/ Clecy, Normandy - info required!

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Toerag - on 20 Aug 2013
Am off to Clecy later this week with friends and have some questions:-
What are the options for food shopping? I see there's a Boulangerie and boucherie in the village.
What are the options for eating out?
Is there a cashpoint in the village?
Is it easiest to approach the crags from above or below?
Can we swim in the river?

My .pdf copy of the topo is a bit indistinct - are all routes fully bolted? I intend to buy a proper topo when we're there.
I assume a 50m single rope is sufficient?
Anythign else we should know?
GrahamD - on 20 Aug 2013
In reply to Toerag:

Can't remember too much about the village but I think the campsite has a shop (and sells topos). The routes are bolted. The approach is from below along a flat track by the river. Lovely spot.
Hat Dude on 20 Aug 2013
In reply to Toerag:

Last there in 2006 & there was a small supermarket in the village.

Good large supermarket in Thury Harcourt

Several cafes & restaurants by the river & a big group of us had a really good meal in a hotel on the village square, think it was called the "Au Site Normande"

Not sure about cashpoint

Best approach is by the lane past the municipal campsite then along the disused railway track.

The river seemed clean enough; we mucked about in canoes and went in a few times with no ill effects

Routes are all well bolted & I reckon a 50m rope would be ok for most but there are some where 60m would be better
Barrington - on 20 Aug 2013
The guidebook "Escalade de Clecy" is available in the tourist information centre in the village square. You can get anything you need in the village (usual seemingly French random early closing etc). It's a bit of a slog up the hill on foot into the village from down by the river, but beer when you get there.


Oh - the tourist information place used to have some rather broad-minded art for sale. The thing was; the young lady at the desk was the spitting image of the model & she didn't even blush! Ah, the prudish straight laced Brits.

Enjoy.... & the climbing too.
Toerag - on 20 Aug 2013
In reply to Toerag: Brilliant, thanks guys! Interesting point on the art for sale - there's a lass working in a shop here who's 'starred' in a 'home video' that's done the round of the island, she doesn't seem to care (or know) either!
In reply to Toerag:

Was there in July.

> What are the options for food shopping? I see there's a Boulangerie and boucherie in the village.

I think there was a little shop in the village, we stopped at a much bigger supermarket though in one of the nearby towns.

> What are the options for eating out?

There are cafes just across from the campsite (across the river and down a bit from the cliffs) where we had nice pizzas sitting out. More options up in the village.

> Is there a cashpoint in the village?

Not sure, but you can use a card for most things anyway.

> Is it easiest to approach the crags from above or below?

Below. It's a five minute walk.

> Can we swim in the river?

We did at the campsite.

> My .pdf copy of the topo is a bit indistinct - are all routes fully bolted? I intend to buy a proper topo when we're there.

We bought the topo in the tourist info, it's bilingual although with a cute google translate feel to the English. 10 euros I think.

> I assume a 50m single rope is sufficient?

A few routes 60 would be better, and some are basically multipitch I think.

> Anythign else we should know?

The climbing is actually not really very good if one is being objective, but it's a lovely place and there is lots of stuff to do particularly in the lower grades.

I did the via ferrata across the river with my 9 year old son too, it was great fun. If you have your own harness and helmet it's cheaper as you just need to rent the via ferrata shock absorber thingies.

Toerag - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to Toerag: I hoped you'd post up Toby - thanks for all that :-). Looking forward to it, as you say, just being in France eating proper french bread and cheese is what it's all about :-)
In reply to Toerag: The model train museum in the town is also one of the those bizarre but fun tourist attractions - really it is just the world's biggest train set to go and ogle at, plus the worlds slowest mini train ride round the garden. There were lots of french pensioners there when we went although my kids really enjoyed it! :)
Toerag - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to Toerag: Got back last night, had a pretty good time. My comments to help others in the future:-
Campsite was good. Take your own loo roll though! Even though its by the river we had no mossie trouble. Ground was rock hard and we needed a rock to put tentpegs in. Free wifi, but unreliable in terms of when it would let you on. They won't freeze cool blocks for you, but sell frozen 1/1.5 litre bottles of mineral water for 1 euro. They have a number of BBQs you can borrow for free and sell charcoal etc. They sell bread, croissants etc. but you need to order the day before.
Shops - The supermarket, boulangerie and butcher in Clecy all shut on Mondays so you can't get bread (nor from the campsite). The fresh sausages from the butcher are awesome. There's a market on sundays but it's only about 4 stalls.
Climbing - quite good, although bolt spacings are not for the faint-hearted - you could definitely hurt yourself falling off many routes given the not particularly steep nature of the crag. Bolts were all good cemented rings, belays were simple offset pairs. Many belay bolts were bigger to facilitate easy abseiling, but some were a bit small so take a skinny sling so you can be attached to a belay whilst threading it for abbing. There are lots more abseil belays than the topos show. We used 50m singles without any trouble, although longer ropes would mean 2 ab descents instead of 3 for some routes. The crag was quite quiet most days, although a school-type party used it one day and you get noise floating up from canoeists on the river. Views are good, also saw woodpeckers and red squirrels in the woods below the crag. Rock is some sort of metamorphic/igneous stuff with quartz pebbles in some places. Occasional crux sections were polished but not badly. No real loose rock, although dirty holds existed on some routes (even popular ones)
Guidebook - we bought the 2012 edition from the tourist office in Clecy for 10euros. Topos seem good, although some lines are marked with crosses instead of dots. My copy of an old topo says they're trad lines, but we found them to be bolted. Descriptions are in english for most routes. There is no info on pitch lengths. Grades - no giveaways at all, and some are stiff, especially given the 'unfriendly' bolting on many routes. Routes are often close together and criss-cross, so photocopies are useful on the multipitch climbs.
Via ferrata - is 4 euros if you have your own kit or 15 if you don't. Quite good fun with some long bridges, took us an hour or so. The tyrolean at the end is an extra 20-30 euros if you wanted to do it.
Eating out - we had pizza at the first place you come to heading along the south bank of the river - very cheesy and filling. Would I go back - yes, it's quite convenient for me to get to for a long weekend.
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Toerag - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to Toerag: Oh, there's a cashpoint outside the post office in the village as well.
We also did a day at Mortain on the way back - that had some good routes albeit with some spicy bolting. Same 'sandstone turned to glass' rock as Fosse Arthour, but steeper and higher - a 50m rope was only just long enough to bottom rope the Aiguille.

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