/ Clecy, Normandy - info required!
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?
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.
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
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.
Was there in July.
I think there was a little shop in the village, we stopped at a much bigger supermarket though in one of the nearby towns.
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.
Not sure, but you can use a card for most things anyway.
Below. It's a five minute walk.
We did at the campsite.
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.
A few routes 60 would be better, and some are basically multipitch I think.
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.
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.
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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