Bastille

A sport climbing area with bolted routes on good quality rock in the alpine environment south of The Tooth near Snoqualmie Pass. The name of the area comes from the French holiday, same day some of the routes were established.

Getting There

Take Exit 52 off of I-90 at Snoqualmie Pass, and turn northwest onto Alpental Road and follow it to the Alpental parking area (3,100 ft).

Approach

The approach starts the same as for The Tooth, up the Snow Lake Trail, above Source Lake, and into the bolder-strewn Great Scott Basin. Ascend the saddle at the top of the basin. From there  descend south 100-200 vertical feet until reaching a faint path across a narrow rocky area, and then ascend on a somewhat treacherous side-hill through the trees to the base of the climbs. Slips on the pine needles can lead to unnervingly long slides.

Climbing Routes

As of 2021, this is a new sport climbing area that is being developed. The photo below shows the rough the locations of three routes. There are a few other routes further south and east down the ridge.

Bastille_topo.jpg

Climbing routes left to right are:

Croissant (2 pitch, 5.8+, Pitch 1 is 3 clips, and Pitch 2 is 9 clips): Start on an easy slab. The first two bolts of the second pitch are the hard part, then it's consistent 5.8-ish terrain above with hand and foot jam opportunities. Like its namesake, the route is delicious but there are also a lot of flakes.  Both anchors are two bolts with tat.

Block Island Express: A short route connecting the bolted anchors from mid Croissant to the base of Belle Vue.

Belle Vue (5.9,   12 clips): The route begins on top of Block Island Ledge. There is a two bolt anchor with rap rings at the start of the route. The crux is all the lichen around 6th or 7th bolt where the route takes a noticeable path to the left. There are great view at the top. A 60 m rope is about 3 m too short to lower from top anchor down to the belay anchor on the Block Island Ledge. Watch for loose flakes. The top anchor is two bolts with tat. Bring a wire brush to clean up some of the rock.

 Full Nelson (5.8,  19 clips): Even a 70 m rope is tight to do full route. It is possible to lower to the ledge on climber's left five clips up, at the top of the right-facing dihedral. From this ledge a 60 m rope will work for the top 14 clips.  About four clips from the anchor, one of the bolted areas sounded hollow to a knock. If you have a shorter rope or are breaking this into 2 sections, there is no bolted anchor at the ledge so you may choose to build one.  Placement opportunities are pretty slim, but it's possible  to get a BD 0.75 cam and BD red #7 nut in a few of the cracks. The top anchor is two bolts with chains connected to a rap ring.

 Ça Ira (5.8+,  9 clips): The route starts right after the big gully and the first bolt a bit high. There is a small, lichen-covered roof after the 6th bolt, but the 7th bolt can be clipped before attempting the roof. The rock quality is good to start, but it gets licheny near the roof and beyond to the anchor. A 60 m rope is plenty. Top anchor is fully equipped, two bolts and rap rings. Ça Ira (French: "it'll be fine") is an emblematic song of the French Revolution, first heard in May 1790.

Notes

  • A 70 m rope is a good idea.
  • Once on the ledge on Block Island you'll be there for a while, so bring drinks, stash a pack, etc.
  • Don't underestimate the rugged traverse from the top of the Great Scott basin to the base of the climb.  While not far, it's very slippery side-hilling above consequential terrain that makes for slow going.
  • Staying high on the traverse from from Great Scott Basin allows entering the slabs on the first pitch of Croissant.
  • Beware flakes and loose rock. There is one large, suspect flake on Belle Vue, and another hollow-sounding area on Full Nelson about 4 clips from the anchor.
  • Be a good citizen. Bring quicklinks to donate or webbing to replace old.  A wire brush can clean up the lichen and make the holds safer.

  • Suitable Activities: Climbing
  • Climbing Category: Rock Climb
  • Seasons: May, June, July, August, September, October, November
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Intermediate Rock Climb
  • Length: 9.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,000 ft
  • 5,500 ft
Map
  • Green Trails Snoqualmie Pass Gateway No. 207S
Activities

Upcoming Activities

There are no activities scheduled at this location.

Trip Reports
Resources
Name/Description
Mountaineers Beta & Brews: Ptarmigan Traverse and the Tooth Fairy with Jim Nelson

The Mountaineers Beta & Brews "Ptarmigan Traverse and Tooth Fairy" presented on Nov 27, 2021 by Jim Nelson.

Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.