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The Bastille - N Face
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Marie Antoinette 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a R

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch
Original:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a R [details]
FA: John Ruger & Billy Roos?
Fixed Hardware: 2 Lead Bolts [details]
Page Views: 1,930
Submitted By: Tony B on Aug 6, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (13)
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Unknown climber on Marie Antoinette around 1977-78...

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  • Description 

    The route between Werks Supp and Bastille Crack on the North face of the Bastille. Thin, clean and un-polished face climbing make this route worthy, but still dificult. Consider moving over right to finish on the route Nexus. The falls could be long, but from the upper face would be fairly clean, assuming you have reached a point of protection.


    The protection on this route is not as bad as some others. Small nuts can be [creatively] placed. Little wonder the route is rarely done. I am somewhat surprised that it is not more often done. You must be solid at the grade to do this route, but if you are, it is not so bad. Finishing on Nexus adds some variety to the route.

    Comments on Marie Antoinette Add Comment
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    By Steve "Crusher" Bartlett
    Jan 26, 2002

    Hmmm, each time I've led this a fixed ring-angle or bolt about thirty or forty feet up is the first piece of gear. This is on easy ground after the crux. This route feels like a VS, or have I been missing something? Anyway, a favorite, with great 5.9 moves on perfect rock. Be there ever so many climbers crawling over the Bastille, there's never a line for Marie Antionette.
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Jan 28, 2002

    It might be in the range of 20' from the ground, but you can definitely fish in some small nuts/brassies near the line. I believe I got 3(?) pieces in there just before the balance-crux of the pitch. Maybe this was not immediately apparent, but there are placements that should hold a fall. My memory is faded, as we're talking a few years ago, but it seems they were in a seam on the right-hand side of the feature you are climbing and they are pumpy to place. Yeah, you could & probably would get hurt in a fall, but I don't think that it's a necessary grounder or career-ender.
    By Steven Lucarelli
    From: Moab, UT
    Jul 9, 2007
    rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a X

    I climbed this on Friday 7/6 and got in a bomber red Alien at the top of the finger crack but didn't see any other gear till I was in the rock band where the bolt is located. The Alien protects the crux mantle as I slipped there and tested it out first hand. But after the mantle you don't want to fall since the ground is the only thing that's going to stop you at that point.
    By Scott Bennett
    Apr 20, 2010
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a X

    Agreed that this should be considered "X" rated. I reached out right to clip the first bolt on "Madame Guillotine", and didn't get any pro until the bolt ~20-30' later. Definite groundfall potential on some 5.9 terrain.

    I think I saw the RPs Tony was talking about, they're to the left of the line and I didn't place them because my last piece (the MG bolt) was down and to my right. Either way, the RPs didn't look great. You should probably be comfortable soloing Eldo 5.9 face climbing before getting on this one.

    By David A. Turner
    Oct 14, 2010
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a X

    Might as well leave the rope in the pack, because it's only extra weight.
    By eldoradolocal
    May 27, 2014

    John Ruger and I made what we thought was the FFA sometime in the '70s. I'd had the opportunity to check the route out on rappel and made some custom small wires and wire slings to protect the route. Ruger led the first pitch in fine form on minimal gear, and I crept across the traverse with a few points of protection, including a fixed RURP. There were no bolts in place. I've never been back.
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Jun 3, 2014

    Yeah, the first bolt of M.G. can be reached for and clipped prior to the rising traverse here, but there are still no bolts on it.
    And also agreed that the RPs I placed (actually H.B. "Anchors" and B.D. "Copper-Steel") were most useful without the bolt and perhaps not needed if that is what you are going to do, but I thought at least one of them would have held. Then again, I don't fall much, and I could be wrong about that.
    Not falling is by far the best option and going after a lead like this at one's limit would be fool-hardy at best.

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