Verdon, in the Alpes de haute provance, is one of the most mythic and respectful places to do long sport climbs in France.Beautiful suited in the area of Alpes cote d´azur, this national parc is a most to visit for any climber. Or for anyone that just like respectful and impressive nature. One of those places that makes one to think, if not before even more, but of how lucky we are to be on this planet and all things we should try to do to save it.
|Driving in to la Palud sur Verdon|
To try to recommend any routes here is both easy and difficult, there are a number of classics, of course, but during the week we climbed here I can't say any of there routes made me disappointed!
There is one thing though to consider, the engaging part in the climbing is not to be underestimated, since many times the distance between the bolts can be somewhat spread out. But as the legendary Patric Edlinger once said, "we should have places the bolts closer, if we just had more bolts..."
And on the good side, its not ncececcery to bring many quick draws, so the rack gets lighter!
If there is to be one big backside here it could be that the approaches are a bit to short and easy. Often its made by just taking a few meters from the road and then just rappelling down the route, and climb back up. So its comfortable to be a bit rounder, with the good french restaurants and food with all the good cheese. So you better take care!
Just to give an idea I have listed a couple of routes that is a good introduction to the area and maybe a few "must do" routes.
The top 1 would then be the classic "ULA", put up in 1972 by B Bouscasse and M Coquillat.
It´s a super preforming system of cracks of different sizes over 10 pitches, with a grade up to 6b. But look up, its Verdon 6b, old school.
|Anna on ULA, Verdon|
The approach is made by rappelling les dalles grises, which is easiest and most obvious. Or by foot from the parking at pont sublime and sentier Martel. Bring a head torch!
Once fully equipped with bolts it was re-done in 2011, with only the belay bolts left in place. So now its a traditional climb again. But, a route that can be a long line of climbers in high season. So chose the time for this. It can be slow!!
|Classic gouttes d´eau|
For a newer but outstanding multi-pitch sport climb the "Les Fils de l’haltère et du Pan" at the sector of Malines is one of the most enjoyable limestone routes I have climbed.
A route that also involves a little of spectacular approach as well, down climbing to the very bottom of the gorge.
The FA was done in 2011, maybe they moved the bolts from ULA to here 😎😏, by Pascal Faudou.
It starts with a steep section of 6a crack, followed by a numberous amount of high quality pitches. The FA´s has really put in a good piece of work to find the best line here.
Access the route from the Belvedere parking, a little de-escalation, the route is a bit expo.
The trail starts at a cairn at the W end of the bend (red dot marking). Follow the path, which is well marked by cairns and marking. Switch backs and down a couloir to slip into a ledge / fault that joins a ridge on the left side. Go down and up in front of another couloir to join some stairs / metal bars. Descend by following the metal bars, et voila!
It starts a bit right ot the "lame Fatale", in the middle of a bunch of trees. A little physique start up a steep wall, but very good protected, thanks Pascal!
Next pitch goes up and then out rightwards, over some gouttes d´eau, to a belay at a couple of trees.
Pitch three is the hardest which first builds up some nice confidence but then strikes back with a bunch of fingery moves on steep rock. A full on and long pitch.
This one together with pitch four is just a beauty for a climber, all on solid high friction rock.
Pitches 5 to 7 is all classic limestone climbing.
Pitch 8, has it all, crack, diedre, roof and lunules...
Pitch nine, starts with a bit physique small roof, and the steep wall to the top belay.
The retour is made via a small path back to the road just above.
Equipment for Verdon
2x50m ropes, a lead rope and a tail-line makes the best service in my opinion
|Anna on depart of Les Fils...|
A few mid size cams are sometimes useful to place between bolts
A head torch, can be good if you need to walk out
Time to go
Can be very warm in the summer but it is always possible to find walls in the shadow
April - June and September - December normally works fine.
Unfortunately a car is needed to get around and to get here to start with.
Places to stay
There is a really nice Gite de France in la Palud sur Verdon
Camping is also possible in the village of Palud, just check when they are open
For a number of choices, check out this link
In Saint Maire there are more hotels and Gites, but then it involves everyday of driving
An other high class route is A Tout Cœur - at secteur Dingo
Hauteur 150m/5 longueurs + 2 more to get back to the top, 6b+ Max
Things to do on a rest day, visit Saint Maire and the old church
|Les Fils de l’haltère et du Pan|
|Beau et belle|
|BASE is an ok restudy activity as well|
// Kolonn körning är rätt ok, så länge man är först