Dec 17, 2018

Grandes Suites - Annecy - L´Or du Temps

 Les Grandes Suites, above Lac d´Annecy, is a big cliff with a good number of nice high quality routes, between 5c-8a. the rock is always on solid gray limestone with good friction.
And because it is south facing it dries up very quick after rain. And also a good place to climb most of the year, even in the winter months.
In summer the lake makes it a nice combo of swimming and climbing. And around Verier-du-lac/Talloires you can find a couple of really nice restaurants. "Cafe de la Place" i Tailloires is super cool resto, not to be missed!

That together with the long enjoyable routes, the easy approach, some 20min once you found the right parking, makes it a cool place to spend a couple of days.
There is a couple of classics on Grandes Suites, which ones to be the best, well its hard to say but some favorits are "Harmonie" 6a/150m, "L´Or du temps" 6c+/220m and "Extase" 7a/180m.
Grandes Suites / L´Or du Temps and the "Gouttes d´eau"
L´Or du Temps was put up by - Daniel Chauchefoin &Vincent Sprungli in 1980. 
The bolts has been updated and are in good shape, with a nice distans between them.

"We took a 2 day trip to get a few last autumn climbing days in the Haute Savoie, enjoying a few days around Annecy with all the tourist long gone. Still ok temp for an evening swim in the lake and not to cold nights, since we planned to camp in the Ford.
In the middle of the week there is even less people so as always we could find the route for our self, just one early team a couple of pitches higher up.
Some of the pitches has the classic gouts d'eau, finger tip holes, which I find most enjoyable. And with a little bit of sun shining over the cliff the solid grey limestone is just tip top friction class. Until it starts to rain that is, which reminded us to never completely trust the meteo. Because 3 pitches up something started to fall that was very equal to rain, at least it was water and coming from above. Luckily Anna just started the traverse, and protected by the roofs above it didn't effect us to much, but it did the section "gazeux" even more interesting. But, the other team decided to rappel of so it left us alone on the rest of the route. And as often if you believe in luck, it stopped dripping.
The pitch after the traverse is a bit awkward, with a couple of quite hard 6a moves. And then the very last pitch is just an explosion of formations, super nice climbing up steep walls, tufas and holes.
Since we done the rappels a few times before the descent went quite quick back. And after an espresso down at Veyrier and a short swim the day was finished with a nice local dinner at "la Place. And the next day, off to do the Traverse of Dents de Lanfon, a classic mountain traverse above Bluffy"

Anna on the approach on the old path leading up to Grandes Suites
How to
Annecy >> Veyrier du Lac village. Pass the village and at the exit take the direction of col du Buffy.
Due to the construction of a protection dyke, the normal path is closed. There is an alternative access that starts from the same road, about 500 m further to N, to the left of route de la Corniche (GPS: 45 ° 53'43.7 "N 6 ° 11'04.1" E)
Walk up a path that runs along a stream between two houses up to a fence (green metal fence). Then continue on a slight path on the right. And join the old path at the height of a pin to the right (above a small scree + cairn)


L1, just climb any of the routes at the bottom of the cliff, a couple of single pitches. Or just head up Harmonie which start at the same place.
L2 5b 35 m In ascending on the left to gain the vire (cable) which runs all this sector.
In order to arrive under the first relay it is also possible to take one of the right lanes of the initiation area, but we must be very careful at the exit not to loosen pebbles ...
L3 6c +> 6a + / A0 35 m Pretty slab up to the bulge that goes well in A0 with a short strap (no 6a + forced out). This length has the same starting point as Harmonie, located immediately to the right of a big tree-stool (recall). Pull the overhang and leave Harmony on the right to continue straight (La vie d'artiste prends off on the left a little higher).
Relay at the top left on the big chain after a red spit.
L4 6a + 20 m Slab vertical well on drops of water that leaves a little on the left, before joining a small crack that brings you back under a beautiful roof.
L5 6a + 30 m Continue up the finger holes, avoiding the roof on the right, then cross above to the  right slab tand a chain relay.
L6 6a 20 m Almost horizontal traverse to the right between 2 overhangs, relay on a spit and a rusty piton.
L7 6a + 20 m Start rather athletic straight, then on the wire of a small pillar before finding a small terrace with a tree. Relay (spit + piton).
L8 6a 35 m From there, the wall goes down slightly, but the climbing is on compact slab, then system of cracks. Relay on tree.
L9 6a 12 m Short length (3 spits) in slab with holes spaced to gain the top of the ledge. Relay on tree.
L10 6a 20 m From the two lines take the one in the axis (the one on the right): spaced holes and grooves. Last belay in some trees.
The gazeux traverse on L6
Once on top, walk down to the left of the cliff (good path, blue marks in the trees), to a cairn. Then back to the right to find a fix wire. The first rappel is on a tree. The others are straight line down with god anchors. 4x50m rappels in total.

2x50m rope
12 QD´s
A good forecast!
Evening at lac d´Annecy

Dec 9, 2018

BASE - Classic BASE Verdon

Vent des Errances - Gorges du Verdon - is a most classic BASE jump in France. Opened in 1990 by Patrick De Gayardon and Bruno Gouvy. A 10min access from Belvedere de la Carelle takes you to the EXIT. An exit point with a 450m clean jump. One big issue, the landing zone is quite small and leans down into the canyon/river. So a clean landing on the path is a very good option.
Check the conditions well before the jump, many times its windy in the opening section (so don't open to high) which could twist up the parachute/180° or worse! And might twist up the landing as well.
Mornings and evenings are normally the best.

A 25min walk takes you back to the parking area at Belvédère Samson. And bring a head torch for the tunnels.

Link to Vent des Errances

//Blue sky