Rockfax Description
III, 205m. The word classic is overused but in this case it barely does it justice. The route finding is not straightforward in the lower section, but the climbing is good from the start and gets even better in the top half. There are numerous variations on the first half of the route and even after several ascents, you may find yourself taking a slightly different line every time. Most of the variations are of similar difficulty and there are plenty of fixed belays, so provided you end up at the foot of the fifth (crux) pitch, don't worry too much about how you got there!
1) 5c, 30m. Climb the shallow corner, which feels quite awkward straight off the deck, and an enjoyable hand-jamming crack above. Step right to belay on a flat ledge.
2) 5c, 30m. Climb up and right from the belay and follow the increasingly steep corner to a long ledge and belay at the far right of this. It is tempting to follow easy ground rightwards instead of climbing this pitch, but this ends up being harder than just sticking to the proper route.
3) 5c, 30m. Instead of climbing the crack immediately above the belay, move right and follow the hand-jamming crack to an exposed stance just below a small overhang.
4) 5c, 25m. Jam your way through the overhang (easier than it looks) and continue up the excellent crack to a stance on the ridge crest.
5) 6a+, 40m. Move left and follow the thin crack up the wall. The crux move is halfway up the pitch and involves leaving the crack and stepping into a different one on the right. Small cams (but not micro cams) are useful to protect this and there are also some pegs. Once in the right-hand-crack, follow it more easily to an exposed belay.
6) 4c, 35m. Follow easier ground just to the left of the ridge crest before coming back right.
7) 4c, 15m. The ridge crest leads to a junction with Harold et Maud on a belay below a corner.
8) 5b, 25m. The corner above the belay leads to a slab and, finally, the summit.
Descent - There are numerous fixed abseil points on the main face and abseiling Harold et Maud and Contamine usually involves using belays on both routes to avoid rope snags and congestion on busy days. © Rockfax

UKC Logbook Description
Top quality granite crack climbing. Crux pitch well protected.

Ticklists: Rebuffat's 100 Finest Routes in the Mont Blanc Massif, Batoux's 100 finest routes in the Mont Blanc massif, ROCKFAX Chamonix: Top 50.

steve_gibbs 25/Aug/17 AltLd O/S
with Owen Silitch
Hidden 17/Aug/17 AltLd O/S
jamieevans 16/Aug/17 AltLd

On the crux my phone randomly started playing ACDC hell ain't a bad place to be. Helped to give it some welly.

jimbonfire 16/Aug/17 AltLd
Stickle Tarn 14/Aug/17 AltLd O/S

I took the 6a+ pitch. Chose to abseil which I don't recommend, carry backpack and walk off the summit. We had to cut our ropes after the second abseil and continue down with 40m of rope. Loads of cracks etc waiting to snag ropes. 4.5 hrs to climb, unfortunately nearly the same for the descent !

Hidden 13/Aug/17 Lead
seanhendo123 13/Aug/17 Lead O/S

Stunning route, well worth the slog back to the midi....first cpl abs have huge potential for stuck ropes

Rharrison 13/Aug/17 Lead O/S

W/ mike. Lead everything, each pitch was great! Abbed off which turned into a mini epic due to stuck ropes, missed the lift and stayed in the cosmiques

Jo sumner 05/Aug/17 2nd
Hidden 03/Aug/17 AltLd O/S
JoeCoxson 23/Jul/17 AltLd O/S

What a day. Came across from the Torino hut and climbing with bags so we could carry on to the midi. Route finding was indeed difficult in the lower sections, but we were definitely on track for the steepening corner and then on until the summit. Ended up doing the crux in a mega 50m pitch because we belayed too low and didn't split up the pitch. Rockfax pitch lengths were alright lower down, but up the top we did 3 50m pitches to get onto the top; much more than it accounts for. Raced back to the midi in poor vis, only to wait for an hour in a queue to get down, but that just made the beer in the valley taste ever better.

lukegorman 23/Jul/17 AltLd O/S

amazing climb

Hidden 15/Jul/17 AltLd
andycash 06/Jul/17 AltLd O/S
with Luca
LJC 06/Jul/17 AltLd O/S

Lead pitches 1,3,5,6. Two horrible rope snags on the way down required reclimbing some sections. 50 minutes to the route, 6 hours up and down, 2 hours back to the midi... only to find the lift broken and another 2 hour wait.

with Andy
Steve Woollard 20/Jun/17 AltLd

Absolutely amazing

with Gavin
Hidden 10/Jun/17 AltLd rpt
Matt Harle 13/Apr/17 Lead O/S
janegallwey 12/Apr/17 AltLd O/S
Hidden 02/Apr/17 AltLd
Hidden 26/Aug/16 AltLd O/S
robgixer 15/Aug/16 AltLd O/S
perrys 15/Aug/16 AltLd dog
with Rob Goodman
Vincej 11/Aug/16 2nd
with Fred Drouet
Wizzy 11/Aug/16 AltLd O/S

One of the finest routes I've done. Pitch 5 is quite simply fucking awesome

Nemmie ?/Aug/16 AltLd
Lakesben 30/Jul/16 Lead O/S

Awesome route and had it to ourselves (probably because the weather was due to crap out mid afternoon). Climbing is easy and the crux is soft. Abseil became an epic with jammed ropes and hard to find belays. Then it did crap out and instead of being back at the midi station we were getting colder and wetter trying to descend. There's a couple of good half ropes on the final ab if anyone is there soon ish and fancies climbing up to get them :(

with The Plough
dpalmer1961 19/Jul/16 Lead dog
Hidden 19/Jul/16 AltLd O/S
machars 17/Jul/16 AltLd
with Neil
monsteratt 09/Jul/16 AltLd O/S

Been on the list for a while. Very enjoyable. Crux pitch not too hard, especially compared to awkward wide sections lower down ;-)

Martin Haworth 06/Jul/16 Lead O/S

Fantastic route, one of the best I've done. 4 hours on the route, back in Chamonix for happy hour.

Matt Groom 26/Jun/16 AltLd
with Ben Coope, harry_lewis
harry_lewis 26/Jun/16 AltLd O/S
with Matt Groom, Ben Coope
bencoope 26/Jun/16 AltLd O/S

A lot easier than the Contamine on the Midi

Pina 22/Jun/16 AltLd

Accidentally set off up the 6b start, fun but very busy route with some unpleasant local guides.

with Brian Pollock, Alfie
Brian Pollock 22/Jun/16 AltLd O/S

Great route marred only by the number of teams on it

Alfie Maun 22/Jun/16 AltLd O/S
stanleynkk 08/Jun/16 AltLd
Richard Kendrick 08/Jun/16 AltLd O/S
Hugh Simons 07/Jun/16 AltLd O/S

Led the first 4 pitches to below the 2 crux pitches which David led in fine style. Calum led a couple more pitches to just below the top before we had to ab off. The walk back to the Midi from the bottom to catch the last lift was brutal... All pitches had amazing climbing, great route!

calumhicks 07/Jun/16 AltLd O/S

Best rock route I've done yet. Definitely better than rebuffat on south face of midi (and less busy!). Made it from the base of the climb to the midi in less than an hour to catch the last lift...

frejashannon 10/Apr/16 AltLd O/S
Hidden 10/Apr/16 AltLd O/S
Rob Royle 09/Sep/15 2nd

Did the 6b direct start, fantastic route!

with Mountain Guide
danJBA 07/Sep/15 AltLd O/S
Smith42 16/Jul/15 AltLd

With direct start.

with Cas
jac00 05/Jul/15 AltLd dnf
with Mike
DaveThexton 28/Jun/15 AltLd O/S
with Dave Searle
Hidden 29/May/15 AltLd O/S
ndraper1 17/May/15 AltLd O/S

Each pitch incredible and flows well. 40m dihedral is worth arguing over. Crux's are soft for the grade.

Hidden 17/May/15 AltLd O/S
nige pacer 21/Apr/15 AltLd O/S

Just first 2 pitches alas

with Andy Houseman
davkeo 23/Aug/14 AltLd O/S

Lead crux. Prob the most enjoyable pitch iv climbed. Crack offered so much. Jam, layback, high step, bridge. Excellent and engrossing.

Hidden 23/Aug/14 AltLd O/S
simondunf 23/Aug/14 AltLd O/S
with caspar
Timothy Miller 23/Aug/14 AltLd O/S
jimmatthews 05/Aug/14 AltLd O/S

Good style. Sung we are the champions to the fun Italians climbing next to us.

Hidden 05/Aug/14 AltLd
Paul Collins ?/Aug/14 AltLd O/S
with Neil Byrne
reima 25/Jul/14 AltLd dnf

Turned back 2 (easy?) pitches before the top as the clouds started to roll in and felt no need for epics.

with Niamh
zcsharp 13/Jun/14 AltLd O/S

Such good climbing, on the ab down the rope got stuck and i had to climb the crux of harlod et maud to get the rope free.

with Al
Ali D ?/Jun/14 AltLd
with Jamie R
niallsash ?/Jun/14 2nd
Piglet69 ?/Jun/14 2nd
McGuinness 07/Apr/14 AltLd O/S
with Emily
wi11 07/Apr/14 AltLd O/S

2, 3, 6 Amazing route!

with Stephen
Hidden 06/Apr/14 Lead
Hidden 06/Apr/14 2nd
chapmand 31/Mar/14 AltLd

Rory led the cruxes.

with Rory Brown
Hidden 31/Mar/14 AltLd
walts4 ?/Mar/14 AltLd
with stan & William
mike mo ??/2014 -
TommyMcG ?/Aug/13 Lead O/S
Kris ?/Aug/13 AltLd O/S
Hidden 30/Jul/13 AltLd rpt
Hidden 30/Jul/13 AltLd O/S
Hidden 18/Jun/13 AltLd O/S
Ahab 16/Jun/13 AltLd O/S

Beautiful finger crack climbing on crux pitch.

Hidden ?/Jun/13 AltLd O/S
Alasdair Fulton 18/Apr/13 AltLd O/S

Nice wee route.

with Morgan, Searler
edek_w ??/2013 -
Hidden ??/2013 -
jcw ??/2013 -
Tobias at Home ??/2013 -
Jay C 22/Jul/12 AltLd O/S
with Geddas
Hidden ?/Jul/12 AltLd
sgl 02/Apr/12 AltLd
with Bart, viv
tebs 02/Apr/12 AltLd O/S

Brilliant climbing, interesting all the way and great quality rock.

with Viv, Sam
liamo333 ??/2012 -
frost 04/Oct/11 AltLd O/S
with D Almond
Adam Booth 31/Aug/11 AltLd O/S

Amazing! Some of the best climbing I've ever done, especially the crux crack on the 50m wall, but all of it is good. Ropes got stuck twice on the raps which was fun!

gowla 31/Aug/11 AltLd dog
with adam booth
Hidden 28/Aug/11 AltLd dnf
GaryK 17/Aug/11 AltLd O/S

Stuart led both hard pitches as I was suffering with the altitude. An excellent route. A classic of Chamonix granite climbing. Much more enjoyable than the Rebuffat route on the S Face of the Midi. Use the description in Piola's, (french), Tome 2 topo guide rather than the english edition as it also describes the other routes on the face, of which there are many. It's easy to end up on the wrong route as there are so many bits of gear around. The route itself has been equipped with twin bolt belays by the local guides, and there are about 10 pegs/stuck friends/wires etc in the route. We used a complete set of Metolius cams and a set of WC light rocks. 50m ropes will be sufficient. Enjoy.

with Stuart McAleese
charlesmfrench 03/Aug/11 AltLd O/S


with Anette
Ben Briggs 26/Jun/11 Lead O/S
with Luca
Hidden 24/May/11 AltLd
stevepotter 11/Sep/10 -
with Matt
Tobias at Home ??/2010 -
Hidden 23/Aug/09 AltLd
AnnaBacklund ?/Jul/08 AltLd O/S
Dave Searle 23/Jun/08 Lead
with john
zero six ??/2007 AltLd O/S
dannyboy83 ?/Jul/05 AltLd O/S
feilx ??/2005 AltLd O/S
haydng ??/2000 AltLd O/S
Hidden ?/Jul/99 AltLd
andy_pemberton ?/Aug/96 AltLd dnf

Got to the big, comfy ledge below the crux. Knakered and remembering it was the one year aniversary of a friend's accident... we bottled it back down!

with Chris Richards
alkira 26/Jun/94 -
with kerry atkey
Hidden ?/Apr/93 AltLd O/S
Hidden ?/Aug/89 AltLd
Richard Weller 25/Jul/86 AltLd

Approx date

with john sanders
Neil McA 07/Jul/84 AltLd O/S

Great climbing especially on the crux finger crack pitch. Defo walk off the top - easy to do.

with Andy Perkins
alpinist63 25/Jul/80 AltLd
Hidden ??/1980 -
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