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Outer Space 

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

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b R [details]
FA: Layton Kor, Steve Komito, 1961
Page Views: 37,050
Submitted By: Patrick Vernon on Jan 1, 2001

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Photo by Scott Bennett.

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  • Description 

    This is my favorite route on the Bastille. The last pitch is steep and one of the most spectacular pitches in Eldo.

    Begin with the first pitch of the Bastille Crack to the belay below the 5.7 second pitch. From this belay, traverse right around a bulge to directly below an obvious, chalked dihedral. Do a sketchy .9+ move to get to a rest at the base of this dihedral. Next, clip a pin and climb the steep dihedral via stems and good jams (.10a), once at the top, traverse right on a ledge to a belay at the base of the crux undercling section. For the crux, place a good, small stopper before stepping off the ledge, and climb over dicey terrain to an undercling hold with a pin in it. Clip this pin, and use the undercling to move left around a corner (crux) and move up the crack system for 60 feet. This crack has many 5.9-5.9+ sections between good rests, the exposure on this pitch is incredible.

    Follow the crack left to a short juggy wall and top out on the top of the Bastille.


    Rossiter gives this route a runout rating. I found it to be pretty well protected and safe. Some small nuts can protect the move before the crux (where you clip a pin).

    Photos of Outer Space Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Photo by Scott Bennett.
    Photo by Scott Bennett.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Photo by Scott Bennett.
    Photo by Scott Bennett.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Rob Kepley on P2 while Phil Lauffen holds the rope...
    Rob Kepley on P2 while Phil Lauffen holds the rope...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Someone on the last pitch.
    Someone on the last pitch.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Matt on 2nd pitch.
    Matt on 2nd pitch.
    Rock Climbing Photo: The incredible final pitch of Outer Space.... You ...
    The incredible final pitch of Outer Space.... You ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: A good view of the top pitch of br...
    A good view of the top pitch of br...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Taken in 9/1978 looking down P1 dihedral.  Note to...
    Taken in 9/1978 looking down P1 dihedral. Note to...
    Rock Climbing Photo: The crux traverse.
    The crux traverse.
    Rock Climbing Photo: The north and west faces of the Bastille.  5. Werk...
    BETA PHOTO: The north and west faces of the Bastille. 5. Werk...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Gear everywhere!
    Gear everywhere!
    Rock Climbing Photo: Dave Mackey leading the 2nd pitch of Outer Space.
    Dave Mackey leading the 2nd pitch of Outer Space.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Dianne Connely on P3 crux of Outer Space. Photo by...
    Dianne Connely on P3 crux of Outer Space. Photo by...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Nate Erickson on 2nd pitch of Outer Space. Septemb...
    Nate Erickson on 2nd pitch of Outer Space. Septemb...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Starting the second pitch.
    Starting the second pitch.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Phil Lauffen is a thug.
    Phil Lauffen is a thug.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Stemming on the first pitch will take some of the ...
    Stemming on the first pitch will take some of the ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Rob Kepley on P1.
    Rob Kepley on P1.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Great stemming all the way up.
    Great stemming all the way up.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Greg K. leading the infamous, exposed traverse pit...
    Greg K. leading the infamous, exposed traverse pit...
    Rock Climbing Photo: P2, so good!
    P2, so good!
    Rock Climbing Photo: Adam Pecan starting the traverse.
    Adam Pecan starting the traverse.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Shane Zentner leading the first pitch of Outer Spa...
    BETA PHOTO: Shane Zentner leading the first pitch of Outer Spa...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Maybe my favorite pitch in the canyon
    Maybe my favorite pitch in the canyon

    Show All 33 Photos

    Only the first 24 are shown above.

    Comments on Outer Space Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 10, 2017
    By Mike Sofranko
    Jan 1, 2001

    I found the crux pitch to be easier than the dihedral. Knock off about 3 letter grades if you're tall.
    By Andrew Wellman
    Jan 1, 2001

    This route is [unbelievable]. It is [definitely] the best route I have climbed at Eldo. [Rossiter's] book gives it and "s" rating, and this can be interpreted as "a 15 foot traverse to the left, that if [your] pro pulled during a fall, or while trying to clip the pin, would [deposit] you [...10 feet up?] onto a ledge." This one gets an "s" for the same reason Rosy Crucifixion does, a fall at the beginning might be interesting. I just wanted to clarify this [because] you never know. If you have looked at this route all spring, like I have, and not gone up and done it yet, go for it, its not too dangerous. The airy positions are killer, too.
    By David Benson
    May 30, 2001

    The final pitch is most definitely NOT S. I place three good nuts before clipping the pin in the undercling. And thinking the S section might be coming later I sewed up the rest of the route.

    I also believe the first pitch (10b) to be more technical than the last pitch (rated 10c). The last pitch is long and somewhat pumpy, but probably more like 10a/b than 10c.
    By Anonymous Coward
    Jul 23, 2001

    Linking these two pitches with the first three of X-M makes an excellent and airy route. With three pitches at 10c and two at 10b, and four of them with s or vs grades, it makes for an aesthetic and rewarding line straight up the middle of the Bastille.
    By Joe Huggins
    From: Grand Junction
    Oct 15, 2001

    I led the whole thing barefoot many years ago, does that mean I'm a real stud? Anyway, the picture actually shows the upper part of Wide Country to the right of the dihedral.
    By Andrew Klein
    Dec 31, 2001

    Be careful not to go up the thin crack on the first Outer Space pitch to get into the dihedral. There is/was a ripped wired nut in this crack. Stay right and do a blind traverse to get into the dihedral. The last pitch is airy, well-protected (small alliens, nuts) and perhaps even a little easier then other Eldo 10c's.
    By Tony Cappa
    May 6, 2002

    This route is absolutely excellent. I recommend it to anyone interested in getting some big air out under your feet. I agree with everyone else's comments that the first pitch of Outer Space is tougher than the the second. That dihedral is definitely more technical and devious than the one hard move to clip the pin in the undercling on the airy final pitch. Also, I second that motion to go around toward the right on the mini-pillar from the belay atop the first pitch of the Bastille Crack instead of trying to go up and over it. This is one of the best I've done so far (which isn't saying much but), launch yourself into Outer Space! The cracks and huecos toward the very top are so fun! Take care for rope drag as you are topping out.
    By Anonymous Coward
    Jun 12, 2002

    Great route! I too struggled with rope drag at the top of the last pitch even though I put long runners on everything below the roof. When I got home I looked in my old Erickson guidebook and he splits the last pitch into two, adding a belay after the roof undercling and initial steep flake (40' off ledge.) Next time I do the route I'll try it this way.
    By Rich Farnham
    Sep 25, 2002

    A fantastic route!! Definitely three stars! As mentioned above, I could not see how it got an S rating. The climb, and the crux, eats up stoppers. Even the somewhat dubious looking fixed pin at the crux (pounded straight up into a slightly flaring crack) could be backed up with a large tcu, although I'm sure that pin has held its share of falls. As for the short bulge that can be avoided on the first pitch, I would be curious to know whether it was on the original line of ascent or not. It offers another short section of technical 5.10- moves, is well protected and fun, but can be easily avoided by climbing down and around it.

    Booty/Fixed Gear Alert! One of the stoppers just before the crux on the second (10c) pitch, was so good that my partner was unable to clean it. He could get the nut to move in the crack, but couldn't get it out of the rock. He said his last attempt to free it left it pointing upwards, but believed if a leader clipped a draw on it and tugged downwards, it would seat well into its original position. I hope that it is removable or at least becomes a good fixed piece. If someone posts that it is neither, I will go back up on a fixed line and see if I can get it out so that it doesn't detract from this classic line.
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    May 8, 2003
    rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

    Just climbed this line again (4th time) after 3 years away from it. For the "s" pitch I placed a pretty solid #4 BD stopper just before leaving the belay (while still standing on the ledge). After 2 moves I put in a PERFECT green Alien up and right a few feet from the stopper. 2 moves later there was a yellow alien placement staring me in the face in a left hand sidepull... then the #8 stopper to the left, then up to the TCU placement beside the pin and the pin. Then around the corner to tons of gear opportunity. In short, the climb is not S at all, unless S stands for "S"ewn-up. As for the difficulty, I too find the dihedral pitch more technical than the upper pitch and would give both 10a/b. Staying low on the upper pitch is the key, reaching the undercling by the pin from below instead of traversing over to it.
    By Dan Russell
    May 8, 2003

    There's also a billion Lowe-ball placements if you've got 'em, like every route in Eldo. There are precious few "real" runouts left in Eldo with modern gear.
    By Lindsay Gill
    Jun 18, 2003

    I followed this climb for the 2nd time yesterday and was reminded of how beautiful the line truly is. The 1st pitch has wonderful stemming and finger locks and a very spicy second pitch with great exposure!One of my favorite in the canyon.
    By Jim Collins
    Oct 4, 2003

    GEAR beta: On the headwall pitch, bring a Yellow Camalot for the start of the traverse off the belay ledge. You can reach way up and right to plug in the yellow camalot before beginning the traverse section. Also on the headwall pitch, bring lots (10 to 12) of extra runners to minimize rope drag.

    Finally, be SURE to look down at the Bastille Crack as soon as you finish the opening traverse. It looks like a sidewalk, and makes the whole adventure fun.
    By Anonymous Coward
    Aug 31, 2004

    I've heard that when this and a lot of other Eldo "S" routes were put up, Aliens and small nuts had not yet been invented, hence the rating. I agree the crux of the 1st pitch felt harder than the second. Of course I lead P1 and got a ride on P2. For me, the crux on P2 was getting into the undercling, once you are there,pulling around the corner was no problem. The pitch is definitely not over though with several 5.9 moves left but all well protected with good feet everywhere. Enjoy. Best route I've done in Eldo!!!
    By Anonymous Coward
    Aug 31, 2004

    Such a good route. Great after work elevetion gain. S rating is really pretty mild.
    By Brian Ladd
    From: Bend, Oregon
    Sep 2, 2005

    I just thought I would throw out the suggestion to start with the Northcutt start and it makes for three great .10 pitches in a row.
    By Ernie Port
    From: Boulder, Colorado
    Oct 1, 2005
    rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

    Stellar route! Followed 2 & 3 today and found it to be every bit as good as advertised. On P2 the first hard move up and over the blocky prow is made easier using the overhead rail as the crack up and over peters out. This rail is slopey in the middle, but pretty good low and higher up...there is a fixed stopper at the top of the crack. The next hard move for me was out from under a pod like stance at the start of the dihedral below the pin, using bomber underclings and the crack out on the left face to begin the business of stemming. This move is 10b and leads to sinker fingers above and good holds up high to the ramp.

    Suppose if you don't like big exposure the start of P3 might scare you, but the holds are not too bad working up & over to the undercling crux move. Mostly smearing for the feet here, there are a few small edges, and a pretty good jug around the corner to start the business on this pitch. Pretty sustained (9) moves, with lots of exposure, bring you to a tricky, somewhat greasy, (8+) move up and left past the last pin. Juggy huecos to the top ended my new favorite climb on the Bastille.
    By Mike McKinnon
    From: Golden, CO
    Jun 30, 2006

    I climbed this last night for the 3rd time and just wanted to add a more recent comment. Like everyone has said, what a great route.

    p1 - Bastille Crack to ledge
    p2 - Chalked-up dihedral. There are three pins you can clip in this dihedral. 2 seemed bomber to me and the other one was decent. The hard part is getting situated in the dihedral. Once in the dihedral you can stem your way up using little hands.
    p3- Like everyone else has said, this is not run out at all. After pulling the 10c move, the upper part is pumpy and tricky. Counting the pin at the crux, there are three pins on this pitch as well. Only the last one looked like it belonged in the Eldo hall of fame.
    By Jeremy
    From: Boulder, CO
    Aug 18, 2006
    rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

    Such a sweet route! I don't consider myself a solid 10c climber and pulled this clean on lead after following it once. Not runout. If you are even close to the grade, Do This Route!
    By TBlom
    Nov 11, 2006

    Not 10c, not runout but very good and worth checking it out, maybe 10a/b.
    By DavidHH
    From: Parker, Colorado
    Aug 11, 2007
    rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

    Alright, I have to admit to it and fess up. I pulled the first piton thru the crux dihedral on the first pitch. How one might ask? I would love to tell a story of some great whip I took on this piton but actually, (sigh), I fell following this pitch mantling onto the sloping ledge off that horrible rail that looks great. Yes, shameful I know. I didn't play around with it, but I think you can get a small Alien where the piton once was. Thanks to John for hauling me up this beauty and making it look casual.
    By Stefan Griebel
    From: Boulder, Colorado
    Sep 18, 2007
    rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

    I climbed Outer Space again on 9/15. I hadn't seen the above comment regarding the pin, so I was surprised when it wasn't there. I was able to place a good nut AND a good yellow Alien within a foot of each other where the pin used to be, so I don't think it need to be replaced. I will bring this up with the Eldo FHRC.
    By SCherry
    From: Boulder, CO
    Sep 24, 2007

    Climbed this route in the afternoon on 9/23 for the 2nd time. The pin is indeed missing from the start of the corner on the first pitch. I was surprised to not find in there as I had remembered being able to clip it from the no-hands, shoulder-bar rest. I am only 5'8" and was able to reach high and place a great wire to protect the crux move getting established in the corner. No need to replace the pin in my opinion.
    By Shawn Mitchell
    From: Broomfield
    Aug 9, 2008

    Followed Shane Zentner today. Agree it's superb; agree the 1st pitch is trickier than the 2nd. But I think the 2nd still is the harder of the two and the crux was the marathon after the undercling/corner, which only felt about 10(a). The miles of 9+ pack a 10b/c pump factor, IMO. Good lead, Shane!

    One other thought: On approach, it's not hard to stretch the Bastille pitches across the traverse, past the little pillar, and belay directly under the dihedral. You can sling a couple flakes and get some small gear at the belay.
    By Shane Zentner
    From: Colorado
    Aug 16, 2008

    I protected the opening moves of the last pitch with a red Metolius Astro nut, a green Alien, then clipped the pin. The remaining pitch was incredible and steep with multiple 5.9+ sections. There is a small, sloping ledge about half way through the pitch that offers a chance to 'rest', though I found it difficult to rest there. The exposure, steepness, and awesome views of the canyon took my breath away.
    By patrick kadel
    Sep 27, 2008
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13

    I climbed this today for the first time and have to agree with everyone that it is one of Eldo's best. I really don't climb S or R routes and the only reason I did was because of the comments here, so thanks everyone. I will agree the first pitch of Outer Space is the more difficult of the two. If I relate the dihedral to another classic, Over The Hill, the Outer Space dihedral is easier but still a handful and the exposure is no comparison. I am also comforted on OTH by all those pins...or is it discomforted on this one by the need to think a bit more. I'll chime a 10a.

    Pitch 2 was relatively trivial, protects well, and is spectacular. I did not find a move harder than 5.9 on the pitch. With plenty of feet on the traverse and easy climbing around the corner I couldn't even tell where the crux was supposed to be. I thought it might have been a less secure leftward traverse near the end of the climb?

    Overall, a fantastic climb with absolutely no R sections and plenty of rests if you want them.
    By Kirill Kireyev
    From: Boulder, CO
    May 5, 2009
    rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13

    The pin protecting the chimney section at the beginning of the final dihedral on P1 is gone (or at least I could've sworn it was there before). You can get in a #4 BD nut and a pink tricam (neither of which felt bomber) before taking off. Fortunately, you can get gear soon after.

    The high traverse on P1 is significantly harder than going low and contains the (5.10c) crux move of the whole climb IMHO.
    By Andy Laakmann
    Site Landlord
    From: Bend, OR
    May 20, 2009
    rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

    A wonderful route as advertised. It protects *very* well.... and most definitely does NOT warrant an R rating. You can place gear anywhere you want it (perhaps with the exception of the last 30 feet up the huecos on P2, but the climbing is easy).

    I thought P1 contained the crux, and the stemming felt about 10a/b (and a touch easier than Over The Hill). If there was a pin at the base of the stemming (in the chimney like alcove), it is gone now.... but a red alien fit nicely.

    The P2 "crux" felt about 10a as well, but the entire second pitch is definitely a journey. I placed the EXACT gear Tony B lists above, and they are all bomber. There are plenty of rests up the final headwall, but the various moves are engaging and sometimes a bit tricky. I had pretty bad rope drag, despite judicious use of slings, so I'm not sure how I could have avoided it. The pitch is spectacular, but the rope drag is a big bummer.

    A standard rack (nuts and two sets of cams from tiny to #3 camalot) is fine. Lots of slings.

    Edit: I just looked at a photo and saw one of someone belaying under the "end" of the traverse, and that looks like the ticket to avoiding rope drag. My belay was towards the beginning of the traverse. YMMV
    By percious
    From: Bear Creek, CO
    Jun 19, 2009
    rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

    I agree with Tony both that the top and bottom pitches are about equivalent in difficulty, and that the gear placements do not warrant an S rating. I will say however that the gear on the P2 traverse is strenuous to place. I was only able to get a small nut and a yellow tcu before clipping the pin and giving it a go around the corner. Once I got around the corner, I was expecting the climb to let up a bit, but a number of 5.9 moves awaited me before I found a substantial rest stance. Great climb!
    By Mike Robinson
    From: Worcester, MA
    Jun 22, 2009
    rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

    Definitely in Eldo's Top 10, no top five routes. Everything about it is great! Great gear, great positioning, vertical, comfortable belay ledges, exposure, and so on....
    By Soraya Khalje
    From: Aspen, co
    Jun 24, 2009

    Absolutely wonderful route! Just loved everything about it - every move is great.
    By Aimee Bates
    Sep 27, 2009

    This is my favorite route to date! For anyone who loves exposure, you have to do this climb. Pitch 3 was AMAZING!
    By punkencack
    Apr 5, 2010

    This route is junk. My partner and I did it this past weekend in near-freezing temps wearing shoes that Chinese-foot-binding specialists would have deemed torturous; we went without water, food, or warm clothing. To say it went easily would be an understatement, but frankly, a couple times my feet were so cold I could have sworn my name was Hugh Herr. All the beta is total crap. There is no exposure . . . no pumpy headwall . . . no airy traverse. There was some rather lackluster graffiti we noticed (LK who?), which I took the time to chip off and replace with a nice (and obviously more gratifying) "Eat Me" in bright orange spray paint. I always huff the orange stuff on routes. It just gets me there faster . . . .
    By Mitch Musci
    From: Estes Park, CO
    Jun 8, 2011

    For the P2 crux, there's no need to undercling high by the pin. Just stay lower on better hand holds.
    By Tommey-James
    From: Boulder,Colorado
    Jul 5, 2011
    rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

    Super fun, super safe.
    By Andrew McLean
    From: Colorado
    May 28, 2013
    rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

    Believe the hype. It's all true. I thought the undercling move was money. Lots of gear at the crux.
    By Michael Butts
    From: Boulder, Co
    Jul 5, 2013
    rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13

    CLASSIC! I have wanted to do this route since I moved to CO a couple of years ago. However, that R rating like many others has scared me away. This route definitely does not need an R rating. You can, and I did, staple the route up, hahaha! This fact does not take away from the exposure. The last pitch is amazingly exposed and awesome. I feel like the crux is short, but there is still some great moves to come to finish the route. I can't wait to run up this again, and I am psyched for anyone who has been scared off this thing to give it a shot. Great climbing.
    By Alan Doak
    From: boulder, co
    Aug 12, 2013

    It sounds like I was off-route on pitch one. I followed the chalk into the first corner with the ripped nut. I moved out onto the left face of the corner, using the thin finger rail, before crossing back right. It went, but it was harder than 9+, and I was a bit above my last piece by the time I was on top of the block. I'd be curious to hear what people rate it.
    By Mark Oveson
    From: Louisville, Colorado
    Jun 24, 2014
    rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13

    Spectacular position and interesting climbing. The first pitch is insecure and sustained at 10a for a good 20-30 feet. I think the traditional "S" rating comes from this pitch, as you have to climb 8-10 feet above a small wired nut and risk a ledgefall. I followed both pitches, so take this in context, but to me the second pitch does seem to protect surprisingly well.
    By mountainhick
    From: Black Hawk, CO
    Jun 10, 2015
    rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13

    Wonderful route!

    I didn't find it R, maybe PG-13 going around the first bulge P1 traversing to the corner, and on the P2 upper hueco-ed runout to the top, but neither sections are near the crux 5.10b-ish grade. Pro seemed plentiful and solid otherwise.

    Don't let your guard down after pulling through the P2 crux. It stays pretty continuous and has a couple more interesting cruxy bits on the upper headwall.
    By seanmo63
    Sep 29, 2016
    rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

    This route deserves all the hype it gets. First time up, we brought a single rack thinking it would be casual 5.10, and I used all my finger-sized cams early on the first pitch... made the crux dihedral very exciting climbing 15 feet above a small wire. The first time I ever got on this thing I ripped what my partner said was a super old and crucial RP fixed in the middle of the first crux of the first pitch. Sorry! First moves at the beginning of the second pitch are classic Eldo: if you do it right, it is laughably easy and if you do it wrong it is insecure and weirdly strenuous. Good on you if you can remember all of the beta from memory on the second pitch every time! I invariably have to climb up and down and up and down a couple times remembering the perfect way to do the several tricky sections of that final second pitch. Substitute Wide Country for the Bastille approach pitch with a bizarre intermediate leftward hand traverse in between (R-ish) for full value!
    By Adam Block
    From: Colorado Springs, CO
    Nov 16, 2016
    rating: 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b

    Third pitch is basically a sport climb. Fixed pins abound! Only placed a red C3 on the traverse and a couple finger-sized pieces on some of the 5.9 sections before the juggy face. Great climbing nonetheless!
    By Michael L
    From: Boulder, CO
    Apr 10, 2017

    Incredible route! One of the best in the Front Range.

    -I placed a #4 on every pitch (including Bastille Crack).
    -Definitely not R rated, maybe PG-13. Very standard pro for Eldo/Flatirons.
    -Bomber #2 placement underneath initial "scary" traverse on the last pitch.

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