Not as hard as I thuought...we took one of the 5.8 variations higher up, which ended up being the best pitch of the route. Can't beat the views on this popular climb!
Really enjoyable climbing, amazing exposure on summit ridge. Rope stuck a couple times rappelling the Kain route. Treated to excellent weather conditions.
Too many people on it though.
Sort of cheated by bypassing the first move due to the high snowline, turning it into a 5.7 for me. Wonderful route in any case.
Climbed 3 times. 6.5 hours hut to hut after learning the route. Definite classic.
This climb started off the wrong way - we forgot the guidebook at camp. It ended up we did almost every one of the harder variations (not on purpose) - The 5.8 crack variation (on the 5 pitch) is well worth doing.
Climbed this route twice. The first time in 2004 it took us nearly 17 hours hut to hut, but we truly enjoyed the day as there were three of us. The second time, in 2006, it took a mere 9 hours camp to camp. I guess knowing the route really helps!
Aside from the times the route is spectacular. Go do it! Oh, and you must climb the 5.8 variation on pitch 5, one of the best 5.8 hand cracks around with incredible positions.
Liz and I went up on the first nice day after a good storm. Six parties were on the ridge that day and five bailed at the snow-choked chimneys. We pushed on, the weather went south, and the climbing slowed to a crawl as I had to dig through snow for holds and scrape ice out of cracks for gear. The final 5.7 pitch was even harder, requiring direct aid. Summiting in a whiteout as sunset was near we decided to rap the route, which took most of the night and some of the rack. A few days later we ran up the Kain Route to see the other side of the spire.
An awesome climb. We went up a ~5.8 handcrack that eventually joined the gully, and followed the ridgeline up both summits rather than rapelling and then going to to the top.
9 hours hut to hut. If you run the rope out you can do the climb in 5 or 6 pitches. The crux is actually the hand traverse to gain the south summit.