Climbing inspiration, supported by you

Climbing inspiration, supported by you

Please help UKClimbing continue to provide varied and free content by becoming an official UKC Supporter. You can show your support in one of two ways; both come with rewards, and one includes discounted products from Rockfax.

Please help UKClimbing continue to provide varied and free content by becoming an official UKC Supporter. You can show your support in one of two ways; both come with rewards, and one includes discounted products from Rockfax.

Loading Notifications...

Covid-19

At UKC we are all climbers and we understand the strong urge to be outdoors as the weather is finally improving.

Please proceed with caution though. More details.

UKClimbing Team

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

View Stats

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.

Rockfax App

Available in the Rockfax App

The Rockfax App brings together all the Rockfax climbing information with UKC logbooks and presents it into a user-friendly package for use on Android and iOS devices.


Guidebooks

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
Login as Existing User to add your comments

Climbs at this crag

Name Grade Stars Type Logs Partner Ascents
These climbs you have climbed clean.
These climbs you have climbed by seconding or top-roping.
These climbs you have Dogged.
These climbs you Did not Finish.
* Climbs listed in red are waiting to be checked by a crag moderator, and may not be accurate.

Moderators Updates to this page are checked by a UKC volunteer dannyboy83