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Foto Speedy Füllemann

Grimsel, Handegg | Fair Hands Line ****

10 SL | 350m | 6a+ (5c+ obl)

J. von Känel, M. Stettler 78

Refurbished M. Stettler, U. Kämpf, P. Schubert 97


The glaciers have worked on the landscapes around Grimsel for millennia, grinding on the rocks and leaving us with a breathtaking rock landscape. The Grimsel region is even somewhat reminiscent of the Yosemite Valley in California. Both were heavily shaped by the glaciers. In both we see impressive rock bastions made of hard granite, which could defy the glacier. Both are unique, beautiful mountain regions.


Fair Hands Line at the Handegg is together with Motörhead in the Eldorado among the most popular climbing routes in the Grimsel area. The tour is rewarding in several respects: firstly, the extremely short ascent of 15-20 minutes should trigger an approving nod by the vast majority of climbers. Second, and this is the main argument, Fair Hands Line offers really great and varied climbing , which offers much more than pure slab climbing.


Fair Hands Line can be roughly divided into three sections: At the beginning you will find the friction slabs typical for the Grimsel area, where your movements have to be very precise, but also determined... After the first, non-trivial slabby pitches, the route gets steeper in the second part and offers great and grippy climbing. Fair Hands Line always follows the cracks which offer finger and hand jams and many stunning jugs. From pitch 6 on, the wall lays back and so do the difficulties, since the rock remains grippy, which makes climbing very consumer-friendly. In the third part, pitch 9 is particularly worth mentioning, where the steepness increases again. Here you climb first over a beautiful crack flake and then on smaller but still grippy structures over a great wall. Beautiful! So finally even the wall climber gets his money's worth.


Fair Hands Line was refurbished in 1997 and is equipped with glued bolts. These are numerous in the difficult sections, often alongside structures that could be protected very easily with mobile devices. In the simpler terrain, you still have to climb many passages in which you can fall far to very far and which can hardly be secured with a mobile device. Overall, you should master the difficulties or have a solid leader or mountain guide with you.


Finally, the route convinces with an unusual and very efficient descent along the Gelmerbahn. Some people wish the passing trains would take one with them. Unfortunately, this is not the case ... But the reactions of the passing tourists are certain. Many admire the brave climbers, wave cheerfully and some cannot resist a malicious saying... That would probably be the same for us and how could you take it other than with humor, with ten great pitches in magnificent rock still resonating beautifully in your mind.