/ Calanques - best area for easy climbs?

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Graham at Aston - on 16 May 2013
I am planning a long weekend in September and thought we would spend a couple of days climbing the Calanques.

Can anyone recommend the best areas for easy climbs (5/5+/6a) with good protection?

Shapeshifter - on 16 May 2013
In reply to Graham at Aston:

Not been for years, but I remember En Vau as being good for easier climbs. Great situation climbing right next to the beach.


You can catch a boat to the crag or walk in of about 40 mins....the boat is worth doing at least once for the experience.
ChrisBrooke - on 16 May 2013
In reply to Graham at Aston: Also the Abri Cotier crag at Morgiou. You can drive down to the village (check the time of year and whether the gate will be open). There's a cafe for food and drink, decent snorkling/little beach, and a crag full of well bolted 5s and a few 6s.

Otherwise, there's a tonne of interesting sport/trad/mixed at En Vau, with a great beach. The Arete de Marseille is a great day out at grade 5. And some of the stuff on the Paroi Noire is very nice too.
kenr - on 16 May 2013
Better check your exact dates against the latest rules about access restrictions, due to fire hazard - (rules might have changed recently now that much has been designated as a National Park).

Best to have a car for access to the largest choice of sectors. Large choice might be important for escaping the heat at that time of year (since many of the Calanques walls and many of the most classic "grand voies" face South-ish). But if use a car then also highly recommended to have a strategy for not leaving anything in it while parked.

Also might want to purchase the "big blue" French-language guidebook (linked with FFME so it supports the re-bolting fund, important for seaside rock) for max options. Note that the English-language RockFax Cote d'Azur guidebook (which I like a lot) is very "select" for the Calanques, so if you're going to rely on just that, make sure the Calanques sectors you want are included (but that guidebook, or more so the Rockfax Haute Provence guidebook, might come in very handy if the heat drives you to seek climbing farther inland / north).

Calanque d'En Vau (back in the early days of sport-climbing a very famous-destination climbing sector) does have amazing scenery + ambience. And does have some shade. About the climbing, _some_ say "bring a light trad rack" and _all_ say many of the easy-grade climbs "very polished".

Note that several of the single-pitch 5a-6a routes in En Vau sector are only in the "big blue" guidebook, not the French-language "pink select" guidebook.

Graham at Aston - on 17 May 2013
Thanks Ken. I am planning to climb there just for one or two days before heading to Dentelles de Montmirail for a few days, hence I need to know the best crags for my grade in advance to maximise climbing time.
Frenchfinesse - on 22 May 2013
In reply to Graham at Aston: I would also recommend l'abri côtier. The road to Morgiou is closed until September, 30th but you can park at Luminy and walk. It takes approximately 30 min.

You will have to check for fire restrictions too but they are rare in September...

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