III, 400m, 6 - 8 hours. The modern classic of the Gendarme Rouge put up by Piola and pals in the 1980s. It has some great crack pitches and cruxes on slabs in classic Piola fashion!
1) 4c. Follow the first two pitches of the Contamine-Vaucher to the large ledge.
2) 5c. From the belay in the centre of the ledge, climb the slab, passing a bolt, to a crack system (don't follow the line of bolts).
3) 5c. Climb the slab on the right before joining the Contamine ramp and following it to a belay on the right.
4) 6a. Climb right then a slab on the left (bolt) joining a crack system leading to a belay on the left.
5) 6a+. Follow the crack on the right passing a roof on the left and then climb the bolted slab to a belay on a ledge.
6) 6b+. Follow the cracks before moving out right and passing an overlap (bolt) to a corner.
7) 6a. Follow the corner and chimney.
8) 6a. Traverse sightly left from the belay and climb corners.
9) 6a. Continue following the corners and cracks.
10) 6b+/A0 (7b). Go up the corner right of the belay before pulling out right to a delicate slab with two bolts (most people pull on these). Above, pull through the small roof on the right and follow cracks above.
11) 6a+. Move right and follow the corner and wide crack, exiting on the right. © Rockfax
M. Armand, M. Piola, P. Starobinski, P. Strappazon Sep/1986.
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