The climbing is excellent, certainly as good as many other three star routes. The route starts near the NE corner of the Bastille, right off the road and about 50 feet east of the Bastille Crack. Walk just past the first steep buttress (March of Dimes Buttress--about 50 feet high) that lies on the road, 100 yards or so west of the parking lot. The route starts just right of a 40 foot, large rotten dihedral formed by the west edge of March of Dimes Buttress. A really fun and not too difficult route, although it does not follow a direct line and the crack moves from side to side. This route has it all, face climbing, hand crack, and fingers. Truly a great line.
Getting here is not difficult. 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.
Route DescriptionPitch 1
- Climb up flakes either on the right or the left for 25 feet or so, and then lieback another shallow flake to a stance about 50 feet up. Follow a beautiful thin crack (fingers) that moves gently back and forth, sometimes taking the appearance of a dihedral. Belay from bolts on a sloping ledge about 140 feet up. In my opinion this traverse is the crux. You can either exit low and face climb to the bolts, or continue up the well protected crack and downclimb to the anchors. I recommend stepping left to the ledge 5 feet or so before the crack ends (especially if your second isn't solid--the bolts are not on top of the crack).
- Traverse 15 feet left across the ledge to an obvious, right leaning crack/slot (moving the belay if desired). Climb that for about 60 feet (this is where the crux is, with perfect hand jams but awkward feet placement.) Belay on another large ledge. Above is the 5.10c finger crack of March of Dimes; climb that, or traverse off east. Be vey careful on the descent, especially if the rock is slick. Go to the east quite a ways to avoid any issues.
Note: Many people do the fantastic first pitch, then rap from the bolts down and east to the top of March of Dimes buttress, where another bolt anchor exists allowing passage to the ground. Easy to do with a 50 meter rope. If you have a 60 meter rope you can rap the entire route (except for 10 feet or so that can easily be downclimbed.) A 70 meter rope will allow for the route to be TRed.
Rossiter suggests up to a #4 Friend, but the whole climb seemed well protected with nothing larger than a #3 (but bring at least 2 of those, and 2 # 2.5). You could conceivably place a number 4 at the bottom of the crux pitch. Bring lots of small gear for the first pitch. When I led the climb I had #.5-3 Black Diamond Camalots as well as a few smaller pieces (Aliens) and a set of nuts. This should be more than enough to protect the climb. Make sure to bring long runners since this climb follows a line that moves back and forth quite a bit. Long runners will avoid rope drag and make the life of the leader much easier.