/ Best place in Europe for long, easy sport climbs?

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colin8ll on 01 Nov 2013
Hi all,

I'm planning a trip in July and I'd love to do some easy (around grade 5) but long (100 meters +) sport climbs. Where are the best locations for Europe for this?

The other criteria would be how good the scenery is and the cost of the whole trip.

Any thoughts would be very welcome.

Cheers,
Colin
drolex - on 01 Nov 2013
In reply to colin8ll: I'll put my Pyrenees propagandist hat for this:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=19219
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemin_de_la_M%C3%A2ture

If you like slabs: great scenery, usually good weather in July. A decent number of 5s (maybe a bit harder than graded but you have 4s as well).
colin8ll on 01 Nov 2013
In reply to drolex: That looks brilliant! Thanks.

Anyone know how the dolomites or alps would compare?
DDDD - on 01 Nov 2013
In reply to colin8ll:

I climbed in Gorges de la Jonte with my wife this year and I thought the grade V multipitch routes (limestone) were some of the best I had done. The scenery is lovely, the camping is nice, the village - Le Rozier - is lovely and the walking is fab too.
AlanLittle - on 01 Nov 2013
In reply to colin8ll:

Not much sport climbing in the lower grades in the Dolomites. It's mostly "alpine trad" - lots of in-situ pegs & threads but still worth carrying some gear of your own to supplement.
Scott_vzr on 02 Nov 2013
In reply to colin8ll:

Vallorcine has a few but maybe Ailefroide is the best gor that grade.
JLS on 02 Nov 2013
In reply to colin8ll:

Ailefroide for fully bolted routes. Dolimites if you are comfortable mixing clipping pegs with placing nuts between fixed gear belay points. Plenty of single pitch sport at both for easier days.
JLS on 02 Nov 2013
In reply to JLS:

Just to add to that...

Ailefroide routes, although long, don't seem to go anywhere. Generally you climb 10 pitches maybe 1/4 way up a mountain then ab off. In the Dollies you generally feel like you've got to the top of something!
GridNorth - on 02 Nov 2013
In reply to colin8ll: Ailefroide or the Ariege.
JayPee630 - on 02 Nov 2013
In reply to GridNorth:

Had some time in Ariege this summer and it was amazing! Found the climbing hard for the grade though.
tjekel - on 02 Nov 2013
In reply to colin8ll: well a) dolomites are part of the alps, and b) theres few easy routes you might deem sportds climbing ...
tjekel - on 02 Nov 2013
In reply to colin8ll: for granite, grimsel and furka in switzerland. For limestone, Berchtesgaden, wilder kaiser (both sport and trad), dachstein..
heleno - on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to colin8ll:

Another vote for Grimsel pass and also nearby Susten pass (with laid back climbers campsite at Gadmen).

The "Schweiz Plaisir" series of guides covers "easy" (6b and below) cragging in Switzerland, single and multipitch. There are 3 or 4 selective regional guides plus an even more selective one to the whole of Switzerland. Not cheap but may be a worthwhile investment.
Mark / Alps - on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to colin8ll:
Aiguilles rouges above Chamonix has lots of routes in that category. Four to around 16 pitches. Mostly equipped for sport, some benefit from extra trad gear but this is clear in guidebook. Awesome views and wildlife. Bivvy or camp near cable cars if you wish ( put tent away during the day). Coach to Chamonix is cheap but long time, fly to Geneva or drive and share costs. There is likely to be snow around the base of some of the routes but in July, especially as the sun gets going, the snow softens and I would usually be happy in approach shoes. This varies from season to season and route to route.
Michel Piola guide, Aiguilles Rouges, is great. I find many of the routes a little 'soft'. Some routes require abs, many just a walk or scramble. Lots of routes to summits.
From Chamonix it is only a short drive to many lower valley sports crags ( like Vallorcine ) or a few hours to Swiss areas such as Miroir d'Argentine and the Grimsel Pass. I suggest following the good weather rather than locating in one spot.
In reply to colin8ll:

Another vote for Handegg/Susten, loads of great routes, easy access, stunning setting:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=229976

that one is 10 pitches VS/HVS - (about F5)


Chris
tjekel - on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to c lin8ll: yes susten is great inluding a real summit (pfriendler); furka has more of this above 3000m in a wonderful glaciated setting. Schweiz plaisir is good for that as well.
LakesWinter on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to colin8ll: Grimsel is good for it - beware the Grimsel bolting though and take some wires and cams on some of the crags. The guide makes it clear which ones need extra gear but for starters Gelmerfluh and Mittagfluh need some extra trad kit, whereas Azalee Beach is fully sport and doesn't.

For something shorter(150m long though) and different try Ueschenen in the Kandertal. Fantastic textured limestone and fully sport on most routes.

colin8ll on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to colin8ll: Thanks for the replies - you've given me lots of food for thought!

Can anyone recommend a selected guide to Switzerland that will cover a good few of these easier venues?

Cheers, Colin
heleno - on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to colin8ll:

> Can anyone recommend a selected guide to Switzerland that will cover a good few of these easier venues?
>
Schweiz Plaisir (as recommended above)

HeMa on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to heleno:

Yah, Swiss Plaisir South and West (both have also english texts).
HeMa on 05 Nov 2013
GridNorth - on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to colin8ll: I got the impression that the OP didn't want to spend too much and I have always found Switzerland to be very expensive.
HeMa on 05 Nov 2013
In reply to GridNorth:
> (In reply to colin8ll) I got the impression that the OP didn't want to spend too much and I have always found Switzerland to be very expensive.

Not really, camping on camp grounds was about the same as in IT or FR, this summer/fall. Grub might be a bit more spendy in shops or when eating out... but then again you can always stock on groceries from say IT.
madam - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to colin8ll:
Hi Colin,
in case you don't know bergsteigen.at, they have a very nice "search functionality". Check it here: http://www.bergsteigen.com/klettern/suche

My tip would be Rax-Alpen (aka Hollental) or Salzkammergut, plenty of multipitch in all grades. Free camping in Kaiserbrunn (google.maps).

The topo is on the site I provided above or for hollental PDF version is quite easy to find online.

Email me in case of any questions:)

adam
The Ivanator - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to colin8ll: http://www.climb-europe.com/RockClimbingShop/Plaisir-Selection-Rock-Climbing-Guidebook.html
Selective guide to Sports Climbing in central region of Europe (takes in bits of France, Italy and Switzerland) lots of multi-pitch, all routes 6c or below, has English text and good topos, published in 2012. Pricy at 37.50 but should inspire several visits.
jcw on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to colin8ll: Everyone says Handegg, Susten, but there is a magnificent pair of 10 pitch sustained French 5c occasional touch of 6a on the Nuffenen Pass, Picadilly di Bedretta, and Tanti Auguri, with former slightly the better. 10 full abs back down. You can stay in the hut or walk in in just over an hour from the road as we did. Both I think are in Schweiz Plaisir. the Nuffenen (Nufenen?) leaves R from the main road at the bottom just before starting up for the other areas.
SiWood - on 07 Nov 2013
jcw on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to SiWood: Great, you are the first person I've found who has done Picadily. Any bids for Auguri. . The whole area is fabulous climbing with lots of quite reasonable things .
Tom V - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to drolex:
I hadn't realised there were any easier routes there. Some of the starts in the more cut away section are obviously going to be anything but easy. Great situation and sense of history, nevertheless.
howifeel - on 09 Nov 2013
In reply to colin8ll: Just back from the Calanques. The easier routes are excellent. It is a long walk so prepare to enjoy all the scenery (which will be good every day) or get there very quickly by boat each day if you can budget that.
There is a little dew and rain now but that doesn't stop the rock drying quickly and the sea being warm but camping is off unless you have a car now I believe, the nearest site being 10 miles inland.
The walk in is worth it but 3 hours each way every day unless you're very fit, then 2 hours, as the routes are long and as good as they look. Calanque En Vau, the 3rd in from the East, is set to hold you for a fortnight.
Guidebook Escalade Les Calanques (Accurate and in French) going for 30% discount at 20 if you want it. jimb
howifeel - on 09 Nov 2013
In reply to colin8ll: But in July!
You need then to read the local updates as footpaths get closed etc for conservation reasons. Access would be good by boat or kayak and more camping would be on, but only outside the park.

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