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Topic - Gorges du Tarn - update

EwanR on 04 Jun 2011
In case anybody is interested:

A rough translation is:

In recent months a huge amount has been written about the climbing areas of the Cirque des Baumes in the Gorges du Tarn (Lòzere, commune of Saint Georges de Lévejac). We wish to bring some details to your attention so that those climbing there are well informed.

This week has seen the signing of the first agreement authorising climbing in these areas between the commune, certain private individuals, the FFCAM and the CAF Causses et Cévennes. Even though climbing has taken place here for more than twenty years there has never been any formal authorisation from the landowners and, as such, this is a considerable advance. This also permits the CAF to be officially recognised as managing the climbing areas. There are, however, certain landowners who have not yet given their permission and may yet refuse to do so; in such case the access to certain classic sectors may be at risk.

The objective of the different parties is to allow climbing on safely equipped routes whilst respecting the site, the inhabitants and the environment. In order to do so and before the re-equipment can take place the choice has been made to de-equip certain routes where the equipment is old and dilapidated. Approximately 150 of the routes in the current guidebook have been de-equipped and a prohibition order is in place on the routes concerned. The first three bolts have been removed and a sign indicating the prohibition has been placed at the point of the first bolt.

The sectors that have been almost entirely de-equipped are Amphithéatre, Calmez vous, Navire, Coma idyllique, Arc en ciel, Choucatine, Oasif and Planète Causses. In other sectors only a few routes are affected.

Nevertheless we would like to reassure climbers who wish to come and climb in the Gorges du Tarn. There are a large number of routes that have been put up since 2001 and are therefore not mentioned in the current guide. These routes are in the main located in the sectors described in the guidebook and are easily identifiable. There are, therefore, more than enough routes (more than 400) to allow one to spend a good holiday in the Cirque des Baumes no matter what one's level is.

As soon as the situation regarding the land is clarified and the de-equipped routes re-equipped, the next step will be to include the new routes in an updated guidebook. Alas for this one will have to wait a few months. We wish to assure the climbing community that the CAF Causses et Cévennes is doing everything possible to advance this matter as quickly as possible.

We would like to remind you that wild camping in forbidden throughout the site of the Gorges du Tarn and the Jonte as are fires. Naturally, as at numerous other sites in Europe and elsewhere, the respect of the site by climbers is essential in order to allow climbing to continue here.

We wish you a good holiday in the Gorges du Tarn

The team from CAF Causses et Cévennes
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