A lovely set of buttresses tucked away in a sheltered, wooded valley with a tranquil river running through it and some great climbing, only minutes from the road. If that sounds like a French Stoney Middleton or Avon Gorge - it isn't!
The rock is a coarse textured and heavily pocketed limestone, and climbing on it is a real pleasure though hands can suffer from a prolonged visit here. The routes are well bolted almost without exception, and there is a huge range of climbs to choose from. Many of the pitches are very long, bring plenty of quick-draws and take note of the length of the route versus the length of your rope!
Much of the crag faces pretty much south, it is recessed and well sheltered, especially from northerlies. The crag is an ideal winter venue and is always popular especially at weekends. It can get very hot here at almost any time of the year, though the crags at the far eastern end of the valley and much of the Grande Face are tipped a bit to the east and go into the shade earlier than the rest of the cliff.
The cliffs at Châteauvert - or the Rochers de Bagaredes, to give the crag its correct name - run to the north of the Argens river, 10km due north of Brignoles. Exit the A8 at Brignols (junction 35) and turn north from the roundabout on the ring road due north of the town centre onto the D554 - signed towards Le Val and Barjols. Just north of Le Val turn left (still on the D554) towards Châteauvert. After 9km cross the narrow bridge, turn right and follow the valley for 2km until the crags appear on the left, just round a sharp bend - ogling time has arrived.