' into the meat of it.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Intense concentration.
    Intense concentration.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Josh wondering if he's going to redpoint it this t...
    Josh wondering if he's going to redpoint it this t...

    Comments on March of Dimes Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 20, 2016
    By David Benson
    Jun 20, 2001

    The 11a alternate start is highly recommended. Start about six feet to the left of the 5.9 start at a thin crack which starts about 5 feet off the ground and runs for about 8 feet.

    Step up and place small nuts as high as possible. Clipping directly to the nuts is recommended. Move left and up diagonally to the right to regain the top of the thin crack. From here move slightly right and continue with the remainder of the first pitch.
    By Charles Vernon
    From: Tucson, AZ
    Jul 19, 2001

    The belay anchor after the P3 crux is real funky. There is a decent root you can tie-off, but otherwise you might need big cams (at least #3 friend, but an OW piece would work in the wide crack), or you may need to reach back into the crux crack and place a couple small pieces to back up the root. Continuing up the wide crack presents heinous rope drag.
    By Casey Bernal
    From: Arvada, CO
    Jun 12, 2002

    The crux is a nice looking face with a typical Eldo-type crack. It sunk some great nuts but using micro cams would be weird - the nuts were just too good. We only used a green Alien until the top where we used a yellow as a directional. For the crux section we had a bomber #4 stopper then a #5 (the #5 held a fall). This crux might be a little harder if you have large fingers as it is a small crack - I had trouble fishing in my pinky tips in some places. Beautiful face too bad it wasn't longer than 30 feet. Casey Bernal
    By George Bell
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jun 28, 2002

    Agreed, Charles, I try to remember to bring a #3 (or #3.5?) Camalot for the belay at the top of P3. I think it fits perfectly, and will make your second (and you) feel a lot better as he cranks the final moves.
    By Bryson Slothower
    Aug 17, 2002

    Pitch 3 of this route is a good way to end Werks Up, just don't leave all the big pieces you brought for pitch 2 of Werks Up at the belay like I did or your anchor will be sheit. I have pretty meaty fingers and found the last move to be pretty stout for the grade, cool pitch though..
    By Darren O'Connor
    Sep 8, 2002

    Doing the last pitch of this route as a finish to Werk Supp was too fun. But I changed the grade to 5.8 A1 by hang dogging it. I was surprised and happy to find better feet than expected. It looked barren of foot placements, but that was'nt the case. I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that you didn't have to go all the way to the roof to traverse to the finish.

    A note on the pro at the top. I placed a #2 Camalot around the corner above the crux, then went back down and place a yellow Alien above the crux for my 2nd. For the belay, I slung a wedged rock near the cam (the cam I ran the rope through to keep a fall from being directly on me). I also slung a root down low in the wide crack that looked like it would have held fine. From this description, you can tell I didn't read about this route before doing it and had left the #4 Camalot down below for protection...
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Jun 19, 2003
    rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

    There are actually several possibilities for the first pitch- the first comment gives directions for the 11a variation and talks about going all over- I thought the 11a just fired right up the crack- no left, no right, just up. After the first crack (11a) runs out you can still go more or less straight up (10b). For another variation, you can come in from the lower left up the brown band on well-spaced jugs and then up the left-leaning crack above that. This can be done without stepping out right to the face and instead go right up into the thin crack up high (10b/c)- it protects with small cams and can be backed-up with a so-so 2.5" piece, although that gets in the way a little of the crux hold, it can be done.Further- you can go directly up the blunt arete way out on the right all the way to the top (10b) and the chains. This way is runout.
    By Ivan Rezucha
    From: Fort Collins, CO
    Oct 20, 2003
    rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

    Does anyone climb the second pitch of this? Supposedly 5.8. Yesterday I had a harder time following the second pitch than leading the crux third pitch. Pitch 2 is a left leaning left facing dihedral with a blank and dirty left wall. Two short but strenuous sections of laybacking a wide finger crack. Above that is easier runout climbing.
    By David Conlin
    Oct 23, 2003

    I led the first two pitches of Werk Supp to the crux of MoD. This combo is stellar.

    P2 of Werk Supp can be combined with this crux, although that may have been my downfall, as I was pumped by the time I got to the crux.

    Tricky feet and crimpy hands up high. Used small nuts and Yellow and Green aliens (equiv. to BD 0.3, 0.2 I think), the latter of which held multiple lead falls before I figured out the sequence. My partner, Mike Flanagan flashed it though. The belay atop is weird. Sling a root, good BD #2, poor BD#3 (would have been better with bigger cam).
    By Shane Zentner
    From: Colorado
    May 23, 2004
    rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

    The first and last pitches are good The last pitch takes small gear, i.e. blue Alien, #1 Metolius TCU and FCU, small stoppers. My buddy built an anchor using medium cams downhill from the top of the last pitch. The last pitch felt right at 5.10c.
    By Jason Shatek
    Apr 15, 2005

    Got spanked off of this climb yesterday, can anyone comment on where the 5.9 start is thats in the route description for P1? I went up the brown band to the left to the left leaning crack but couldn't get a solid piece in so I ended up bailing out. Whats the easiest variation on P1? Is there really a 5.9 variation?
    By Jason Shatek
    Apr 27, 2005

    TR'd the first pitch yesterday, I tried several different variations to get ready to lead this thing. I went from the left up the red rock band and from the right up a thin crack. I also tried straight up but this was too tough. However, the crux from whatever direction was moving onto the face with the left leaning crack. If this is 5.9 then its the hardest 5.9 i've ever done! I'd say the easiest variation on the first pitch goes at 10a with less than bomber protection right off the ground. With that said its still a very fun route with some cool moves.
    By Clint Locks
    From: Boulder
    Jul 7, 2006

    Substitute P2 of Werk Supp, and you've got a great line!
    Regarding P3--stemming out left toward the top as soon as you can will ease the difficulty and keep it more in the .10c range. Also, do what you can to downclimb/rappel 'softly', so as not to add to the soil erosion on the descent line.
    By Meredith DB
    From: Boulder, CO
    May 4, 2007
    rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

    The crux pitch is excellent - well worth doing. It is easier if you have small fingers.
    By max seigal
    From: boulder
    Jul 13, 2007
    rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

    The last pitch is a great link up with the first two pitches of Werk Supp. It's pretty spicy near the top of the finger crack, but the gear is great so it is well protected. I followed this route a few weeks ago and wasn't too fond of it, but after leading it today, I realized how great this line actually is.
    By Tommey-James
    From: Boulder,Colorado
    Jul 8, 2011
    rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

    Did Werks Supp to this gem. I thought it was a blast. Good pro, fun moves. I thought it was fair to grade at 10c but could agree with 10d.
    By David Appelhans
    From: Medford, MA
    Jul 10, 2011
    rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

    The offwidth (5.7) above the crux finger crack makes a great continuation to this climb. I didn't find the rope drag to be very bad. I didn't have any pieces bigger than a BD #1, but I was able to get in some gear on the face and sling a chockstone in the offwidth. There were plenty of face hold inside and outside the offwidth too.

    Finishing MOD by climbing the offwidth corner to the top of the Bastille felt much more fulfilling to me, try it!
    By Andy Hansen
    From: Longmont, Colorado
    Sep 22, 2012
    rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

    Here's how this route breaks down:

    P1: 5.9. Ascend the right side of MoD Buttress via the right of two cracks. Small pro until the hand crack is gained. Belay at chains. 75 ft.
    P2: 5.10a. Scramble through easy terrain to an obtuse corner. Finger-sized cams. Lieback, stem and reach right to gain the top of the corner. Head right slightly to belay below the diagonal crack. 125 ft.
    P3: 5.10c. Climb the crack! Excellent movement... too bad it's so short. Great pro. Belay at top of crack from a BOLT ANCHOR.

    Descend to the east. 10min. back to base.

    Good route.... Would definitely be best to link with Werk Supp for a great route.
    By D. Snyder
    From: Golden, CO
    Sep 10, 2014
    rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

    I really enjoyed all three pitches of this route! It was the first time I've ever done the first two pitches, and while they don't warrant classic status, they've got some fun, thoughtful climbing on them. The third pitch I hadn't climbed in more than 25 years, and it was as good as I remember!
    By Kerr Adams
    From: Albuquerque, NM
    Jun 8, 2015

    Warmed up on the first pitch. There isn't much gear until after the crux. However I was able to wiggle in one of the smaller BD micronuts a little ways below the obvious wide spot in the thin crack. If you start on the far right, get to the good stance, and look around the corner, you can put in a blue TCU and extend it, then traverse left to the get to the sort of decent micronut placement. If you do slip at the crux and the nut comes out, you may just skim the ground instead of completely decking. This would also be nice for your follower, so they don't swing. Can't wait to go back and do the rest!
    By mountainhick
    From: Black Hawk, CO
    Jun 17, 2015
    rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

    Kerr, ditto Tony B above. 3 variations for P1 start, and if you want good pro, there are at at least 3 good placements on the left start before moving up into the left-leaning crack; a micronut then a TCU under the left-arcing overhang, then another good placement at the base of the crack itself before committing. If you start up and move right a little traversing across the 5.11 start, there's a great right kneebar to help you hang out to place and rest before the moves into the crack.

    Bolt anchors at top of P3. No more need to build a weird gear anchor.
    By WadeM
    From: Golden, Co
    May 20, 2016

    P2 & 3 link nicely.

    Fun climb.

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