Probably the most renowned classic on the whole mountain. With 25 pitches forging a line up the pale slabs that fall direct from the summit to half-height before escaping out to the right to climb steeper rock and eventually the upper section of the East Ridge. There is one aid move and the 6a+ pitch is easily aided too if necessary. Despite being fully bolted, this is not a route to be underestimated, 8 hours of climbing is a decent time for an efficient team to aim for. Bear in mind that the line of the lower part of the route is so clean because all the run-off from the upper face gets funnelled down here - it is no place to be if rain is forecast. Also the route is full in the sun all day so carry sufficient water. Start on the left side of the pale slabs where the approach path flattens out - name on the rock. The start is shared with another line so be sure to start by trending rightwards.
1) 5c, 2) 5c, 3) 5c, 4) 5a, 5) 5a, 6) 5+/A0, 7) 5c, 8) 5c, 9) 5a,
10) 3c, 11) 5a, 12) 5a, 13) 5a, 14) 5c, 15) 6a+, 16) 5a, 17) 5c,
18) 5c, 19) 3c, 20) 5c, 21) 5c, 22) 4c, 23) 5a, 24) 3c, 25) 4a. 150m of easy, but highly exposed, scrambling lead to the top - hard enough to stay roped up for but maybe moving together. © Rockfax
FA. Jean-Denis Achard, Gerard Pouliquen with help from Jean-Paul Faure and Jean-Louis Rocher 1999.
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