Climbs 139
Rocktype Limestone
Altitude 104m a.s.l
Faces all

Calanques - en Vau to the turquoise Med sea © brianrunner

Crag features

The most classical of all the Calanques, a Mediterranean paradise that has suffered because of its beauty, it is best avoided on sunny summer weekends when the small beach can end up jammed with 'seekers of solitude'. The authorities have made access to the Calanque more difficult as the years have gone by, moving the nearest parking further away, though boat access from Cassis remains the easiest way in. Boats are not allowed to approach the beach, a commando assault will be required. 

The climbing here is excellent, varied and in a wonderful situation, though inevitably the most popular climbs have become polished in the 100 plus years climbers have been visiting the place. Many of the routes are only partly bolted, a light trad rack will be needed for these.

The recessed nature of En Vau makes it a good bet on windy days and, as the cliffs face in different directions, both sun and shade are normally on offer. In winter the base of the calanque sees precious little sun, though the higher walls are a better bet. La Face du Grand Rappel is in the shade from mid-morning, a boon on steamy summer days. Seepage is normally not an issue here.

Approach notes

Option 1 - The usual climbers' approach is from the extensive parking at the Col de la Gardiole. This is reached by locating a small innocuous turn off the D559 Cassis to Marseille road called appropriately 'Rue de Gaston Rebuffat'. From the parking, walk down past the Forestry House and drop down either of two narrow valleys that lead all the way down to the sea - 40 minutes. 

A return can be made from the plateau to the north of the Calanque by way of good tracks that lead past the Youth Hostel and back to the parking.

Option 2 - The approach from Cassis, via parking at Port Miou and the GR 98-51 is shorter but uphill and down-dale.

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Guidebooks

France : C?te d'Azur

Côte d'Azur covers the famous cliffs of Calanques, Sainte Victoire and the Verdon and also includes some of the great venues around Toulon, the sunniest city in France. Plus there is the popular winter venue of Châteauvert, the less well known Esterel and Châteaudouble area. Add in Saint Jeannet and a selection of cliffs in the Nice area and this will become an essential volume for any climber.
More info
We used the standard 40 minute walk approach from Rue de Gaston Rebuffat. This felt safe as there are plenty of cars parked there and there was a park ranger at the carpark. Lovely scenic crags.
brianrunner - 02/Apr/12
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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
  *Le Pouce*
2 Le pouce normal 4a ** 5
3 Le pouce intégral 6a *** 7
4 La paume 6b+ ***  
5 Les petits Suisses 6c ***  
6 La brioche 5c ** 4
7 Direct de la brioche 6b+ *  
  *La Grande Aiguille*
9 Le Surplomb 5c 3
10 La Paillon
-
4a 5
11 Le G.H.M.
-
5c ** 5
12 L'A.M.E.
-
4a 4
13 Voie Abeille
-
3c 5
  *La Sirène*
15 Arivée impromtue 5c ** 2
16 Sirène barrin 4c ** 6
17 Plasma 6b ** 1
18 Moitié moitié 5c ** 7
19 Sirène liautard 5a *** 28
20 La Reforme 6a 2
21 Super Sirène 6b *** 25
22 Couloir de la Sirène 5c *  
23 Pilier de la Sirène 5c * 2
24 Les Capes 5c  
25 La Sans Nom 4a 13
26 Directe de la Sans Nom 6c  
27 Pilier de la Sans Nom 5a  
  *La Petite Aiguille and La Saphir*
29 Le tord boyau 5c * 4
30 Variante Nord-Ouest 5c 1
31 La Face Nord-Ouest 5c * 7
32 La B.B. 6a 2
33 La directe 5b ** 8
34 La ratopenado 4b ** 13
35 La diagonal 6a+ * 6
36 Directe de la diagonal 6a * 2
37 Face à la mer 5c * 4
38 La Saphir 5a *** 54
39 La sortie des artists 5c * 1
40 Direct de la pierre fine 5c * 1
  *Dalle du Chat*
42 Le Train Sauvage
-
7a 2
43 Le Gynecologue
-
6b 3
44 Passagers du Vent
-
6b  
45 Troisième Sexe
-
6b+ 1
46 Sale Temps pour les Nains
-
5c 3
  *Dalle de la Conversation*
48 La Grotte d'Ali Baba 5a  
49 La conversation 6a ** 5
50 La constipation 6b+ *** 4
51 Yoghourt acide 7a * 1
52 Overdance 6c *** 2
53 Nenesse le Bienheureux
-
6b  
54 Mon Ongle d'Amerique
-
6b  
  *Doigt du Dieu*
56 Doigt de Dieu intégral 6b ** 5
57 La dany revest 7a+ *  
58 Mort pour la trance 6c ***  
59 Week-end à Rome 7b **  
60 Face Est du Doigt de Dieu
-
5a 2
  *Le Piolet*
62 Indiana Steroïd
-
7b  
63 Moïra
-
7b+  
  *Falaise de Droite*
  Le Gabian
66 C'est du Vrai Café
-
6c+  
67 C'est de la Vrai Pastèque
-
7b  
68 Le Gabian A2  
69 Le Marabout A2  
  Arche des Marseillais
71 Éperon de l'Arche des Marseillais 6a  
72 Éperon de l'Arche des Américains A3 1
73 Super Calanque 5c ** 6
74 Directe de la Super Calanque 6b  
  Américains
76 Hyper Calanque
-
8a  
77 Mont la d'ssus tu Riras au Larme
-
7b  
78 Le Calendal 6a *** 3
79 La Calanque 5a *** 7
80 Directe de la Calanque 6a+ ** 2
81 Le Vibro Tasseur 6c+  
82 La Lionne 5a  
83 Accroche Toi la Vie 7b  
84 La gamma 6c *** 2
85 La Participation 6a  
86 Cœur Grenadine
-
6a+  
87 Le Bateau Ivre 7a+  
88 Les Rues sont Pleines de Promesses
-
7a+  
89 Éperon des Américains 6b+ *** 2
90 La Revolution 6a  
91 La Si-Ray 5a 2
92 Les Larmes au Soleil
-
6a  
  Passarelle
94 Pilier droit du couloir du milieu 6b ** 4
95 Quand on Voit ce qu'on Voit... 6c  
96 La tostine 6a **  
97 Sortie Guillot
-
6b  
98 Sortie Vidalhet
-
6b  
99 Sortie G.G.M.
-
6b+  
100 La Machine à Laver A3  
101 La Balletty
-
A4  
102 La Source Noire
-
6c+  
103 Pilier gauche de la Passerelle 6a+ ** 6
104 La Passarelle 4c 3
105 Speciale Boucherie
-
6b+ 1
106 Speciale Passarelle
-
6a+  
107 Pilier droite de la Passerelle 6a ** 5
108 Super-doume 6c ** 1
109 La Mimi
-
6c  
  *Conan*
111 La Conan
-
6b * 3
112 La Pancarte
-
5c 4
113 Super Deux Veuves
-
7b *  
114 La Plou Belle
-
7a+ * 1
115 Le Phallus
-
6b+ **  
  *Les Sans Souci*
117 Arête Save Integrale 6a+ 2
118 Les Sans Souci Integral 5c 4
119 Pilier de la Bretelle 6b  
120 La Rostand 5a  
  *Port Miou*
  Calendal
123 Matilde
-
4c 3
124 San-San
-
5c 2
125 Hugo
-
5c 4
126 Christa
-
5c 4
127 Menthe à l'Eau
-
5a 6
128 Scene de Panique Tranquille
-
6b+  
129 Aminoacide
-
6c  
130 Une Gretchen pour Olive
-
6b 2
131 Les Mollets d'Affreux 'Dite'
-
5c 2
132 Ombre et Lumière
-
6b+  
133 Affaire Classée
-
6a+ 2
134 Sortez vos Angoisses
-
7a  
135 Fleur de Vie
-
7a+  
136 En Route pour la Joie
-
6c+  
137 XY
-
6c  
138 Etat Sauvage
-
7b  
139 Plats du Jour
-
6b 1
140 La Micro
-
6a  
141 Zoë
-
4c  
  Vallon
143 Charlemagne
-
6b+  
144 Cœur de Lyon
-
7a  
145 Recreation
-
6a  
146 Noces de Sang
-
7a  
147 Noces Barbares
-
6c+  
148 Le Lézard
-
5c 5
149 Spitophile
-
6b 1
150 Maître Corbeau
-
6a  
151 Grenouille
-
6a  
152 Lily Marlene
-
6b  
153 Pin Aid
-
5c 3
154 La Tamponette
-
5a 5
155 En Catimini
-
5a 6
156 Exil Américain
-
5c 6
157 Arête de Poisson
-
5c 5

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