Climbs 74
Rocktype Limestone
Altitude 366m a.s.l
Faces S

Hortus - left (main) crag © Andy Chubb

Crag features

Hortus is a crag unlike any other in this guide. Although just down the road from Claret, Hortus is not somewhere you will ever find a crowd. In fact, you are likely to have the crag to yourself. The reason for this is that Hortus is a lot more adventurous than your typical French crag. Although there are bolts, you should not rely on your chosen route being a clip-up, and a small trad rack is worth having even if you are confident you won't need it.

The crag has a number of aid routes - these have mostly been left out, but their existence should be noted when route-finding. Belays are not always the neat two-bolts-and-a-chain affairs found elsewhere - expect to hunt around for pitons and threads and be able to equalise them - and be prepared to leave gear behind if you need to retreat. The designated abseil descents should be used and having a pair of half ropes is preferable to a single rope. Grades will often feel quite stiff here, so it's worth starting off conservatively to get a feel for the place.

If you haven't been put off, Hortus is well-worth your time - the lines are stunning, the positions memorable, and you're sure to have an adventure to remember long after you've forgotten the rest of your trip.

The crag is south-facing and gets a lot of sun. It is also exposed to the wind.

Approach notes

The crag lines north of the D1 section of road linking St. Martin-de-Londres and St. Mathieu-de-Tréviers. Right next to the 28km marker-post on the D1, a large track leads off towards the cliff. Park at the wide parking area at the start of this track, and walk up about 1km towards the crag, until 50m before you reach an old metal gate ('Interdit' sign). From here, take a winding path leading off to the left. A path leads along the base of the crag in both directions. Take care if you find yourself below other climbers, as there is a fair amount of loose rock about.

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Guidebooks

France : Languedoc-Roussillon

The third book in the Rockfax France series covers the extensive and fertile climbing area west of the author's previous guide to Haute Provence. The areas covered largely surround the beautiful Parc National des Cévennes, but also includes crags that are close to the cities of Nimes and Avignon.
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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
  Secteur des Dalles
2 L'araignée 7a+ *  
3 Atlantis 8a+ *  
4 Jihad 6c+ **  
5 Le choucas aux yeux bleus 8a *  
6 La sécottitine 8a *  
7 L'anathème 6c ** 1
8 Les dalles 6c+ **  
9 Les mules c'est leste 7a+ **  
10 La mangani A2 **  
11 La tartarouge 6c **  
12 Zénith 7b+ **  
  Pendentif
14 La roche aux fées 6c **  
15 Gloire à Ryobi 7b **  
16 Les grenoblois 7a **  
17 Le plaisir naît dans l'attente 7a ***  
18 Au loin la liberté 7b **  
19 Toute l'Afrique est dans l'attente 6b+ **  
20 Les guerriers du désespoir 7c+ ***  
21 Liaisons dangereuses 7b **  
22 L'utopie 7b  
23 Les plombiers 6a+ ** 1
24 La pinacothèque 6b **  
25 Super Banco 7a *  
26 Le Pendentif 6b ***  
27 Étoiles et tempêtes 7b+ **  
28 Couche culotte 7a+ **  
29 Dédicace 7b *  
30 La persévérance 6c *  
31 Dépêche, la mer monte 6c+ **  
32 Pinsut 6a+ *  
33 Zoreille 6a+ *  
34 Mzougou 6a+ *  
35 La fissure en Y 6c *  
36 La tentale 5a  
37 La zébulon 6c **  
38 Trismus 7a *  
39 La Fraissinet 6a  
40 Vidanges tardives 6c  
41 Le scorpion 6a  
42 Mine antipersonnellet 6c *  
43 Putain de Véronique 6c *  
44 Malacologie 6b *  
45 Anamnèse 6b+ *  
46 Opisthoglyphe 6a *  
47 Venise céleste 6c+ *  
48 Dalles grises supérieures 5a *  
49 Le jardin d'adelin 5c *  
50 Le courédou 5a *  
51 Coléoptère fou 7a+ *  
52 Marinasse 6b *  
53 L'envol du polatouche 6b *  
54 L'asclépios 6b *  
  Moule à Gaufres
56 Liberté d'expression 7b *  
57 Le roi des TP 6c **  
58 La cagne 5c *** 1
59 Les carnets du virtige 6c+ **  
60 La super enclume 6a+ **  
61 L'enclume 6a **  
62 L'hyper enclume 6c **  
63 L'arche 6c **  
64 La dyonisos 6b **  
65 Les honneurs, ça m'emmerde 7b *  
66 Le moule à gaufres 6a+ ***  
67 J'y crois, j'y crois pas? 7c **  
68 Le trypanosome flagellé en colère 6c ***  
69 La Herbert Stratix 6c **  
70 Les sybarites 6c **  
71 Sybarites spartiates 6c **  
72 Les petites compresses 6b *  
73 Sortilège 5c *  
74 Redescente climatisée 6c+ *  
75 Le rivage des syrtes 5c *  
76 Escaroucle 6a *  
77 La goule du diable 5a *  

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