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The Bastille - N Face
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The Spice Tour 

YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c R

Type:  Trad
Original:  YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c R [details]
FA: Suggested by Tague and Levin
Page Views: 2,388
Submitted By: slevin on Apr 10, 2001

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  • Description 

    One of the beauties of climbing on the north side of the Bastille is the ability to combine pitches from neighboring routes, in effect selecting the "tour" you want to climb. One such excursion, dubbed "The Spice Tour", takes on several runout, serious pitches which together form a cohesive climb.

    Begin with "Interceptor" (5.11b PG-13), a beautiful pitch of face climbing which heads straight up from the "direct start" to XM, on the north side of the Bastille between Wide Country and the Northwest Corner. A moderate, runout section leads to the crack-flake (fixed pins) just left of the obvious offwidth start to XM. Place gear as high as possible in the flake, and when it ends punch straight up onto the blank slab (a green Alien can be placed before the hard move). Have a long runner handy to wrap a flake for pro on the 5.10 slab. Now climb easily to the chain anchors at a small stance (the top of Wide Country P1, and XM P2).

    Pitch two climbs "Inner Space" 5.11b R/X. Head out right from the belay past a superfluous bolt, to a corner (directly above the crux of the NW Corner) and climb up and left to a left-leaning flake overlap. Place gear, then runout 25 feet on thin face (5.10a X) to a bulge with a seam-crack in it (good pro). Now climb a short, difficult 5.11b section, and climb straight up the crack (5.9, you are now on upper XM) to the large ledge at the base of the upper Bastille headwall (below the last pitch of Outer Space).

    Pitch three climbs "Saturnalia", 5.11b PG, an exciting direct finish on the headwall. Climb a short but unprotected 5.8 section on slopey jugs (watch loose rock) to a bolt. Make a difficult pull, then up and slightly left to a second bolt. Climb the short, left-facing corner directly above the bolt (5.11b) to a hollow-sounding flake system which leads up, slightly left, then back right to the top. A direct finish, climbing out right from the flakes, has been toproped, but so far (to my knowledge) has not been led (5.11c or d).

    There, you've done "The Spice Tour".


    Standard Eldo rack, with RPs, Aliens to a 2.5" cam.

    Comments on The Spice Tour Add Comment
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    By Steve Annecone
    From: boulder
    Jun 23, 2004
    rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

    Wow! Got on this wild route recently and we completed the first 2 pitches (ran out of time to do the 3rd). Although I got scared and backed off the 1st pitch, it wasn't too bad in retrospect, with pro at your feet during the crux moves (the green Alien), then much easier moves to the flake pro mentioned above. The next pitch (Inner Space) was much scarier, real glad I wasn't leading that! The crux felt very technical, even for Eldo, and I would rate it 11c.... at least the pro there was reasonable, pretty good gear at your feet as you start the hard moves. The dihedral above that was very funky and awkward and felt like solid 5.10, but the pro here was decent. The quality is absolutely excellent throughout, funny how some of the best routes in Eldo are the spiciest!
    By Rob Kepley
    From: Westminster,CO
    May 27, 2006
    rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c R

    An outstanding link-up! Climbed this today with my bro Joe. I got Interceptor and Saturnalia, he sent Inner Space. Interceptor is such a classic pitch. Just keep it together, the run-out is not too bad. I followed Inner Space after this. This is one fantastic journey up the Bastille. It wasn't quite as desperate as I thought it would be. All the really big run-outs are on moderate rock. I think the spookiest part on lead would be getting over to the top of the Northwest Corner. There is absolutely no pro in this section. The crux is protected with bomber pro at your feet. Saturnalia was a good pitch. It sorta wanders a bit. Totally out of character with the previous two pitches. All in all, The Spice Tour is great climb.
    By Cedar Wright
    Oct 26, 2014

    Well.... That was exciting. The Spice Tour is a great way to feel born again through rock climbing. Interceptor is on the soft side of R but really really good and perhaps the difficulty crux. Saturnalia will feel like piss by the time you get there. Really the crux of this worthy linkup comes down to the aptly named Inner Space pitch. I was definitely finding my inner happy place up there. I would call Inner Space R/X serious and a big step up from Jules Verne. If you came off at the end of the run out... well... I can't imagine anything good would come of it. Maybe after your 70 foot slab slapping whipper you'd be fine, but if I were a betting man, I'd put money on broken sticks. I actually found the "10a" runout to be quite stout, technical, insecure and improbable, and the rock is a little friable, but if you are solid on 5.11 and have a cool head, it should be fine. A good attention to detail is imperative. If you read this in the next couple days... now is a good time to go do it, because with chalk on the route, I think it's a little less daunting. Be prepared to clean lichen off the foot holds right at the point of no return crux about 15 or so feet into the run out! By the time you get the bomber pro before the "crux", you will not be afraid to climb 5.11 with gear at your feet! I'm truly in awe that Jeff Lowe and John Baldwin, who I believe did the FA of Inner Space, had such big balls and technical climbing ability back in 1978. Those guys were Heroes. A route like this would be pretty forgettable with two bolts in the run out, but as it stands... I think you'd be hard pressed to forget this one. Climbs like this remind me why I love climbing. Get on it, it's awesome!
    By Steve Sangdahl
    From: eldo sprngs,co
    Oct 27, 2014

    Cedar, Nicely done! John Baldwin and myself watched you lead the Inner Space part of this the other day. We were the clowns yellin' at ya to go right when you were lookin' left. Having led Inner Space 4 times myself, it was great to watch someone else on it from across the creek. Puts the run out into a new perspective. As you know from the point of no return till you "finally" get to the bomber stopper placement is a defining moment in yer Eldoexperience as in "thank God or whoever"! Rarely gets done...imagine that. John Baldwin always reminds me that Jeff Lowe wanted to call it the Giraffe's Neck, as in ya gotta stick your neck out! Nice send. Peace. Steve Sangdahl
    P.S. We call the Intercepter to Innerspace link up Interspace.
    By Noah McKelvin
    From: Colorado Springs
    Oct 2, 2016
    rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c X

    Wow! Inner Space is really what it comes down to. I got the onsight yesterday after fearing it for so many years. It has quite a reputation. My thoughts on it: there are two scary parts 1) from the belay to the Northwest Corner 2) from that flake to the 5.11 crux. This route is a big step up from Jules Verne. There was a lot of lichen, but it never really got in the way. If you're confident and know you WON'T fall on 5.10, then go for it. In the end, it wasn't as bad as I envisioned, but it's still a serious pitch. Where falling on some parts would land you in the hospital, or worse. Great climb!
    By Aaron Ramras
    May 14, 2017

    I completely agree with Cedar about the runout on Inner Space being stout, technical, insecure, and improbable. The rock has a good bit of lichen on it which is pretty disconcerting on some of those small flakey feat. I agree that it's a substantial step up from routes like Jules Verne and Pansee Savage. This is one hell of a 3 pitch link-up!!! One of Eldo's best if you're up to the task.

    Also, I'm seeing some pictures and descriptions that say to load up the big flake with gear before the runout. I thought the flake seemed to expand dangerously; however, I found a couple of bomber TCUs a few feet down and right that seemed much safer to me in the event of a monster whip.

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