In this report Youri Picart from Grenoble University tells us about a recent bolting mission to Tunisia.
At the GUCM (Grenoble University Club for Climbing and Mountaineering) we receive quite a few foreign students. After climbing with us, most of them are keen to keep it up once back in their own country. Our friend 'Slim' was one of them, but bad luck: he lived in Tunisia.
There are plenty of quality crags in Tunisia, many of them feature amazing rock in amazing places. But up until last June, only three routes had been opened there (in Djebel Ressas, near Tunis), classic routes, protected by pegs and passing sections of loose rock. No sport routes existed.
Slim gave us all the info we needed to formulate our plan, and with fourteen fellow climbers, we set about bolting up new sport routes of all levels in Djebel Zaghouan, so Tunisians could have a new playground for climbing. With the support of the local caving club, of Petzl and of the French CNDS (National Centre for Sports Development), we bolted twenty-five new sport routes (from 4a to 8a), and four multi-pitch routes (from 6a to 6c). This sparked the founding of the first Tunisian rock climbing club in Zaghouan.
The local climbers there, as well as ourselves, would be proud to give you more information if you are keen to go and repeat our routes!