/ Verdon Gorge - how hot for climbing Jul/Aug
How possible/pleasant is it to climb at Verdon at the end of July/early August. Not intending to climb hard just enjoy ourselves and have fun - prob no harder than 6a/6b. I've heard it is possible to climb in the shade on most crags if you time it right? Also how much single pitch (or short multi-pitch) is there that does not require rapping in from above (i.e. low commitment stuff)? Thanks.
I was in verdon in july 2016 and it was low 30’s everyday. Way to hot to climb comfortably in the sun. We did manage some climbing on the smaller venues which are single pitch or 2 pitch climbs with no abseiling. They were shaded until around midday ish.
Les haut vernis, le galatas & la valauate were 3 crags i climbed at.
you can chase the shade round on the bigger climbs
I'm not sure the Verdon really does 'fun'.
If you go to the Verdon to climb low commitment single pitch then you're really missing the point! This is a place of big air, big routes and big effort. Summer temps can indeed be handled with suitable timing though.
yes, I fully appreciate that. But Ive been meaning to visit for over 20 years and not made it. There is the chance to go this summer but with someone who is far less experienced. I'd still love to see it even if we don't get the 'full experience'.
Problem I had trying to 'beat the sun' was that everything took way longer than I'd expected it to so for longer objectives even if I started in the shade at some point I was climbing in a furnace wishing I had more water and more sun block. That was in May !
Wouldn't it be better to train them in simple multi-pitching technique (bolt belays) and acclimatise on a few easy sport multipitches prior to going? It'll open up so much of the gorge to you and will mean you can get the real Verdon experience. There's plenty of 4 pitch routes in the sub 6 grade by way of example.
The 'other side' of the Gorge gets far more shade than the popular side. It's developed, but probably more adventurous that the popular side - not been myself, just looked enviously at the shade.
Start early and it's tolerable, but by about 11 it's a furnace. Go swimming thereafter.
I,ve been to the Verdon at that time of year a couple of times. Got up at 7.00 on crag by 8.00 finished climbing by 1.00. Relaxing and swimming in river or lake for rest of day with family. Brilliant.
Or if you want shade in the afternoon you could climb on the left bank at crags such as Bauchet. See Verdon Rive Gauche. Aiguines FFME guide.
I've been at that time of year many times. Just get up at 6, finish by lunch, sleep, return to crag at 3 and do shorter stuff near the rim.
Given that Verdon is not best in Jul/Aug, why don't you check out some alpine venues for multi-pitch. Chamonix, Briancon, Central Switzerland, and the Dolomites have lots to go at. And the higher elevation means will be an awful lot cooler..
It can be quite hot. I went there over Easter once and when we came back to the tent, a cork on an uncorked red wine bottle had shot out as it got so hot in the tent. Having said that, we have been there in June and it was not too bad. The main thing/problem is the thunderstorms IMHO, they are very prevalent in summer now, even spring. If you go, go really early and aim to finish by lunch. That should see you through. It's an amazing place, just not the easiest/ all quite involved.
The Verdon is ace but the thought of getting caught out by the august french sun on one of them walls is making me feel ill. It was unbearable in may in the sun. Even at 6a the climbing can be really technical. On endless tiny dishes and edges. Your feet take an absolute pasting. 30-35c? Oh hell no.
Joan and I climbed 'La Demande' on 31st July in 1989 to celebrate our wedding anniversary - got sun burnt and dehydrated, but it was a great day out. Advised our daughter Eve to get married in September.
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