/ Ardeche - Vallon Pont d'arc - Info

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mike_uk82 - on 29 Jun 2012
Im off to Vallon Pont d'arc in the Ardeche in August.

I am just looking for a little information on the climbing in the area. What style, where is best, what gear etc..

Also my girlfriend is under the impression that we need a license or something of the kind

Any first hand information you can give me would be appreciated.


gary1 on 29 Jun 2012 - shooters.logica.co.uk [cache1.uk.logica.com]
In reply to mike_uk82: we climbed here..will be hot hot hot in August...

Stuart en Écosse - on 29 Jun 2012
In reply to mike_uk82:

There is a crag at Balazuc (20 mins drive) which is in a beautiful location but the easier graded climbs are very polished. It is all bolted, no trad gear necessary. Seynes is c. 30mins drive to the south and is a brilliant crag, again all bolted.

There are many other crags in the immediate area, though I haven't been to them.

The licence thing is news to me (I was there this year).
ghisino - on 29 Jun 2012
In reply to mike_uk82:

no license needed to climb outdoors in france!!!

anyway if you climb in the 7's and 8's grotte des branches seems to be the place.
Last issue of climbing magazine "grimper" published some info about a new north facing crag, though it only looks interesting for the local hardcore guys as it's upper grades only AND still very dirty/crumbly...
GrahamD - on 29 Jun 2012
In reply to mike_uk82:

Loads of excellent climbing.

There is a really good local guidebook which will help you selet the best venue according to the time of day - you will need to be in the shade in August. Mostly bolted so a single rope and quickdraws are all you need.
mike_uk82 - on 29 Jun 2012
In reply to mike_uk82: Thanks for the advice guys.

I thought the licence thing was not quite correct.

ill have to skip on the 7s and 8s for the next decade or so sadly ;)
TimB - on 29 Jun 2012
In reply to mike_uk82:

Most of the crags around Vallon Pont d'arc are bolted single pitch limestone. Not much in the way of grade 4s, but lots of 6s (and 7s). Take a single rope and a dozen quickdraws.

The major crags near there are Chaulet, Mazet and the Cirque des Gens.

The reputation is that most routes under 6c are quite polished.

There is a rockfax guide that contains at least those crags and a few others : http://www.rockfax.com/climbing-guides/books/france-languedoc-roussillon-2011/

There is also a local topo guide that covers all the crags in the Rockfax and many more - including the granite crags in North Ardeche: http://www.soescalade.com/PBSCProduct.asp?ItmID=3068480

August will be very hot. Don't try and climb in the sun.

Carless - on 29 Jun 2012
In reply to mike_uk82:

fine area - no license required (do you have rabies?)

Will be hot - be prepared to change crags and get up early if necess
Go up high to the granite areas as well if you have time, or if too hot in the valley
Floating down the river is recommended

The jump from the pont d'arc is highly recommended and more worrying than you might imagine... free advice - keep your buttocks clenched
John2 - on 29 Jun 2012
In reply to TimB: 'The major crags near there are Chaulet, Mazet and the Cirque des Gens'

They are all worth visiting, but are all a bit polished in the 6s with the exception of the climbs further away from the parking at the Cirque des Gens.
BenTiffin - on 29 Jun 2012
In reply to John2: Seynes is about 30 miles to the south and superb. Lots more crags in that direction as well and all are in the local guide.

dcclimb - on 29 Jun 2012
In reply to BenTiffin: Like everyone before you I will give you the heat warning. There is a local guide available from the office de tourisme which is at the bottom of the hill accross the road from intermarche.

a lot of fantastic bolted lines. the quieter crags are probably best to avoid polish in the lower grades and a car is kind of a must.

70mtr rope if you dont want to miss anyhting but you cna get away with a 50-60. would definatly recomend doing "day 1" down the river in a little boat takes you under the arc and is about a 6-7km strech.

there is some bouldering at a place called casteljeu which looks fantastic unfortunatly i havent made it out there yet. there is also a good online guide to the blocs at casteljeu its a blog that is easy to google but its blocked on my web here.

have a good time and bring some sun cream.

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