/ Climbing in south of France near Spain, any suggestions

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Radarbailey - on 07 Jun 2013

I'm off to the south east of France not far from Perpignan and very close to Ceret in the Pyrenees. I'm going camping with my kids. I'd like to do a bit of climbing both for me and the kids, 5 and 7. Is there any climbing in that area, if so what type?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

GrahamD - on 07 Jun 2013
In reply to Radarbailey:

Best one I've found is Tauteval. The climbing is in a delightful, friendly river gorge with safe bathing. Others in the same area would be Vingrau (much more full on and strictly speaking closed at the moment due to bolt maintainence) and Opoul (not climbed there, but did go for a reccy a month or so back - looks good).

There is now one local guide which covers all 3 venues.
LeeWood - on 07 Jun 2013
In reply to Radarbailey: Recent update on staus of prohibition:


Unclear w r t Tautavel.
TimB - on 07 Jun 2013
In reply to Radarbailey:

Ceret's not really in the right valley for climbing!

The next valley north has a few interesting places on the way up to Targasonne, including Eus, but that's an hours drive away:


The map on ClimbingAway is pretty exhaustive, and usually has up to date access info. If you zoom out, it shows a few crags on the Spanish side and down nearer Perpignan.

Incidentally, I think that pretty much all of Vingrau/Tautavel/Opoul are still banned. Alfredito(?) who posts on here is based somewhere around Perpignan, and could confirm if he sees this.

I wonder if anyone has recommended the Ariege while I've been typing this - it's about two and a half hours drive away... bit far for cragging with kids.

In fact, if it's not stinking hot you could drive over to La Clape near Narbonne in about an hour - there are definitely child-friendly crags there and a huge beach (well, a very large flat windy beach anyway).
rhudson on 07 Jun 2013
In reply to Radarbailey: Try searching Cardou using Find Crags. Very nice although hot in summer. The bases of many of the routes are in shade. A free topo is available online if you search for it. You used to be able to buy the topo at the Decathlon in Carcassonne.
Alfrede - on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to Radarbailey: And here is Alfredito who does indeed live nearby. The situation in Roussillon looks hopeless as the local authorities are demented at the thought of someone suing them. Perhaps a timely warning about not involving local authorities in bolting crags? Beware elected officials with no knowledge of climbing but a lawyer at their elbow! Most of the banned (and vandalised) routes have nothing to do with the accidents and have been climbed on for decades perfectly safely. The splendid crags around there may not be climbed on for years or perhaps even for ever. From Ceret it would be possible in about an hour and a half to drive to Cardou, St Pierre Lys and St Salvayre which are splendid family friendly mid grade crags. Guidebooks are available in the tourist office in Quillan. Probably the best option is La Clape which is about an hour away and a delightful crag, possible in summer if there is a bit of a breeze. It may be possible to get a guide in a local Decathlon: I got one in Carcassonne but there is a Decathlon in Perpignan and Narbonne. There are many crags described near Ceret (including minor crags around Collioure) in the large and expensive - 32 euro - guide to Les Pyrenees du Levant by Thomas Dulac which is readily available in bookshops and climbing stores around Perpignan. Have fun anyway as it is a lovely place for a holiday. Best wishes, Alf.
GrahamD - on 10 Jun 2013
In reply to LeeWood:

Tauteval and Opoul seemed to be getting plenty of traffic a few weeks ago !
Radarbailey - on 10 Jun 2013
In reply to GrahamD: Thanks for the all the replies. I didn't want to take up some precious space in the car with any climbing gear if there was no chance of using it. It now appears some of the kids toys will have to be jettisoned from the trip, thank god.

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