Due to the ongoing spread of Coronavirus, France has banned all climbing. Continuing to do so not only puts people at risk, but can also put more strain on emergency workers. Please do not climb here.
Altitude 131m a.s.l
General view of Les Branches, La Grotte area, from the East side © Mark Pashley
A tough crag with a mixture of steep tufa climbs and long technical wall climbs. A great place to escape the heat.
Facing north, the crag gets almost no sun, so is a fine place to head to avoid the heat. During the winter and spring you should expect to find some or all of the tufas dripping wet, but there are plenty of routes on the vertical walls further left.
The following approach can be used from September to May (when the campsite is closed). From Vallon, follow the D579 towards Salavas and Barjac. On leaving Salavas, take a road on the left named Route des Chassel, the turning is marked by a plethora of signs, including a sign for Les Blanches Camping. Continue along this road until a cliff on the right with space to park below, a couple of hundred metres before Les Blanches.
Continue on foot past a couple of gates respecting the fact that this is private land, when you reach a very large building on the right (the one made from stone, wood, and metal) drop down and pass a small playground on your right. Continue close to the river, the road crosses a small stream and ends. Just before it ends, head up on another road to another camping area. Take the first turning on your left and follow the road until it ends at a wide area. From here things get a bit Indiana Jones. Follow a trail next to the river, crossing a small stream (very slippery - the stream can be bypassed on the right if it's really flowing). After a short while you come to a crag, the second half of which is traversed using a fixed rope. Continue along the trail for about 250m to reach the right-hand end of the crag.
From September to May you must cross the river from the Pont d'Arc. From Vallon pick up the D290 and follow it for 4km until you see an extensive car park on your left next to a restaurant. Park here, cross the road and walk back in the direction of Vallon for no more than 50m, and you will reach a smaller parking area on the left side of the road. From here a track leads down to a pleasant beach west of the Pont d'Arc. Cross the river however you choose and continue in a westerly direction (up-river) until you reach the crag on your left.
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