/ La Baleine, St Leger

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dan gibson - on 07 Nov 2017
Hi,
Does anyone know if this crag is in the local guidebook, or any links to online topos?
It looks amazing.
Thanks
innes - on 07 Nov 2017
In reply to dan gibson:
Last time I was there (3/4 years now) La Baleine topo was a ‘supplement’ which was added inside the front of the ‘Escalade autour du Ventoux’ guidebook.
You can buy it in the local climbing shop in Buis-les-Barronies.
Well worth it, as it’s a great crag.
dan gibson - on 07 Nov 2017
In reply to innes:
Thanks. Will definitely check it out.
DDDD - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to dan gibson:

https://www.aptitudes-escalade.com/app/download/5795386267/ST+LEGER+ADDITIF+2013.pdf

There's also a 7b+ (Pavelades) not in the topo starting immedialtely to the right of Péguig le porkas. I don't believe that there are any bad routes there.
Fraser on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to dan gibson:

That does look a great crag. I'll be in the neighbourhood in a few weeks time so might try to check it out. Cheers for the heads up.
The Jazz Butcher on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to dan gibson:

Hi Dan,

I'm looking at the guidebook now. La Baleine is in the supplement.

It's a really good sector and wasn't as busy as other sectors when we were there a couple of years ago.

The quickest way in is to walk down from the road above the crag. Driving down the valley, there is an obvious large left hand bend with parking on the left. From there cross the road to the valley side and pick a path heading down through the woods. I think there are a couple of cairns to get started. Once the path gets a bit steeper it's well defined.

Have fun.

TJB.
jon on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Fraser:
> That does look a great crag. I'll be in the neighbourhood in a few weeks time so might try to check it out. Cheers for the heads up.

Bear in mind that winter isn't ideal for the Baleine - a lot of it gets wet and stays wet. In general it's very cold in there - for instance today would be brutal...
Post edited at 10:36
Fraser on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to jon:
Hmmm, okay thanks for that jon. I'm staying at a friend's place somewhere near St Leger - not sure where exactly! - any recommended venues in the area which might be amenable at the end of this month? I'm low in the training dept lately so would be looking at stuff about F6c-7a mark, although the friends I'm with will be in the mid-high 7's market. I think Malausenne(?) had been mentioned as being good, do you have any experience there?

Edit: I see it's actually called Malaucène and the grade spectrum looks ideal.
Post edited at 12:36
innes - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Fraser:

Malaucène is a little gem of a crag, but it's significantly higher up on Mt Ventoux and doesn't get any sun until the afternoon. I reckon it'll be pretty cold at the end of November.
There's plenty in the 6c-7b+ range in Saint Leger on the south facing walls, which are much lower down - this would be my first choice.
Also you could check out other venues such as Baume Rousse or Ubrieux if its cold. They're all within easy striking distance with a car.
Fraser on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to innes:

Thanks, that's very useful. We'll have a car so should be good to wander about a bit. I'll check the route database for the nice and soft potential holiday ticks!
innes - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Fraser:

> ... potential holiday ticks!

Ah, erm... its not a region renowned for soft touches!
Brilliant climbing, exquisite food, beautiful scenery.... yes.
Holiday grades... no!
Whatever grade you climb, the whole area is superb. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
hms - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to jon:

I particularly liked Trois Rivieres, apols but I don't know what guidebook it's in.

Totally agree with comments about grading - they're really tough! Other thing I noticed at some crags was that the bolting was rather old skool too - some routes didn't feel quite as 'sport' as I was used to.
Fraser on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to innes & hms:

Thanks, I'll happily drop the 'ego massages' in favour of some decent routes at whatever the grade ;)

Bogwalloper - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Fraser:
> Hmmm, okay thanks for that jon. I'm staying at a friend's place somewhere near St Leger - not sure where exactly! - any recommended venues in the area which might be amenable at the end of this month? I'm low in the training dept lately so would be looking at stuff about F6c-7a mark, although the friends I'm with will be in the mid-high 7's market. I think Malausenne(?) had been mentioned as being good, do you have any experience there?

> Edit: I see it's actually called Malaucène and the grade spectrum looks ideal.

Malaucene can be a bit grim in November. Even when the sun comes round after 2/3pm the temperature drops like a stone.

At St Leger, 150m across the ravine from La Baleine is Sector Andalusia with many 3 star 6c's and 7a's - it's a winter suntrap sheltered from the wind.

W
Post edited at 15:37
jon on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Fraser:

You might be lucky and hit a mild spell - we lost 15° from one day to the next a few days back, so hoping the temps will go back up. Lots of other crags. St Léger itself is ideal except when there's a cloud cap sitting on Ventoux which stops the sun getting in to it - which was the case today. Baume Rousse is OK as there's always some of the crag in the sun (or shade). Malaucène can be chilly as the sun doesn't arrive till early afternoon. Same goes for Trois Rivières. Dentelles is in the sun all day and is sheltered from the mistral but is a totally different climbing style to say the Baleine. Grades vary a bit - I generally find St Léger to be just right, but the Dentelles, for instance, is nails!
Fraser on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to all:

Apologies to the OP for hijacking this thread!

Cheers for all that useful info, I'd completely forgotten about the mistral, not having climbed that far west for about 10 years now. I'll pack warm and as long as it's dry, I'll be happy! Or just take lots of photos ;)

mark catcher - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to dan gibson: Dentelles sheltered from the mistral? Had horizontal ab ropes there very recently. Orpierre isn't too far and loads at your requested grade to go at.

jon on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to mark catcher:

> Dentelles sheltered from the mistral? Had horizontal ab ropes there very recently.

... in general. Depends on wind speed (high speeds produce eddies) and sector (Hadamard for instance) is very exposed). 'Very recently', like three days ago, there were speeds of 145kph!
The Jazz Butcher on 09 Nov 2017
In reply to jon:

Hi Jon,

What are the St Leger conditions like at the beginning of February? Is it usually dry then? What are good alternatives if there is no sun due to cloud cover? Are the Dentelles climbable at that time of year.

Thanks.

TJB.
full stottie on 09 Nov 2017
In reply to DDDD:

In Sector Andalouse of the supplement is this a death threat? - check out the route name "Mort à Rockfax"

Alan James should be aware...

Dave
Fraser on 09 Nov 2017
In reply to full stottie:

aka 'Mr Vampire Topo' if you see the intro part ;)
jon on 09 Nov 2017
In reply to The Jazz Butcher:

About perfect, I'd say. My comments about the crag getting wet and staying wet was directed at parts of the Baleine which take a lot of drainage and face east. Dentelles are climbable year round.
The Jazz Butcher on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to jon:

Thanks Jon.

TJB
jon on 21:20 Tue
In reply to Fraser:

Despite what I said about conditions at la Baleine I reckon they must be just about perfect at the moment, if a tad chilly... so hurry! Going to get colder at the end of the week.
Fraser on 21:39 Tue
In reply to jon:

Cheers jon, unfortunately got a bit of a tear in my fore-arm last week while warming up so it's likely to be very easy routes I'm on. Great timing. Will pass on the heads-up to my pals I'm there with though!

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