Altitude 132m a.s.l
Two different styles! A local hardy at the Le Saussois with a British "tourist". © Bruce Hooker
A magnificent sprawling crag composed of limestone buttresses and bays spread along the side of the Yonne. The lazy river unspoilt village of Merry Sur Yonne provides a stunning backdrop for your hard redpoints. Although the crag is south-west facing, shade moves around the sheltered bays through the day and there is normally somewhere cool to climb, although the long routes on the main buttresses are better left for morning / evenings in summer. The crag was has been rebolted at some stage in its life; on many routes rusty old ring-bolts add a touch of historical interest while you're clipping the more reassuring glue-ins!
At one time Le Saussois was a very popular crag; home to the classic Chimpanzodrome - once the hardest route in france. The crowds have moved elsewhere leaving behind a legacy of test-pieces up to F8c+, a few unclimbed proects, and a wealth of quality single and multi-pitch outings starting from more accessible F3s.
Grades here feel fairly stiff, the style of climbing encompasses short power routes on steep pocketed rock, longer routes on the buttresses often have cruxy sections passing bulges and thin balancy climbing between.
The gendarme area has been rebolted and is a lot safer then the jingo wobbly guide mentions, very good routes but a little polished.
Merry Sur Yonne is only an hour and a half drive from Fontainebleau so a worthwhile day or two out if you suffer from bouldering fatigue...
The crag is all within a minute's walk of easy parking along the D100. A beautiful bridge spans the Yonne making the crag five accessible on foot from the campsite visible across the river at Merry Sur Yonne. Several other local campsites available at Mailly le Chateau etc.
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