Type: Trad, Aid, 600 ft, 7 pitches
FA: Iain Allan, Ian Howell, Phil Snyder and Robin Harper 1971
Page Views: 321 total · 10/month
Shared By: BigRed11 on May 8, 2016
Admins: BigRed11

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The mega-classic of HG and Kenya. Barber and others traveled here just to climb this thing. It's long, committing, wandering, and an amazing adventure. There are two hard pitches of 5.10+ that can be easily french-freed so don't let this put you off the rest of an amazing climb.

30m left of the gray rockfall, the route starts in a right-facing corner that is hard to spot from the road. About 15m up, the corner is capped by an overhang and a fixed sling on the lip (old aid move). Up higher on the cliff, just below the top, look for a massive flake with a chimney on the right - this is the end of the route.

1. 30m Up the corner and pull the roof on good jams. Take a breather on the platform and continue up the twin cracks to a belay ledge below some old pins.

2. 25m Either free or aid past the pins on thin face climbing and into the crack on the left, which widens to an awkward flare chimney/offwidth. Walk across the ledges to rap tat/anchor.

3. 30m Traverse right on ledges and over small steps to a bird shit covered ledge, walk to the end where a few wide vertical cracks go up left-facing a left-facing corner and take a break. Enjoy the scenery.

4. 10m THE OFFWIDTH. This goes up the left side of a detached column, is #4 size, up to #5 at the top and ends at a small ledge with fixed pins. If you're a hardman/woman, free this beast. If you're human, aid it to the next ledge.

5. 30m From the small ledge step into the chimney behind the next column and squeeze your way up until you emerge from the top on a tiny ledge below a corner crack. Plug your way up over massive exposure and up a slabby crack until you can pull up onto the coziest belay ledge tucked under a roof (Lammergeier ledge). Pins in the corner.

6. 30m THE MOVE. Slide down over the edge and into the void. Careful picking which foot holds are just bird shit and which are rock. Move climber's right across two aretes until you're at the base of the final corner crack/chimney. Up this and into a cavernous chimney behind a massive detached flake (which your belayer is sitting under). Up the chimney and belay on top of the flake.

7. 20m Step climber's left and scramble to the top.


In the central part of main wall, to the left of the white rock scar.


Double rack + wide gear (preferably two 4's and a 5)


Thank you for your interesting route description. Yes, Olympian is a wonderful route, which I was honoured to make the first ascent of in 1971, along with Ian Howell, Phil Snyder and Robin Harper. We named Lammergeier Ledge the small ledge where the final belay stance is. You are correct in describing the moves off the ledge as exciting. Ian Howell was responsible for leading this very bold, exposed traverse, and we really did not know where it was going to lead. Imagine our relief when we found it to be no harder than 5.7

Iain Allan
Nairobi, 2017 Mar 29, 2017
Michael LaDue
Boulder, CO
Michael LaDue   Boulder, CO
Amazing route, move off the ledge is unforgettable.

If freeing the offwidth, #5 not needed, just doubles to #4
The offwidth pitch is quite easy if you have big hands (5.9) Jul 11, 2017