320m, 12 pitches.

Rockfax Description
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

Ticklists: 10 Multi-pitch Routes Worth Travelling For.

ian d f 17/Oct Lead O/S

Were first on the route around 9:30 am and got to the top about 3, I think. Hitched back down to get car.

Paul Figg 07/Oct AltLd
with Andy Brown, Malcolm Bass
Malcolm Bass ?/Oct AltLd
with Paul Figg, Andy Brown
markfairbank 03/Aug Lead O/S

Certainly an experience! 10hrs to climb.... Polished, runout, hard, superb.... Parked at couloir Samson and walked in which meant getting the car back was a chew involving a big walk! Eventually got back to it about 23:00hrs. Couldn't carry enough water really so was parched at the top. Defo don't under estimate the route, certainly more trad like. Dropped my shades on P10 in case anyone finds them at the bottom

Anne Gumbley 03/Aug 2nd
Hidden 18/May AltLd
Hidden 18/May AltLd
orcnys 03/May AltLd RP

Done in 11 hours and finished just after dusk. Tried in 2014 but starting at 11am proved to be way too late and abseiled after 6th pitch. It is an adventure. Definitely carry a rack with some larger nuts/cams.

Hidden 02/May AltLd O/S
tatz45 02/May AltLd O/S
Chris Sansum 21/Apr AltLd dnf

'Clean onsight' as far as we got (end of pitch 8), but partner was exhausted at that point and had nothing left for the last 4 pitches so we abseiled down (and he took ages to get ready to leave the campsite in the morning). Will be back!

with Robert Harris
soph 02/Apr AltLd O/S

A grand day out

dswansonlow 02/Apr Lead O/S
alpinist63 ?/Apr -
doctorgranite ??/2015 AltLd
etrillaud 25/Oct/14 AltLd O/S

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.

stuart34 18/Oct/14 AltLd rpt

again, great

with Mick
Fragmod 05/Sep/14 Lead
James Oakes 04/Sep/14 AltLd O/S
shafiq lalloo 26/Jul/14 AltLd O/S

what a beauty! walked in from Samson, climbed in 7hrs so much fun!! with some scary 6a pt's

jacobjacob 26/Jul/14 AltLd O/S

Finished off after bailing in a thunderstorm last year, a masterclass in chimneying!

Bristoldave 23/Jul/14 Lead O/S

Bit of a beast.

with Caroline
Hidden 04/Jun/14 AltLd
kelliroberts3 23/May/14 AltLd
Graham Baxter 16/May/14 AltLd O/S

Just over 5 hours.

with Alan Carne
walts4 10/May/14 -

Classic, must do, but the chimneys could be brutal for the gym climber.

Pete Rigby ?/May/14 AltLd
with Kelli Roberts
sarpedon 18/Apr/14 AltLd O/S

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.

with Benjamin Corbey
BenL 16/Apr/14 AltLd O/S

An excellent first introduction to multipitch climbing

with Ryu
rjf106 16/Apr/14 AltLd O/S
with Ben
stuart34 11/Apr/14 AltLd β

even better 2nd time round

Hidden 11/Apr/14 AltLd O/S
burto 11/Apr/14 AltLd
with clare, malc
jon_gill1 08/Apr/14 AltLd O/S

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

with chris Lyness
RKirke ?/Apr/14 AltLd O/S
with Oli B
arose 20/Sep/13 Lead

Brilliant. Long day. Abseiled in from dalle grise

Tightsgirl 20/Sep/13 2nd

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...

Adam Potter ?/Sep/13 AltLd

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

with Ross Black
oliver.ghill91 09/Aug/13 AltLd O/S

Quality route. Took two competent 7a climbers 7.30 hours. Make sure you leave enough time

Patrick Hill 09/Aug/13 AltLd O/S
Ri 25/Jun/13 Lead O/S


Helen Gibson 17/Jun/13 Lead O/S

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.

with Chris Vernon
Murilo Lessa 04/May/13 AltLd dog

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 :-)

with Pawel Zdziarski
pawelx ?/May/13 Lead dog
with Murilo
Michael Allday 16/Apr/13 AltLd

amazing climb shame about the polish, got stuck in the chimney for like half an hour very stressful.

Bruce Houston ?/Apr/13 AltLd

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.

with Mike
John Carney ?/Mar/13 -
with Adam George
Tom Seccombe 25/Oct/12 Lead dnf

First 5 pitches, Started late (1 o'clock) and leading with rucksack on made it slow got back beforeb dark.

with Harvey
Martin Haworth 19/Sep/12 AltLd dnf

Worth 6b.

with Andy
Andrew Sloan 19/Sep/12 AltLd dnf

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!!

Hidden 17/Jun/12 AltLd
conorjclarke 16/Jun/12 AltLd

what an adventure. started early and still got benighted and slept at the top. onsighted 10 of the 12 pitches ... 'french freed' the other two out of tiredness/fear, but no falls. those top chimneys are scary!

with Neal Gupta
Cheshire Dave 07/Jun/12 AltLd

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!

with Chris
kiks 04/Jun/12 AltLd O/S
with Dave
davidgent ?/Jun/12 -
with Kilian
Hidden ?/Jun/12 -
Robin Brooke ?/May/12 2nd

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.

with alan carne, Paula Ryan
Hidden 11/Apr/12 2nd
Hidden 21/Mar/12 AltLd β
Laurence Cowton 21/Mar/12 AltLd dog

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!

with Ed
Pryan ??/2012 2nd
Hidden ??/2012 -
andybenham 01/Oct/11 AltLd dnf

Managed 3 pitches before I committed the ultimate stupidity and dropped my belay plate. Retreated. Tunnels ARE accessible in an emergency!

Gareth 01/Oct/11 AltLd dnf

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 ;-)

with Andrew
michaelja ?/Oct/11 AltLd
with Niek
HeatherF 06/Sep/11 AltLd O/S

Very nice, ut very long and very very hot!

with Jonny Baker
mic_b 11/Aug/11 Lead O/S
with Heidi
Hidden 10/Aug/11 2nd O/S
dprctr ?/Aug/11 AltLd dog

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!

centurion05 ?/Jul/11 -
with lee wales
ianjfsutcliffe 01/Jun/11 2nd dnf

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.

with Courty
Danjones 21/May/11 AltLd dnf

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!

with Ollie H
Danjones 18/May/11 Lead dnf

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!

with Simon Cash
stuart34 08/Apr/11 AltLd O/S

P 1 - 4, 10 - 12

whiting.jp ?/Apr/11 AltLd O/S

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!

with barra
metal arms 06/Oct/10 AltLd O/S
Hawkscry ?/Oct/10 AltLd


Dave Reeve ?/Oct/10 AltLd dnf

Ran out of light 3/4 way up so desided to ab off and walk out, a story in itself !

tigertim ?/Oct/10 AltLd
tom.ireson 24/Jun/10 AltLd O/S

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.

with Paul Jones
Hidden 09/Jun/10 AltLd
Greg M 09/Jun/10 AltLd
with K2
willworkforfoodjnr 06/Mar/10 AltLd dnf

Grubes took a nasty fall and didn't feel up to continuing. Gutted...

with grubes
grubes 06/Mar/10 AltLd dnf

after taking a fall on second pitch psyche gone back off for another time

with Chris
Paul D Jones ??/2010 AltLd

Only lead 2 pitches, both at the beginning. Long varied climb with some "gentlemens" climbing up the chimney.

Jake Shaw ?/Sep/09 -

Wicked route. All a bit old school!

with Dan
Lou Kennedy 12/Aug/09 AltLd
Seb31 ?/Aug/09 AltLd O/S
with seb
Kyuzo 02/May/09 -
with Juha Kaupilla
Hidden 23/Apr/09 AltLd
greenclimb 10/Apr/09 Lead O/S

4.5 hours

Adam Potter ??/2009 AltLd O/S
with Louise Kennedy
Seb31 ?/Sep/08 AltLd
Hidden ?/Aug/08 Lead dnf
Hidden ?/May/08 2nd dog
Julian Mowbray 30/Apr/08 AltLd O/S
with Tom
chiverstom 01/Apr/08 Lead O/S
with Dave Turner
Hidden 10/Nov/07 2nd
jonnyboy 07/Sep/07 Lead O/S

lead all but one 5+ pitch.

tomB 06/Sep/07 -
Stuart Johnston ?/Jun/07 -

Simply brilliant

Hidden ??/2007 -
dave o 22/Oct/06 AltLd
with Jon Yearsley
Jus ?/Oct/06 Lead

Lead all pitches. Proposed to my now wife on the top!

K1 ??/2006 -
Hidden ??/2003 AltLd
Neil Ireson ?/Sep/02 AltLd
with Pete M
WB ?/Apr/01 AltLd O/S

got my helmet stuck on the chimney pitch - not very funny at the time

with Guy
GuyM ?/Apr/01 AltLd
with will
Les Ross ?/Jul/00 AltLd
with David Millar
migs493 10/Sep/98 AltLd O/S

Lead most of the route. Absolutely brilliant climbing although the bottom four pitches were very polished.

Just Another Dave ?/Jun/98 Lead O/S

Led every pitch with no trad gear at all. Some pitches had only two bolts in their entire lengths. I'd never led harder than 6a /E1 at the time, and thought it ok for the grade, but my second had only been taken up VS before, yet never came off and showed me up for enthusiasm and energy. Legend, Ollie. 10 hours though. What a milestone.

with Ollie Cule
dan gibson ?/Sep/97 AltLd O/S
Daniel Wrightson ?/Mar/96 Lead O/S

Topped out in the dark, 10k walk back to the car

with Olivia Horner
timreynolds 16/Aug/95 Lead

Top pitch only

Hidden ?/May/92 Lead O/S
Hidden ?/Jun/91 Lead O/S
Hidden ?/Apr/90 AltLd
mark mcgowan01 ??/1989 -
Martin Haworth ?/Sep/86 AltLd
with Dave Snowden
scree ?/Aug/86 -

Near death experience with a falling belay ledge

with Adi the dentist
andy gittins ??/1986 -
uphillnow 26/Jun/85 AltLd O/S

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

with Brian barker
Gerard DANTEC ?/Apr/85 Lead
with Denis LEROY
Robmwatt ??/1985 Lead
johno072 ??/1985 Lead
valuks1 09/Jul/84 AltLd

An absolute classic and still the longest route to date for me!

Nigel Coe ?/Apr/84 AltLd
with Pete Oxley
teebee1805 06/Sep/83 AltLd O/S

7.5hrs car to car. very hot need more water.

with CJ
Mike Owen 23/Aug/83 -
with Elaine Owen
Nigel Bond 09/May/83 AltLd
with Charlie Leverton
Nic Robinson 27/Jul/82 AltLd O/S
with Irish George
TonyF 01/Jul/82 Lead O/S
with Anthony
Falko ??/1982 Lead

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!

with Colin Armstrong
keefe ?/Aug/81 -
Hidden ??/1981 Lead
Mark Kemball ?/Sep/80 AltLd
Hidden 31/Aug/80 AltLd
Hidden ?/Jul/80 2nd
Hidden ?/Apr/80 AltLd O/S
Hidden ??/1980 AltLd
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High 6b
Mid 6b
Low 6b
High 6a+
Mid 6a+
Low 6a+
High 6a
Mid 6a
Low 6a
High 5c
Mid 5c
Low 5c
Votes cast 31
Votes cast 27
Style of ascent
Alt Leads
Not Set
Flashed (β)
Not Set