Altitude 106m a.s.l
Vlad no hands resting on the monster roof of 'Moi vouloir toit' © Dave Bond
An extensive area of crags, offering everything from technical grey slabs through to spectacular, overhanging tufas. Like Seynes, Russan is a great winter-sun destination. Although, unlike Seynes, there is a lot more to go at in the 5s and low 6s.
Russan is a real sun-trap, shaped like a reflector oven it can offer climbing in T-shirts in the middle of winter when the puddles at the top of the crag are frozen solid - it is a good idea to be prepared for each end of the temperature spectrum if you're visiting in the winter. Though mostly south-facing, the wings at either end offer a little shade at the start and end of the day. If it is warm however, you would be better off climbing elsewhere. The great majority of routes dry very quickly - though the tufas will be dripping for sometime after prolonged rain.
The approach to Russan is not obvious, as you cannot see the crag until you're right on top of it. There is a large roundabout at the centre of the village of Russan, exit this roundabout along Avenue des Sept (passing a bar on your left). Follow Avenue des Sept for 200m, turning right at a colourful selection of signs onto Rue de Castellas. Follow Rue de Castellas up the hill for 500m until you reach a public information sign on the right, and a sign to Las Castellas, which you are going to follow. If you wish to park away from the crag (which does have a bad record for break-ins), it's probably best to park here and continue on foot. Turn left opposite the public information sign onto Chemin Dit des Cabines and continue for another 500m (the road turns to gravel after 100m) until you reach a large parking area on the left. If you park here, you are strongly advised to leave no valuables in your car, leave it so it's clearly not got any valuables in it, and you may even wish to leave it unlocked.
From the parking area, pass around the prominent gate and follow the track for 700m until you reach a fork.
For the right-hand side (looking in) of the crag, take the left fork, and follow the track for a short way past a sign to another fork, take this second fork on the right and continue until a small track leads off to the right (a sizeable tree is on the left). Follow this trail down to the right-hand side of the crag.
For the left-hand side of the crag (looking in), take the right fork and continue for another 600m until you reach a chain across the track. Pass the chain and take a path off to the left after just 30m - or walk a bit further and get a great view of where you're going to be climbing - and follow the track down along the base of the crags.
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