Altitude 138m a.s.l
A big long lead for a young lad. © Sl@te Head
Dominating the Meuse, the 'Rochers de Freyr' is the most important climbing area in Belgium. The 110m high 'kalk' limestone site counts of 7 main crags and 8 secondary crags, with over 600 routes in all varieties. The routes are in all difficulties, from 3 to 8c+. The Belgian Rebolting Team regularly replaces bolt so it is safely equipped but it has a reputation for run-outs. This is due to the history of the crag with many locals wanting to maintain adventure on classic routes. Run-outs of 3-4m after the 3rd bolt are common between 4a and 6b.
Freyr is very popular with Belgian, Dutch, and southern England climbers who hone their skills here on weekends before heading to Chamonix to tackle the Aiguilles. It's a great stop over point if driving through Europe. A 60m rope and 10-12 draws are all you need though some bring small wires to avoid the runouts on classic routes. The style of climbing varies between slabby technical pieces to lightly overhanging vertical walls. Classic multipitches also go up/traverse the main face taking between 3 and 5 pitches. The limestone is quite unique and to newcomers is hard to read this has given Freyr a reputation of being hard for the grade: nothing comes for free in freyr!
The most up to date guidebook was published in 2014 in French and Dutch/Flemish, however being a modern guidebook means a language barrier is not a problem: routes are generally easy to find and figures easy to understand. Also worth checking out is the Falcon Guide, Rock Climbing Europe by Stewart M. Green, which offers a nice section on Freyr. Best of all it is in English with YDS ratings - very helpful.
Important! The crags are managed by the CABBAC. Access to the Colébi is strictly forbidden! Technically you must belong to an Alpine Club to climb there (AAC, DAV, BMC, CC etc).
The Belgian Apline Club have a small car park 100m south of La Colebi bar (Co-ordinates: 50.2200514,4.8929021). Additionally they have two huts beside the car park, one hut has drop toilets & freshwater supply, and the other can be slept in for 4 Euros a night, although officially you must be a member of an Alpine club to sleep in the hut and groups larger than 8 are expected to camp at the bivi-area, the crag guardian will come around to collect payment in the morning if staying at the hut or the bivi area. The bivi area is close to the car park and costs 2 euros a night, however tents must be taken down in the morning, an official and more family friendly campsite can be found nearby at Pont-a-Lesse.
Belgian Alpine Club: http://www.clubalpin.be
Located 90 minutes SE of Brussels, this collection of towers and buttresses host a heap of steep routes on fine pocketed limestone. From Dinant, drive in direction of Beauring, via Anseremme. Continue up to the Plateau de Freyr and park the car opposite the Chamonix bar. All crags are situated on the west side of the road that overlooks the river.
Other Nearby Belgian Crags:
~Marche Les Dames - along the Meuse river east of Namur. A nice collection of one pitch wonders in the shade. The trade routes are slick but its worth a look. Hundreds of routes and crowded on weekends.
~Dave - south of Namur along the Meuse. A nice roadside crag with an equal portion of 2-3 pitch beginner routes and overhanging routes in the 6-7 range. Nice location if rain is expected.
~Yvoir (Rocher Paradou). A few minutes south of Dave lies this nice slab along the Meuse. 20-25 routes on quality rock (and a porta-john installed by the local alpine club). Camping nearby in Yvoir.
|Sadly, Cafe Le Chamonix burnt down a couple of months ago - just a shell remains. Hopefully the owners will restore it soon, since it was one of the best 'climber's' bars in Europe...|
Ben1983 - 22/Jul/13
|NOTE - according to the guide book "the grades are based on the french scale, only they have been revisited a la blege and are therefore slightly more severe". As some of the other comments have mentioned. if you're new to Freyr start off climbing the easier stuff to get a feel for the grading shift (i.e. a Blege 5c is more like a French 6c)|
Rob Hirst - 14/May/12
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