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
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), The Post-Lockdown Vanventure Ticklist
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