Altitude 621m a.s.l
Ste-Victoire: More a mountain than a Crag, and this is just the Western end of it. © PeteC
Renowned for high-quality, sun-bathed face-climbing, Sainte Victoire has been a forcing ground for climbers in the Aix area for generations. They pushed the standards of free-climbing up these near-blank faces to stratospheric levels; the occasional Brits who called in to sample the delights of the area were well impressed. When the time came to upgrade the fixed gear on the cliff, consultation with many of the first ascensionists led to the decision to rebolt the routes but to retain their original 'feel'. This sparse bolting remains a notable feature of the area, arrive with your bold head on and consider starting at a lower level than back home. A small rack of wires might be worth considering.
The cliffs are criss-crossed with a great selection of climbs, both single and multi-pitch, pretty much across the grade spectrum.
The south facing sheets of rock at Sainte Victoire make the perfect mid-winter sun venue, with the rock tilted at just the right angle to maximise the rays. In contrast, summers here are unbearably hot. The crags dry rapidly, but there is no shelter to be had from rain or the Mistral.
There is an extensive car park (muddy after wet weather) directly in front of the approach-path to the Deux Aiguilles. There is a variety of tracks that lead up to the base of the wall.
Access may be barred at times when fire risk is very high - car park is closed.
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