Altitude 510m a.s.l
Tricky little number.......... © richard kirby
A great set of crags in a sunny setting tucked away in the hills a few miles away from the hustle and bustle of the coast. There are half a dozen developed cliffs, and a great variety of climbing from short and slabby to steeply overhanging, and even some mini multi-pitch routes too. A good selection of the most popular routes is described, from off-vertical face-climbing on the Chez Pierrot to the popular (and hard!) tufa-wrestling routes of La Grotte.
The grey cliffs are sunny and rapid drying, and high enough to catch a bit of wind. A good winter venue and a possible location on cooler cloudy summer-days too. The caves provide some shelter from the sun and the rain, but seep in winter.
The easiest approach is from La Turbie, which is just off the A8 motorway, junction 56 for Monaco. In the centre of La Turbie, turn north onto Route du Mont Agel (signed 'Peille') from the D2564 and follow this uphill (narrow in places) going left at the first hairpin bend (instead of going straight towards the golf course). For Derriere le Bloc, Chez Pierrot, Chez Grand Bernard, Baus Roux and La Bombe: turn left after 5.3km (where the road is very straight and there is a sign for "Dechetterie" - which means "Rubbish Tip"). Either park here on the left or continue downhill and round the bend (Tip on the right) and park on the righjt.From the south end of the car park, follow the footpath downhill for about 10 mins. About 100m after crossing the bridge a path on the right leads up towards the crags. You arrive at Chez Pierrot after approximately 15 mins. There is a much shorter path: from the car park walk past the obvious footpath sign and continue past the 1st house. A small path leads through the trees on the right. This takes you down to join the main footpath just above the bridge.
To reach the parking for Monte-Grosso, La Grotte, Memorial Paul Arene and Chez Petit Bernard, continue along the bendy road for another 2.8km. Just past a right turn (the D22 to Ste Agnes), there is a sharp right bend just as the village of Peille comes into view. Just round this, turn left onto a dirt track. The car park is 100m down here. The well worn path path leads steadily uphill for about 15 mins then downhill for another 10 mins to a junction (cairn) where you must go left for approx 50 m to a gully that leads down between La Grotte and Paul Arene. (If you go straight on at the junction you eventually arrive at Monte-Grosso.) At the bottom of the gully, Paul Arene is on your left and continue round to the right for La Grotte. For Chez Petit Bernard go left past Paul Arene.
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