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/ Sport and Via Ferrata Europe

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29guitarman on 11 Apr 2018

Hey All!

Looking to do a cheap week in the sun somewhere in Europe this year to try out some via ferrata and sport routes.

I have looked around Chamonix and south of France, anybody got some other suggestions?

Looking for somewhere relatively cheap, warm and plenty of sport routes and via ferrata.  Happy to take a tent!

I know some others may have the same idea for the summer, so would be good to see what others have planned!!

 

Cheers. 

Jamie

silhouette - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to 29guitarman: I'm not totally up to speed but for v f I'd say Dolomites unless the snow lingers; Cortina, Madonna di Campiglio, San Martino di Castrozza. You'd need to search on UKC to see what sport is nearby. There is a lot of sport near Trieste and into Slovenia which is not too far. Hope this helps

 

badmarmot - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to 29guitarman:

Hi 

I live about 20 minutes from Briançon and this would fit your bill,

climbing - there are over 3300 sports routes here on over 4 different rock types, with grades for every level, multi and single pitch, add to that very settled weather 300 days of sunshine a year it makes a great climbing area.

Via Ferrata - there are 26 via ferrata's in about an hours drive, again all levels from easy ones for kids to long exposed ones, I have made a free via ferrata guide app, it is due to be launch in the next few weeks, I can send you a link when it is done.

let me know if you would like any more info about the area, guidebooks and accommodation etc.

Cheers Rob

Tom Blake - on 11 Apr 2018

Hey I'm planning on being around the Alps in July and looking to get some climbing in. I have a few plans but otherwise can be flexible. I'll be camping and maybe trying to hitchhike around for most of the time I'm there. 

Happy to meet up if dates/locations align

Tom

 

Martin Bennett - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to 29guitarman:

If you  want sporty via ferrate as well as sport climbs then Briancon is probably your best bet, especially since it promises the best weather of any Alpine area. If, however, you want the real via ferrata experience then it has to be the Dolomites for vfs that actually GO somewhere as well as providing enormous fun. There's a wealth of sport climbing around every corner there.

yorkshireman - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to badmarmot:

> I have made a free via ferrata guide app, it is due to be launch in the next few weeks, I can send you a link when it is done.

I'd be keen on getting a link to this - I'm west from you so can always do some beta testing - sandwiched between the Vercors and the Dévoluy but have a couple of nearby VFs (one literally at the bottom of my garden). Not worth travelling far for and the actual climbing here isn't fantastic (a few easy single pitches next to our local VF).

Are the details in your app crowdsourced and updated or have you collected it all yourself?

Post edited at 15:55
badmarmot - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to yorkshireman:

Hi 

I have a copy on marvel app (a webbed version) I made it so its only a rough idea i could send you a link to see, the real thing should be ready very soon, I am just waiting on some images from the sponsor's, then its ready to go. 

As for the information on it, I have done all the photos, topos and maps for it, and done every route for the write up, it will be updates, My Girlfriend works with the guy who puts up the route's and does the safety checks, so I get very up to date info for example the via ferrata on the Aiguillette du Lauzet has been shut for a few year, they are looking to redo it on a different line soon, so  when its done I can update the app straight away.

There is also a Facebook group, so people can ask for up to date info or specific questions about routes, or for more info about the area, accommodation or other activities etc.

cheers Rob

yorkshireman - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to badmarmot:

Sounds great. Best of luck with it. 

kenr - on 12 Apr 2018
In reply to Martin Bennett:

> If you want the real via ferrata experience then it has to be the Dolomites
> for vfs that actually GO somewhere as well as providing enormous fun.

western Austria is surely a better region for _fun_ VFs that actually "go" somewhere (notably the Dachstein, also consider the Kaiserjodler, and others). Dolomites are mainly an old-school place for people who think World War I ruins are an essential part of the VF experience, and can't get used to the idea that constructing fun VF routes is fairly straightforward, so now more modern ones are all over the European Alps (and valleys). There's a handful of outstanding VF routes in the Dolomites proper. There's a whole lot more that just don't measure up to the modern standard.

And going to the Dolomites is just _asking_ to get rained on.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

As soon as our original poster says "sun", the obvious answer is Briancon, and the sport climbing around Briancon if have a car to access the great variety of rock types, quantity and quality ahead of the Dolomites (unless include Arco region).

And there are VF routes around Briancon (and nearby Italy) that "go" somewhere, and which I gladly repeat.

Ken

BruceM - on 12 Apr 2018
In reply to badmarmot:

I remember you talking about this a while ago, and it could be useful, but the big question is: will it work offline?

We always have an Android device with us, but no constant connection, just occasional wifi.  So pdfs and/or some other form of static info are the only real options.  (I also think that relying on any kind of mountain info from an online source isn't great given you will usually be in the hills when you need it.)

Cheers.

badmarmot - on 12 Apr 2018
In reply to BruceM:

Hi Bruce you will get nearly all of it, except the google mapping for parking when offline. 

So to try and explain, you will get an overview of the area's, you will get each route's own page, this includes a topo (photo with route shown on) and a map, it is a basic map that I have made that you should be able to navigate from the parking to the route and back (think normal rock climbing guide type map) and the route description which does include parking coordinates. 

What you will miss if off line is the interactive map (google) this allows you to see the routes across a map zoom in and out and click go to to get directions to the parking.

I think that the planning, deciding which route, sorting out getting there, would be done with wifi, most accommodation and even campsite's have a place to access it. 

Once you leave the car, you should have all the info you need offline to do the route, I would also recommend carrying a real map for the area and in the description I include the Map number needed for that route.

This is the first time I have tried anything like this, so happy to take feed back and always keen to keep improving it.

 

29guitarman on 12 Apr 2018

All these recommendations are great! 

Anyone had any experience with El Chorro south Spain?

Found some super cheap flights and accom, and it appears to have a range of climbing with some VF too.

BruceM - on 12 Apr 2018
In reply to badmarmot:

Thanks Rob.  Sounds a great project (I used to be a software engineer once).  I look forward to having a play with the finished item.  Certainly looking forward to getting back to your neck of the woods for some sun and hills!!!

 

Sorry guitarman - realize we've drifted off-topic

Spain is pretty hot middle of summer.  Unless you mean much later in the year.  When of course you also have the Costa Blanca -- with a few great VFs amongst the sport paradise.

 

Toerag - on 12 Apr 2018
In reply to badmarmot:

Can you not get it to work with a cached googlemap? Not that a cached googlemap is much use in the mountains as you don't get the photo layer . Maybe a cached OSM would be an option?

29guitarman on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to BruceM:

Yeah i had the realisation of how hot it can get in the summer, like up to the 40's... may have to find an alpine area.

Briancon sounds awesome, just a pig to get to compared to el Chorro. Any cheap alpine destinations, not too far from an airport would be good!! 

 

This app sounds awesome too! Keep me informed about its progress!

badmarmot - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to 29guitarman:

Hi 

Are you looking to hire a car or use public transport?

cheers

29guitarman on 15 Apr 2018
In reply to badmarmot:

More than happy to rent a car. Looking for somewhere that can be done cheaply, happy to camp to be honest.  I've been to the Alps in the summer and the heat isn't too bad. So happy to do some alpine stuff

29guitarman on 15 Apr 2018
In reply to Tom Blake:

Any locations in mind? Briancson looks good, just not sure the best way to get there, cant find flights to Grenoble and driving fro Marsielle and Nice is 4 hours ish

yorkshireman - on 15 Apr 2018
In reply to 29guitarman:

Ryanair have opened a route to Grenoble (I think from Stanstead).

However despite Grenoble being my closest airport I use Lyon 99% if the time. Once you're on the motorway it only ends up being about 15 minutes quicker and the choice of flights and better facilities make LYS a better bet. Road tolls cost you about an extra €7 each way.

If you're feeling adventurous, there's a night train from Paris Austerlitz that has sleeper berths and finishes in Briançon. I sometimes get it to Paris if I'm visiting our office there although it can be crowded with tourists in the summer and there's no a/c as the trains are old. The first class tickets are often only a little bit more and its worth it for being in a 4-berth rather than a 6.

GridNorth - on 15 Apr 2018
In reply to 29guitarman:

Turin is the best airport for Briancon.  Much quicker than Grenoble since they upgraded the road for the winter Olympics some years ago. 

Al

badmarmot - on 15 Apr 2018
In reply to yorkshireman:

As GridNorth said Turin Italy is our closest airport, its 1.5 to 2 hours drive time, depending on traffic, you can normally get a cheap hire car, but make sure it allows you to go in to France. you can get over on public transport just, but its better to have a car for the via ferrata's

BA, Ryan air, and Blue air fly in from round London way, 

Sorry to say I think they have stopped the over night train Paris - Briançon its been on the cards for a while, my neighbours  are from paris and went to a few protests to try and keep it going, but I think it is no more, shame I have to go to Paris once a year and it was great.

Cheers Rob

 

Doug on 15 Apr 2018
In reply to badmarmot:

Are you sure the night train has been stopped ? I know its been threatened for a long time but I've not heard it had been stopped & a quick check shows they are still selling tickets, at least for May.

A real shame if they stop it, the end of long weekends in the Queyras, Val Clarée, Champsaur etc for me if its stopped, and  judging on how many Parisians I meet in gites, refuges, etc who do the same, a blow to the local economy.

badmarmot - on 15 Apr 2018
In reply to Doug:

Your right Doug it is running, my bad there was something in the local paper about it shutting, but just done some digging and it says it is protected till 2020.

which is cool

cheers

 

cragtyke on 15 Apr 2018
In reply to 29guitarman:

What about Otztal in Austria, plenty of sport crags and both valley and mountain klettersteig(VF), there was a recent article by Chris Craggs on UKC. Fly to Innsbruck, then about an hour by car, good campsite in Langenfeld. Well integrated public transport as well. Look on the Otztal website and Climbers Paradise for topos etc. The Local tourist offices will usually copy you topos or they are shown in the free mountain sports booklets.

29guitarman on 12:52 Mon
In reply to yorkshireman:

Thats a good shout, I'm happy to drive a few hours from an airport, or could use Turin like GridNorth said. 

I'll be flying from Manchester or Liverpool as I live in North Wales, so not cost effective to fly from Stanstead.

 

Also looking into Chamonix, easy cheap flights into Geneva, possibly camp there. Good all round climbing there, but keeping options open at the moment.

Thanks for the advice!! keep it coming! I'm sure this will help others planning to do the same this summer!


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