/ Where in France? - April 2012 - Rock
Therefore important things are good venues, decent weather, not too hot, easy flights.
Could/will trawl the guide books but appreciate any suggestions you may have.
One word answer - Ariege.
Multi word justification - exactly fits your spec; Rockfax guide book about to be published; accommodations available in a number of British run spots, as well, obviously, as rather more authentic gite style places if you prefer.
We really like it and our demands seem very similar to yours.
St Julien, Baume Rousse, Combe Obscure etc near Buis? Or the Gorge de la Jonte near Millau?
Or Buoux I suppose although the lower grades are interesting in terms of style and grading!
Buis les Barronnies, loads in your grade spread, not polished, multi and single pitch. Cheap camping.
Ollie of Climbapaedia (google it) can even put you up about 5 mins from some of the crags. Coombe Obscure was/is one of my favourite crags for easy angled sports climbing.
There is some very good stuff in the Ariege but the grades can be, well, interesting, as can some of the bolting. More adventurous mind and a wider variety of low and high level crags, rock types (limestone and granite), and sports to alpine. John Arran lives locall and can accomodate.
Rockfax guides to both areas.
and gneiss and quartzite.
Brilliant area. Not sure about the weather in April though - a 4 day trip might end up being 4 days of rain (this is based on reading not experience - our October trip had just 1 write-off day out of 13, though 3 others were also damp).
We had a fair bit of rain in April but climbed every day. For what it's worth, and I appreciate this will run counter to what some will say, we thought the easy stuff was significantly less appealing than other areas such as Buis. But if you're looking for varied climbing it's great.
I'd better add Buis to the list then as we thought the easy stuff at Ariege was great :-)
As for you Mike, I'd hope to be 'enjoying' 6a in April 2013 and following you up 6b's
In terms of April weather, we got soaked in the Tarn/Jonte area this Easter. The forecast was equally as bad further east for Buoux etc, but when we spoke to people who had been there it had actually turned out far better than the forecast would have suggested. I don't know enough about the drivers of French weather, but in terms of stormy systems coming off the Atlantic the usual rule of going as far east as possible might be a good one.
Hopefully we've sorted the worst of the anomalies out already ;-)
To be fair though people often disagree wildly about which routes are undergraded and I'm sure some of it at least is down to lack of familiarity and experience - certainly on the granite routes.
With it being a short trip it looks as thought convenience of flights might now also be a big factor, we don't want to lose a day with travelling so we're hoping to arrive and leave late evening, thus maximising climbing time.
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