La Demande*** 6a
[Graeme Read approaching  the overhang on the second pitch in the chimney , 3 kb]320m, 12 pitches. 1) 5+, 2) 5+, 3) 5+, 4) 6a, 5) 6a, 6) 5+, 7) 6a, 8) 6a, 9) 5, 10) 6a, 11) 6a, 12) 5+,. THE major classic, it should be on the itinerary of any serious climber who visits the Verdon. Its first ascent, by Joel Coqueugniot and François Guillot, in the autumn of 1968 started the ball rolling in a big way! The route is approached from the Couloir Sampson via the damp tunnels (20/25 mins) - an average team should allow about 5 hours for the ascent, though don't under estimate the effort of a strenuous 300m crack-climb done largely in the sun - benightments are not uncommon. The logistics of an ascent are left for individual teams to work out, though it is worth pointing out that the upper chimneys are a bit of a battle with a rucsack! A UK grade of HVS 5a for seasoned crack-climbers and E2 5b for wall-rats might feel appropriate. Over the years the climb has gradually acquired more and more fixed protection and the once fearsome upper chimneys have lost some their reputation. Nuts and cams up to mid-size are reassuring. © ROCKFAX

Photo: Graeme Read approaching the overhang on the second pitch in the chimney © SteveSBlake
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This climb is in 116 logbooks, and on 70 wishlists.

Took 10h. Really good journey up this amazing route. A trad rack (C4 0.5 to 2 + medium size nuts + slings) was put to good use.
etrillaud - AltLd O/S - 25/Oct/14

again, great
stuart34 - AltLd rpt - 18/Oct/14 with Mick

Fragmod - Lead - 05/Sep/14

James Oakes - AltLd O/S - 04/Sep/14 with Gareth Hooson

what a beauty! walked in from Samson, climbed in 7hrs so much fun!! with some scary 6a pt's
shafiq lalloo - AltLd O/S - 26/Jul/14 with jacobjacob

Finished off after bailing in a thunderstorm last year, a masterclass in chimneying!
jacobjacob - AltLd O/S - 26/Jul/14

Bit of a beast.
Bristoldave - Lead O/S - 23/Jul/14 with Caroline

Hidden - AltLd - 04/Jun/14

kelliroberts3 - AltLd - 23/May/14 with Peter Rigby

Just over 5 hours.
Graham Baxter - AltLd O/S - 16/May/14 with Alan Carne

Classic, must do, but the chimneys could be brutal for the gym climber.
walts4 - 10/May/14

Pete Rigby - AltLd - May/14 with Kelli Roberts

Forgot the trad rack so did it with a dozen quickdraws, which proved to be too many. It's more of a trad route with a few bolts in between so bring a rack. Amazing crack and chimney.
sarpedon - AltLd O/S - 18/Apr/14 with Benjamin Corbey

An excellent first introduction to multipitch climbing
BenL - AltLd O/S - 16/Apr/14 with Ryu

rjf106 - AltLd O/S - 16/Apr/14 with Ben

even better 2nd time round
stuart34 - AltLd β - 11/Apr/14 with Adam Russel

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 11/Apr/14

burto - AltLd - 11/Apr/14 with clare, malc

I led pitches 1,3,5,7,9 and 11 and Chris led 2,4,6,8,10,12 and 13. What a route!!!! It took us a total of 12 hours to climb the route which is nothing like a sport route!Both Chris and I climbed plenty of E1s and E2s and hard sport last year up to 7a onsight and this route took all we had! its a mental and physical challenge to get up the thing!DON'T UNDERESTIMATE IT! It started to rain when i reached the top of pitch 5 which we both think was the crux and i was gutted thinking we will have to lower off! Instead we decided to push on and till rain stopped play.....it didnt and we fought our way up the wickedly exposed and poorly protected in places chimneys!As I made my way up pitch 7 and reached the first chimney section it rained for 30 minutes but didn't effect the route which was very fortunate. Chris got his sling stuck around the tree higher up and was forced to lie down on it to release his sling from underneath it! We were both drained of body and mind at the top. Mission accomplished!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
jon_gill1 - AltLd O/S - 08/Apr/14 with chris Lyness

RKirke - AltLd O/S - Apr/14 with Oli B

Brilliant. Long day. Abseiled in from dalle grise
arose - Lead - 20/Sep/13 with Hannah Francis

Brilliant but hard. Very hard. Abseiled in from dalles grises. Managed not to take rucksacks and was very glad for that but a little dehydrated. Well worth doing as long as you are aware that verdon 6a is hard...
Tightsgirl - 2nd - 20/Sep/13 with Ali Rose

Second time climbing this. Real adventure. Partner really struggled and I had to lead all the 6A pitches and chimneys at the top. Finished the last couple of pitches in the dark with head torches. Full route took a total of 13 hours but ran out of water after 5hrs. 8hrs, no water, 30 degrees, completely dehydrated. Fun
Adam Potter - AltLd - Sep/13 with Ross Black

Quality route. Took two competent 7a climbers 7.30 hours. Make sure you leave enough time
olly12344 - AltLd O/S - 09/Aug/13 with Patrick Hill

Patrick Hill - AltLd O/S - 09/Aug/13 with olly12344

P0.5-12
Ri - Lead O/S - 25/Jun/13

led pitch 1 and 3-7 then abbed off as getting late.. down to pitch 6 then walk right to pinnacle, abbed down short slope and traversed along cliff side another ab into the Jardin .. walk through forest...then found 3 or 4 straight forward abs to valley floor. check out the local colour guide book. Did the route 12 years ago but a shame not to finish it again.
Helen Gibson - Lead O/S - 17/Jun/13 with Chris Vernon

Demanding.. great pitches and exposure. Done but far away from being really proud really.. not great style. Will have to go back and do it as it should be done :-)
Murilo Lessa - AltLd dog - 04/May/13 with Pawel Zdziarski

pawelx - Lead dog - May/13 with Murilo

amazing climb shame about the polish, got stuck in the chimney for like half an hour very stressful.
Michael Allday - AltLd - 16/Apr/13

Awesome climb, started a bit late, so was getting nervous, especially when mike got stuck in the chimmney phahaha! great adventure though, 6a sport climber would probs die on it. finished with only 30 mins of daylight left, both pretty knackered.
Bruce Houston - AltLd - Apr/13 with Mike

John Carney - Mar/13 with Adam George

First 5 pitches, Started late (1 o'clock) and leading with rucksack on made it slow got back beforeb dark.
Tom Seccombe - Lead dnf - 25/Oct/12 with Harvey

Worth 6b.
Martin Haworth - AltLd dnf - 19/Sep/12 with Andy

Complete sandbag at 6a.6a pitches ranged in difficulty from 6a+ to 6b+. Bailed out after 10 pitches. Abseiled down in the dark.....a nightmare.Don't attempt this unless you are a solid E2 climber and make sure you start earlier than we did at 11.20am!!
Andrew Sloan - AltLd dnf - 19/Sep/12 with Martin Haworth

Hidden - AltLd - 17/Jun/12

Hidden - AltLd - 16/Jun/12

Started 12:30 to get maximum shade, finished 8 hours later rather than 7 mainly due to wobbling by yours truly on pitch 2 (nasty move off belay with no gear until I jetisoned 2 litres of water and butties on Chris) and pitch 6 where very spaced bolts go straight up otherwise unprotected offwidth - OR... you go right instead, up an insecure-feeling finger crack/layback! Great route though and found exit chimneys interesting (ahem) - I back and footed to the max, (not too bad I thought) and Chris bridged bravely up to the very welcome tree. Found most bolts with tat hanging on them low down on route where jams were required - not a favourite technique round these parts perhaps? Unnerved by thunder sounds all day despite blue sky - probably the army trying to freak us out even more!
Cheshire Dave - AltLd - 07/Jun/12 with Chris

kiks - AltLd O/S - 04/Jun/12 with Dave

davidgent - Jun/12 with Kilian

Hidden - Jun/12

polished first pitch, but rest is just amazing, exciting positions, tricky chimneys (I found the second more difficult as fatigue set in). we were lucky enough to have the route to ourselves in May on a beautiful sun soaked day, shade arrived circa 3pm. we climbed as a three and it took the best part of 8 hours. joined a few pitches so it became 10 in total, estimated circa 400m of rope length. brilliant day out.
Robin Brooke - 2nd - May/12 with alan carne, Paula Ryan

Hidden - 2nd - 11/Apr/12

Hidden - AltLd β - 21/Mar/12

Lead pitch 2 and 4. Confused pitch numbers so fell off 6a pitch twice and lost all psyche by the 5th pitch! Still a long way to the top and the chimney pitches at the top a nightmare with bags. Finished as it got dark followed by an hour or so shivering in a lay by while Vince and Drew got lost looking for the car. Ended with a 7 mile walk out. Great day out!
Laurence Cowton - AltLd dog - 21/Mar/12 with Ed

Pryan - 2nd - 2012

Hidden - 2012

Managed 3 pitches before I committed the ultimate stupidity and dropped my belay plate. Retreated. Tunnels ARE accessible in an emergency!
andybenham - AltLd dnf - 01/Oct/11 with Gareth Hayfield

Polish not too bad low down. Pitches are shorter than other routes we did in the gorge, but only got to p3 - see below 'stupidity' comment ;-)
Gareth - AltLd dnf - 01/Oct/11 with Andrew

michaelja - AltLd - Oct/11 with Niek

Very nice, ut very long and very very hot!
hetaher - AltLd O/S - 06/Sep/11 with Jonny Baker

mic_b - Lead O/S - 11/Aug/11 with Heidi

Hidden - 2nd O/S - 10/Aug/11

Quite traumatic but what an experience. Just made it to the top before a huge thunderstorm. We could hear but not see what was coming towards us!
dprctr - AltLd dog - Aug/11 with Henry Jenkins

centurion05 - Jul/11 with lee wales

Started early doors but with thunder rolling. Optimistically went for it anyway. Courty got to first belay and I was almost there when the heavens opened and we had to bail.
ianjfsutcliffe - 2nd dnf - 01/Jun/11 with Courty

Only got to pitch 6, then mate fell and broke both ankles on pitch 7! So had to get rescued by the Pompiers! Good climbing, but quite hard (sustained HVS/E1+), hot and polished. Spaced bolts, but gear inbetween. Unfinished business!
Danjones - AltLd dnf - 21/May/11 with Ollie H

Abbed off second pitch as partner not feeling the love for the route! Abbed 6 pitches down the crag to get to the bottom, prob easier to walk in!
Danjones - Lead dnf - 18/May/11 with Simon Cash

P 1 - 4, 10 - 12
stuart34 - AltLd O/S - 08/Apr/11 with Chris James

The biggest (all senses) of my climbing career so far... Huge route, full on lead pitches, overheating, hailstones, accidentally jettisoned water bottle. Biggest of all was the thunderstorm, incredibly loud and incredibly close, watched lightning explode rocks ~50 meters to our left. Still finished it, never have I been so knackered. 5 star route!
whiting.jp - AltLd O/S - Apr/11 with barra

metal arms - AltLd O/S - 06/Oct/10

Polished!
Hawkscry - AltLd - Oct/10

Ran out of light 3/4 way up so desided to ab off and walk out, a story in itself !
Dave Reeve - AltLd dnf - Oct/10 with Tim Selvage

tigertim - AltLd - Oct/10 with Dave Reeve

Led all but two early pitches. Incredible climb, easily in my top routes of all time! Climbed with some very long run-outs from the beginning to get into the spirit of the climb and this seemed to be a good move as the chimney sections in particular can leave you feeling very far from protection on lead! First and fourth pitches are the main culprits for polished holds, the rest is still in pretty good condition. Parked at Sentier Martel car park (park in the layby, NOT by the wall) and walked in about 8.30ish, topped out and hitched back by around 6pm. Hot day, but you get a pretty decent amount of shade on the route. We got through 5 litres of water between us, the group behind only brought a litre! Highly recommended route, an amazing way to see the Verdon Gorge.
tom.ireson - AltLd O/S - 24/Jun/10 with Paul Jones

Hidden - AltLd - 09/Jun/10

Greg M - AltLd - 09/Jun/10 with K2

Grubes took a nasty fall and didn't feel up to continuing. Gutted...
willworkforfoodjnr - AltLd dnf - 06/Mar/10 with grubes

after taking a fall on second pitch psyche gone back off for another time
grubes - AltLd dnf - 06/Mar/10 with Chris

Only lead 2 pitches, both at the beginning. Long varied climb with some "gentlemens" climbing up the chimney.
Paul D Jones - AltLd - 2010 with Tom Ireson

Wicked route. All a bit old school!
Jake Shaw - Sep/09 with Dan

Lou Kennedy - AltLd - 12/Aug/09

Seb31 - AltLd O/S - Aug/09 with seb

Kyuzo - 02/May/09 with Juha Kaupilla

Hidden - AltLd - 23/Apr/09

4.5 hours
greenclimb - Lead O/S - 10/Apr/09

Adam Potter - AltLd O/S - 2009 with Louise Kennedy

Seb31 - AltLd - Sep/08

Hidden - Lead dnf - Aug/08

Hidden - 2nd dog - May/08

Julian Mowbray - AltLd O/S - 30/Apr/08 with Tom

chiverstom - Lead O/S - 01/Apr/08 with Dave Turner

Hidden - 2nd - 10/Nov/07

lead all but one 5+ pitch.
jonnyboy - Lead O/S - 07/Sep/07 with Tom Baker

tomB - 06/Sep/07 with John walton

Simply brilliant
Stuart Johnston - Jun/07 with g taylor

Hidden - 2007

dave o - AltLd - 22/Oct/06 with Jon Yearsley

Lead all pitches. Proposed to my now wife on the top!
Jus - Lead - Oct/06

K1 - 2006

Hidden - AltLd - 2003

Neil Ireson - AltLd - Sep/02 with Pete M

got my helmet stuck on the chimney pitch - not very funny at the time
WB - AltLd O/S - Apr/01 with Guy

GuyM - AltLd - Apr/01 with will

Les Ross - AltLd - Jul/00 with David Millar

dan gibson - AltLd O/S - Sep/97

Topped out in the dark, 10k walk back to the car
Daniel Wrightson - Lead O/S - Mar/96 with Olivia Horner

Top pitch only
timreynolds - Lead - 16/Aug/95

Hidden - Lead O/S - May/92

ChrisJD - AltLd - Apr/90 with Alex

mark mcgowan01 - 1989

Near death experience with a falling belay ledge
scree - Aug/86 with Adi the dentist

andy gittins - 1986

Led almost all of the route and didnt have any info on it. Brian, a watersport enthusiast at the time, decided he wanted to try a lead - the next pitch happened to be the chimney pitch which at the time had only an occasional piton for protection.He huffed and puffed a bit but did all right on this, one of his early leads.Good effort
David Smith - AltLd O/S - 26/Jun/85 with Brian barker

jasper11 - Lead - 1985

Nigel Coe - AltLd - Apr/84 with Pete Oxley

Mike Owen - 23/Aug/83 with Elaine Owen

Nigel Bond - AltLd - 09/May/83 with Charlie Leverton

Nic Robinson - AltLd O/S - 27/Jul/82 with Irish George

Colin took his shoes off on a ledge half way up the route. Mistake! The day had become so warm that he had great difficulty replacing the shoes on heat-swolen feet. I've got a great slide (somewhere) of Colin following with a daysac dangling on a long from his harness as he briged up a corner with the river waaaay below. Happy days!
Falko - Lead - 1982 with Colin Armstrong

keefe - Aug/81

Mark Kemball - AltLd - Sep/80

Hidden - AltLd - 31/Aug/80

Hidden - 2nd - Jul/80

Hidden - AltLd O/S - Apr/80

Hidden - AltLd - 1980

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Voting
Total votes cast 48
hard 6b0 of 26
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easy 6b17 of 26
hard 6a+1 of 26
6a+2 of 26
easy 6a+0 of 26
hard 6a5 of 26
6a1 of 26
easy 6a0 of 26
hard 5c0 of 26
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easy 5c0 of 26
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