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.
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