France

Crag

Aiglun is a beautiful village in the East of Provence next to an impressive gorge. The crag that overlooks the village reaches a height of 300m and is of major significance, having many fine long routes. The rock is mostly excellent. The south facing nature of the crag means that it is most suited to climbing in Autumn, Winter and Spring, it is a cauldron on sunny days in the summer. Care needs to be taken with the length of the routes during short winter days, it is easy to run out of time or lose the warmth of the sun when it disappears behind the hills.

Number of routes
50
Range of Routes
6a - 8b
Rock Type
Limestone
Scrambles and Alpine climbs

The traverse of the Forbes arete to reach the summit of the Aiguille du Chardonnet is one of the classic climbs of the Alps. Never really difficult technically, it is nevertheless long, sustained and exposed. Full alpine equipment is necessary. 

Difficulty
IV - technical climbing
Time required
From the Trient hut to the foot of Aiguille Forbes takes about 1h 30 minutes. Allow 1h 30mins to reach the ridge, and rhen up to 5 hours for the traverse, 3 hours for the descent back to the hut. An early start (3am) is recommended.
Scrambles and Alpine climbs

The arete des Spitzopf is a long, enjoyable and exposed ridge on excellent granite in the heart of the Vosges. The views are magnificent. Although never very difficult, most people will be glad of a rope. However, only a minimum of gear is necessary, making this, in good weather, an excellent lightweight scramble. Take a rope betweeen 30m and 50m , a few long slings, and a couple of large nuts or friends, there are no bolts. It is also a worthwhile winter climb, when conditions allow.

Difficulty
III - long steep sections. Use of technical equipment necessary
Time required
1 hour to descend, allow 2 to 3 hours for the ridge.
Crag

A large, important crag with many routes, especially in the harder grades. It predominately faces south, although the angular nature of the crag means that many buttresses are in the shade either early morning or late afternoon, and some of the steeper ones in the shade all day! It is located above the Doub in a very peaceful and scenic setting and has many long pitches of 30m and above. It is popular, so many of the routes are polished, and grades can sometimes feel tough.

Number of routes
100
Rock Type
Limestone
Crag

Sous Buen is a pleasant crag in a beautiful location overlooking the Doubs. It has single pitch routes in all grades from 3 to 8, up to 30m in length, many with the name written at the bottom. It is well bolted, has easy access,and as a result is very popular. Some of the older routes are polished, which can be a problem on hot days. There are however many newer routes still in good condition, and the crag gets the shade in the afternoon. There are not so many routes in the very hard grades, but the tough grading makes up for this!

Number of routes
100
Rock Type
Limestone
Crag

Bonson is a nice village in the south of France, about 45min from Nice. The crag is located at the top of the small hill around the corner (can't see it from the village). The climbing is good, lots of easy routes and a few 6c's and one 7a. The routes are mostly quite short, max 20m. The good thing is, is that the crag is very well bolted. It is an offcial climbing site that the french Climbing federation (FFME) uses to teach climbing through schools and universities. I would recommend climbing here all year round, except in summer as it will probably get really hot!
 

Number of routes
20
Rock Type
Limestone
Crag

Claret is a small, pretty village 20km North of Montpellier. The crag faces directly south on an escarpment just above the village, and is a useful stop over place en route along the motorways of the south of France. The climbing is steep and polished, and on hot days is best avoided, although the roofs provide shade and the rest of the crag loses the sun after about 4pm. It dries quickly after rain but some of the routes, especially the tufas, seep after prolonged rain. However in cooler winter, spring and autumn conditions, it has some testing and enjoyable routes.

Number of routes
300
Range of Routes
5b - 8c
Rock Type
Limestone
Climbing Area

A nice line of south facing cliffs reaching 30m in height set in the middle of a forest overlooking the beautiful Doubs valley. The rock is typical Jurassic limestone, and climbing at Clémont is on steep slabs and walls with small edges and cracks. The routes are mostly between 6a and 8a.  The area has been very well bolted. Some of the routes still have some loose rock, it is worth wearing a helmet at the bottom.

Number of routes
80
Crag

Situated deep in the forest, this small gorge with its quaint little cave has a handful of steep and difficult climbs up to 30m in length. It provides welcome shade on hot summer days, although is slow to dry after prolonged rain. The crag is not perfectly solid, so take care not to kill any tourists wandering through the gorge.

Number of routes
20
Rock Type
Limestone
Sun
The crag is mostly in the shade
Crag

La Colle sur Loup is nice local village in the south of France which has a very long climbing area with lots of different routes. The routes are quite short (10-20m) and well bolted. This is a good place to climb in autumn and spring, it's good in summer too, but can get quite hot sometimes.
It is a perfect place for learning to climb outside and good for kids.

Number of routes
96
Range of Routes
4 to 7a
Rock Type
Limestone

The ascent of the Grand Pic of La Meije (3982m) by the arete du Promontoire and descent via the traversée des aretes is one of the classic alpine tours. it is long, committing and very exposed; although the climbing is never excessively hard, experience and an all round alpine competence is necessary. Being at nearly 4000m, it is wise to do some acclimatisation before attempting it. The logistics of where to start and finish the tour are not simple, which ever way you go up, there is no easy way down from the Grand Pic, and so deciding on the starting and finishing points is not easy. Although it is possible to reach the Arete du Promontoire by a 5h walk from La Berade in the south, the route that is described here starts and finishes in La Gare in the North. It is probably the most practical. Note: In August 2018 a huge rock fall fell in the corner of the Glacier Carré making the normal route up the Promontoire unsafe for the rest of the season. Check with the hut for the latest information.

Difficulty
IV - technical climbing
Time required
Allow 5 hours for the arete de promontoire, 5 hours for the traverse and 3 hours for the descent to Pont des Brebis. From here, either take a lift back to the start, or another 1+ hours walking.
Crag

A pleasant crag a few kilometres North of La Turbie. The crag has many gouttes and incut holds, and although polished there are lots of excellent mid grade routes. It gets the sun until mid afternoon, so an ideal sunny winter venue, or for the evenings in the warmer months.  The routes are well bolted and their names are often written on small pebbles at the bottom.

Number of routes
30
Range of Routes
5b to 8a+
Rock Type
Limestone
Scrambles and Alpine climbs

A classic alpine ridge climb from the réfuge du Glacier Blanc, with tremendous views of the Ecrins. The route traverses 5 of the 6 summits along the ridge (it misses out the first southern summit) and then descends the east side, The rock is generally good, the route is exposed and the climbing always enjoyable. It is not too long and can be done in a half day from the hut.

Difficulty
IV - technical climbing
Time required
45 minutes to 1 hour from the hut to the start of the climbing, then 2 to 3 hours for the Traversée des Arêtes to the 6th summit
Scrambles and Alpine climbs

The Hogs Back or la Traversée des arêtes des Roc des Boeuf is a long ridge climb on excellent rock with superb views of the Bauges, lake Annecy and Mont Blanc. Although described here as a scramble there is one short, hard, bolt protected section (5c/6a or A0) as well as numerous grade III sections. The route goes up the East side to the steepest part of the ridge, and then follows the ridge for several hundred metres to the highest point before descending the West side. Take a 50m rope, slings, screwgates, a couple of friends and a few quickdraws.

Difficulty
IV - technical climbing
Time required
1.5 hours to the start, 3 - 4 hours for the ridge and just over 1 hour descent
Scrambles and Alpine climbs

In the right conditions the ascent of Roche Paillon from the Refuge des Ecrins is a beautiful grade 2 snow and ice climb. However, in recent years during the summer the gully leading to the summit loses it's snow, making it an unprotected scramble up tottering shale. Likewise the continuation along the arete leading to Roche Emile Pic is a super tour given the right conditions, but technically tricky and dirty later in the year. Best to go in late spring or early summer. 

Difficulty
III - long steep sections. Use of technical equipment necessary
Time required
From Refuge de Glacier Blanc, 2 hour to Refuge des Ecrins, allow 3h to summit, 2h to Col Emile Pic, 1 hour to descend to Glacier Blanc
Climbing wall

A nice bouldering hall in Cagnes-sur-mer, quite small with mostly overhanging problems. 2 rooms, about 4m high and a small training area with mats and pull-up bar. Routes from very easy to very hard, suitable for all climbers! Very local, nice people and music. Food and drinks at the small bar.

Telephone
+33792546518
Crag

Gueberschwihr is a beautiful little village in the middle of the vineyards on the edge of the Vosges. Just above the village is a sandstone escarpment with some very pleasant climbing and bouldering. It is easily accessible from the Rhine Valley, and s very popular, especially on sunny Sundays. The climbing is of good quality, very well bolted, with a bit of something for everyone crammed into a few small cliffs.

Number of routes
100
Range of Routes
3 - 8c
Rock Type
Sandstone
Sun
In the morning
Crag

An interesting granite crag in a beautiful location with multi pitch routes up to 70m in length. The routes are well bolted and finish on the top of the large pinnacle "Rocher Hans" that overlooks Lac Blanc. A couple of friends and wires may still be useful, depending on the route. The area is a popular tourist destination, with bathing in the lake when it is hot enough in the summer. The routes themselves are rarely crowded.

Number of routes
20
Range of Routes
5a - 7c
Rock Type
Granite