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Northcutt Start Variation (5.10d)

Northcutt Start Variation (5.10d)

Northcutt Start Variation (5.10d)

Page Type: Route

Location: Colorado, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 32.84000°N / 113.91°W

Object Title: Northcutt Start Variation (5.10d)

Route Type: Trad Climbing

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Time Required: Less than two hours

Rock Difficulty: 5.10d (YDS)

Number of Pitches: 1

Grade: I

Route Quality: 
 - 2 Votes


Page By: Dan Dalton

Created/Edited: Jul 25, 2007 / Jul 25, 2007

Object ID: 316139

Hits: 2578 

Page Score: 75.81%  - 6 Votes 

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A great line that adds some spice to the Bastille Crack if you decided to do the entire route or a line that can stand alone. A fun hand-crack, with periodic rests, that becomes thiner and thiner until you must eventually treaverse and pull around the arete. Fun movements and great rock make this less climbed cousin of the Bastille Crack a great way to spend a few hours.

Getting There

Super easy, if you can get to Eldorado Springs, then you can find the Bastille. From Denver head North on I-25 towards US 36. Take the CO Hwy 170 exit. Follow it as it curves around a new shopping complex, and go past CO Hwy 93 to the town of Eldorado Springs and to the state park. Yes, this is a state park so there is a fee required (5-6 dollars depending on the time of the year.)

From Boulder, take CO Hwy 93 (Broadway) South until you get to the first stop light after leaving Boulder. This is Eldorado Springs Dr. Take this West until you hit the town. The park entrance is at the end of the dirt road into town.

The Bastille is the first large 'spire' or 'tower' to the south and is directly off the road. Look for a chalked up line to the left of the Bastille Crack (5.7) The anchors for the first pitch should be visable and are the same anchors as for the Bastille Crack.

Route Description

Beginning of  Northcutt Start
Lower portion with good hands and liebacks.
This is a variation start to the mega-classic Bastille Crack and is only one pitch long.

Pitch 1: (5.10d), 65'. A gorgeous short climb, with a terrific tempo. Start at the crack in the corner of the left-facing dihedral about 10 feet to the left of the Bastille crack. Perfect hand sized jams and laybacks with occasional resting spots gradually grow more strenuous up the steep corner. Once you are in the thin fingers just past the first fixed piton, move to the right and traverse a little to turn the arete. Another piton will protect the crux.
Starting the Northcutt Traverse
Right after the thin fingers.

Apparently there is a trick here, however I just crimp the face with the right hand, stab a two finger pocket and move my feet high, (with the left smearing on the finger crack and the right smearing just underneath the small bulge.) From here you must commit to the anchors, but it is not far. This route will leave you smiling and happy, I highly recommend this!
Pulling Around the Arete
Pulling over the arete after getting out of the thin fingers crack.

Essential Gear

If you are doing the entire Bastille Crack, then you will need a full rack. However, if you are merely doing the Northcutt Start some smaller aliens and TCU's, a few nuts, and some draws for the fixed pitons at the crux should suffice.

As always be safe and wear a helemt if you know parties are ahead of you!


In Thin FingersLast Few Moves on \'Northcutt Start\'Rope ClusterBeginning of \'Northcutt Start\'Starting the Northcutt TraversePulling Around the AreteNearing Thin Fingers