Handegg via "Fair Hands Line", 350m, 6a+

For my first multi-pitch climb of the season I had a modest cruise up the Mittagflue in mind. However, Sasha had more ambitious ideas, scoffing at my suggested 5c route. So we drove up the Grimselpass a little further to climb "Fair Hands Line" at Handegg. I had already climbed this with Mark back in 2016, so a repeat ascent should be doable. I still chickened out of the crux pitches and had Sasha lead them. The guide book describes it as: "Its outstanding rock offers first class climbing. Despite the improved re-bolting of the route, do not underestimate the level of commitment the Handegg requires" and "Climbing the slabs of the route certainly brings about an increased release of adrenaline with some obligatory sections calling for delicate footwork". I wasn't quite comfortable enough trusting my feet again with these kinds of shenanigans. Grimsel is notorious for smoothly polished granite slabs.

On the (short) approach. Don't slip on the wet slabs! Foreshadowing...
Sasha. Our objective in sight.
I got to lead some of the steeper pitches. Which, on this particular route, are actually the easier ones.

As it turned out, I still got a formidable challenge, even though Sasha led the two crux pitches: I got the final low angle slab. Not really difficult per-se, but there were two complications: it was wet! And since it is easy compared to the rest of the route, there are basically no bolts and consequently huge runouts. I got my heart racing when my foot slipped on the slimy rock high above my latest quickdraw. We had a party in front of us who avoided this entire pitch by bushwhacking through the scrubs next to it. A sensible choice indeed!

Family photo.
Cool structure.

I'm pleased to report that we made it to the top without too much trouble. And my little gray cam from eight years ago is still firmly jammed in the crack where we left it and has become a fixture of the route. I actually clipped into it on this ascent as well ;-)

More cool structure.
Sasha enjoying some exposure.
Wet low angle slabs.
With loooong runouts between bolts.
The furnicular isn't running yet.
Rollercoaster anyone? Lots of steps on the way down.
The thing is steep!