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The Bastille - W Face
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Blind Faith T 
Breakfast in Bed T 
Bridge-it Bardot (aka Hat Trick) T 
Chance of Rain T,TR 
Cream T 
Early Riser, The T 
Hair City T 
Implied Consent T,TR 
Let Them Eat Cake T 
Neon Lights T 
New Chautauqua T 
Out to Lunge T 
Out to Lunge ... with Dessert T 
Rain T 
Serengeti Spaghetti T 
Stem Gem T 
Sunset Boulevard S 
Sunshine Daydream T 
Voodoo T 
West Arete T 
West Buttress T 
West Face T 
West Side aka West Chimney T 
Your Mother S 

West Arete 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 130', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Duncan Ferguson
Fixed Hardware: 2 Belay Bolts [details]
Page Views: 5,922
Submitted By: Charles Vernon on Jan 1, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (126)
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tooks this shot of two climbers on the West ridge ...

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  • Description 

    A steep, exposed route that is a good alternative if Hair City and the West Buttress are occupied, or a good route just to do. Hike up the West Face of the Bastille, past a large block to where the face first makes a sharp jog inward, forming a pocketed arete.

    P1-Climb the arete, with tricky protection at first, then belay or climb a chimney to a large ledge with bolts.

    P2-Choose from 3 alternatives above the belay: the West Face, a 5.8 crack to the right (with a rotten start); Hair City, which tackles the steepest part of the overhang at 5.9, directly above; or the West Buttress to the left, which climbs a shallow chimney over the left side of the overhang. All 3 reach another ledge, where one may belay or continue easily to the top of the Bastille.


    Standard rack.

    Photos of West Arete Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: On the arête.
    On the arête.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Bobby on the 2nd pitch just below the belay.
    Bobby on the 2nd pitch just below the belay.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Bobby workin' the spicy moves on west arete.
    Bobby workin' the spicy moves on west arete.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Jacob beginning up the West Arete
    Jacob beginning up the West Arete
    Rock Climbing Photo: Above the scary part ...
    Above the scary part ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: just below the chimney
    just below the chimney
    Rock Climbing Photo: Climber firing through the tricky traverse crux se...
    Climber firing through the tricky traverse crux se...

    Comments on West Arete Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By Aaron Shupp
    Jan 29, 2002

    The first pitch has a few steep and stylin' moves. Even the second pitch is not too bad. However, be carefull of a few fragile features under the roof at the first belay. The last time I did this route, a party above nearly beaned me in the head with a football-sized rock! Never the less, this route is worth doing.
    By Frank Stock
    Sep 23, 2002

    Good stuff. The first 30 feet or so has the crux and only takes a small wire and alien or similar for pro, and it is SLIPPERY. Once you are through the slippery stuff, the climbing is steep, juggy and really fun. Combined with the 5.7 finish to the West Buttress, it is a great outing.
    By George Bell
    From: Boulder, CO
    Oct 7, 2002

    The 5.8 crack on the right on pitch 2 seemed to me about as hard as the middle route through the roof (pitch 2 of Hair City). Less strenuous, perhaps, but trickier and looser.
    By Scott Conner
    From: Lyons, CO
    Jun 7, 2003

    Yet another finish to this route face climbs out from the belay alcove (before the chimney) to the right on good holds, but runout (5.5), to join the West Chimney route. This finish is rated 5.7 but feels more like 5.8 to me. This second pitch can be done in one long pitch. A great link-up.

    Rossiter calls this 5.8+S so I was reluctant to get on it for a while. It didn't feel too runout to me; just take advantage of placement opportunities.
    By Bruce Berkowitz
    Aug 22, 2003

    Did the 1st pitch yesterday. I thought there was adequate pro if you are solid at the grade....
    By Stich
    From: Colorado Springs, Colorado
    May 9, 2005
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    We did the route about a week ago. I took P2. The first pitch starts just up the trail from Hair City and immediately traverses left. You can get a very shallow small cam on the far left before you go up. P2 has you just under an overhang with a crack running up the right side. There's a doughnut hole of rock you can sling if you like, but it's fractured. A cam to the left would be better. I climbed up to inspect the thin roof crack in the back of the overhang and decided what kind of piece I wanted, stepped down to the big ledge and got it ready, and then went up the crack. Pretty exciting! The rest of the pitch is very straight forward and broken up with rest ledges. Consider doing this route if you are looking for something at the grade and the other routes on the Bastille are occupied. Much easier than "Breakfast in Bed" a few lines over.
    By Chris Zeller
    From: Boulder, CO
    May 19, 2009

    Very fun classic route. Steep climbing on jugs. Easy access and 3 pitches to the summit. What else can you ask for?

    The cruxes have adequate pro and clear fall lines. Some of the moves are spooky and exposed but not to warrant an S IMHO.

    The crux for me was about 30 feet after the start as you pull onto the arrette. My advice--just let go of the bomber undercling and trust the smaller holds above. Its over in a minute then its fun heucos to a fun chimmney.
    By Alex Vidal
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jul 16, 2014

    Definitely has adequate pro if you take the time to place it. Fine climbing, tainted only by its brevity.
    By Jay Eggleston
    From: Denver
    Aug 28, 2016
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    I agree that the pro is adequate. The route is fun! There really is no longer a fixed anchor at the end, but there are other ways to continue up.
    By Nate Hrivnak
    From: Boulder
    Jul 28, 2017
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    Got a grey 0.4 BD C4 stuck just past the roof to the right on pitch two. Any good Samaritan who manages to get it out, there's a pair of Zeal Optics sunglasses of your choice waiting for you. Call or text me at (248) 345-8394. Thank you.

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