From the Cathedral parking area, follow the Prow trail to the base of the Prow. At one point, after some wooden steps (not the first ones), you'll have to make a short scramble-traverse left onto a ledge with a tree; both the Prow and Recompense begin from this ledge.
This route is a variation on the ultra-classic route Recompense. Actually, the variation itself is such a quality route that it is almost as classic. Although the guidebook describes it as one pitch longer than the normal Recompense route, it doesn't have to be longer.
After the initial slab, climb the left-hand crack until it is possible to move left on a series of narrow, inclined ledges and finger cracks. After an exposed layback move (some fixed gear, but rather old), continue moving up and left until you reach a small but very comfortable sofa-like ledge with a good two-bolt anchor. It is also possible to build your own anchor just to the left. 5.7, 150 feet. If you are using a single rope, it would probably be worthwhile to split this pitch. In this case the first would be 5.5 and the second 5.7.
Continue up a crack which goes into the main Recompense chimney system. Just before entering the chimney, make an exposed, technical traverse/layback left onto the Beast flake (crux, 5.9). There is an abandoned, broken Friend on your right; though I wouldn't rely on it, it's a good place from which to protect that move. Afterwards, continue up the flake (excellent and mostly easy climbing; some large pieces useful) to its top and a somewhat awkward belay sitting atop the detatched flake.
Downclimb right (scary 5.9; look for those footholds below you!) and into the chimney/corner. Continue up this; at the top of the chimney layback out onto the rest ledge. You are now below the last pitch of Recompense - the great upper dihedral. From here it's self-explanatory - just follow the dihedral to its top. The crux is the first 30 feet or so - sustained, pumpy 5.9.
It's possible to split this pitch also and belay near the old tree stump at the base of the upper dihedral, but we found rope drag to actually be less here than on the first pitch.
60 meter double ropes help a lot. Standard rack with a couple of large Friends for the Beast flake. The route protects quite well.
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