/ Ecrin or Frankenjura Sport climbing?

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cha1n on 05 Jul 2013

From the start of August I commence a 9 month road trip with my girlfriend and our first long term destination is the bouldering areas of Switzerland (Magic wood, etc), aiming to arrive the start of September.

Before that I was going to head to Ecrin as there's meant to be bouldering and Sport and as it's reasonably high, it should be cool (ish). After entering the routes into google maps, Ecrin seems quite out of the way for getting to Switzerland but Frankenjura on the other hand seems a lot more convenient, saving around 500km compared to Ecrin>Magic Wood.

What are people's opinions? Is Ecrin far superior to Frankenjura?
cha1n on 05 Jul 2013
In reply to cha1n:

I'm open to other suggestions aswell. I picked Frankenjura because it's meant to be climbable in the summer, due to the tree cover and it's sort of more direct coming from Dunkirk and heading to magic wood via Frankenjura.

Anywhere else on the way to magic wood that you can climb in the summer would be great!
jimtitt - on 05 Jul 2013
In reply to cha1n:
Nothing is superior to the Frankenjura! However end of August it can be pretty grim as the humidity can reach appalling levels due to the tree cover, if it´s cool weather then it´s o.k but if it´s hot then it´s vile. If it´s bad then go on to the Allgau as there are loads more crags high up and it´s right on the way to Switzerland, there is loads of new development there at the moment and a new guide out http://www.gebro-verlag.de/
France05 on 06 Jul 2013
In reply to cha1n:
hi we're driving from Cardiff to Les Ecrins the 27 or 28 of july. Interested? 2 spares sits
Good climbs
TheGeneralist - on 06 Jul 2013
In reply to cha1n:
Very different areas IMHO. Frankejura is nearly all single pitch, shortish picthes at that, whereas the Ecrins has much more variety and the opportunities for mountains.

Lots of pocketed limestone, great if you're strong.
Or great to get strong.
Better beer.
Not much chance of getting a suntan (compared to Ecrin) due to trees
No mountains.
Quite a lot of overhanging powerful bouldering.

Loads of variety I imagine. From my experience, lots of granite slabs, granite boulders.
Lots of amazing multi pitch
Better rest day options - rafting, biking, walking.

It really boils down to whether the thought of powerful short limestone routes appeals. If so then go. If not then go to Ecrins.

PS, I love both areas. Done maybe 30 days in Ecrins and maybe 100 in Frankenjura.
cha1n on 07 Jul 2013
In reply to cha1n:

Thanks for the replies everyone.

Short and powerful would certainly suit me as bouldering is my main focus but it sounds like the weather in the jura will be a bit pants.

My main concern about Ecrin is how far out of the way it is. For the extra cost of fuel it might be worth heading straight to Switzerland and paying for camping.

I'll start a new thread asking about summer climbing venues on the way to magic wood. Steep and powerful is preferred over slabby stuff.

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