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330m, 12 pitches.

Rockfax Description
1) 5c, 2) 5c, 3) 5c, 4) 6a, 5) 6a, 6) 5c, 7) 6a, 8) 6a, 9) 5a,
10) 6a, 11) 6a, 12) 5c.
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 more common than you might expect, as are 10-12hr ascents. 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. All the same, nuts and cams up to mid-size are reassuring.
We have left the grade at its traditional 6a but if you don't like cracks, run out of water and spend 10 hrs on it, the route may indeed be worth the 6b+ that some people suggest! © Rockfax

Ticklists

Parois-de-legende, 10 Multi-pitch Routes Worth Travelling For, The Big Easys, Verdon, 2019 all-rounder Psyche list, Epic Rock Europe, Euro Alpine Rock, Rockfax Côte d'Azur Top 50 (2017)

Feedback

User Date Notes
choufler 5 Nov, 2019 Show βeta
βeta: great route! Tough for the grade. A couple of belays with one bolt missing - easy to add a nut or a tree to double the protection. Some of the lengths can be combined together. Note, the upper section may take longer because of the very unique style of climbing in the chimneys. Some tough spots in the chimney do not have bolted protection and no cracks to put the nuts either - can be quite challenging mentally. Also the backpack is really in a way, when climbing back against the chimney wall. We've finished in the dark, route finding is not very hard, generally following the crack/chimney apart from the place with a sling followed by 2 pitons where you need to go right. Best to leave a lot of spare time 8h can be not enough.
βeta?
Show beta
βeta: great route! Tough for the grade. A couple of belays with one bolt missing - easy to add a nut or a tree to double the protection. Some of the lengths can be combined together. Note, the upper section may take longer because of the very unique style of climbing in the chimneys. Some tough spots in the chimney do not have bolted protection and no cracks to put the nuts either - can be quite challenging mentally. Also the backpack is really in a way, when climbing back against the chimney wall. We've finished in the dark, route finding is not very hard, generally following the crack/chimney apart from the place with a sling followed by 2 pitons where you need to go right. Best to leave a lot of spare time 8h can be not enough.
dynoseb 23 Oct, 2019 Show βeta
βeta: So glad to finally do this, it really is classic and demanding from the very first pitch. Spaced bolts making it necessary to bring nuts,cams and slings. Also I seem to remember two belays only had one bolt but we backed them up by slinging trees and placing some extra pieces maybe. You really need to get creative with the chimney pitches at the top and pull some shapes and trust in the polished smears when back and footing/stemming. Also don't be afraid to sling/bellyflop/stand on trees to help in the chimneys! We took 10.5 hours, I'd recommend getting someone to pick you up from the top as the prospect of walking back to couloir sampson to get your car or rappelling back down would defo not be appealing (unless you want more suffering}.
βeta?
Show beta
βeta: So glad to finally do this, it really is classic and demanding from the very first pitch. Spaced bolts making it necessary to bring nuts,cams and slings. Also I seem to remember two belays only had one bolt but we backed them up by slinging trees and placing some extra pieces maybe. You really need to get creative with the chimney pitches at the top and pull some shapes and trust in the polished smears when back and footing/stemming. Also don't be afraid to sling/bellyflop/stand on trees to help in the chimneys! We took 10.5 hours, I'd recommend getting someone to pick you up from the top as the prospect of walking back to couloir sampson to get your car or rappelling back down would defo not be appealing (unless you want more suffering}.
jas wood 26 Sep, 2019 Show βeta
βeta: An easier 'round trip' is to park at the 2nd Belvedere and take a path near the crash barrier. This goes down into a wooded gully which descends righwards towards the gorge. Shortly before the gully ends, with a big drop so be careful, an ab station can be found on the right over/round a small rock step. 2 abs , we had doubles not sure on a single rope, take you to the water where a via ferrata section takes you up into the tunnels then onto the start. 10 mins walk out from the top.
βeta?
Show beta
βeta: An easier 'round trip' is to park at the 2nd Belvedere and take a path near the crash barrier. This goes down into a wooded gully which descends righwards towards the gorge. Shortly before the gully ends, with a big drop so be careful, an ab station can be found on the right over/round a small rock step. 2 abs , we had doubles not sure on a single rope, take you to the water where a via ferrata section takes you up into the tunnels then onto the start. 10 mins walk out from the top.

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Voting
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 38
Votes cast 34
Style of Ascent
Alt Leads
Lead
Followed
Toproped
Not Set
Onsighted
DNF
Repeated
Dogged
Flashed (β)
Ground Up
Redpoint
Not Set
Route of Interest

Année d'Éclipse

Grade: 6a ***
(Le Galetas)