Cleaning in the calanques

A garbage can seen on the sea…

On our last multi-pitch on the cliffs of Cape Canaille, we noticed this trash can probably thrown from the lookouts above by fools… I think that everyone, when they can, should try to fight in their own way against this kind of incivility.

Put on rope for this extreme trash can

So today we abseiled down to pick her up! After more than 50 m of rope climb we managed to get it out. Too damaged for its first use, we converted it into a flower pot to grow the children’s tomato feet 🙂

Promise we’ll give you news of our plantations!

Renewal of a forgotten area of Cape Canaille

This winter before I left for Laos, we had obtained permission from the park of the coves to re-equip an emblematic area of Cape Canaille. This is the "Sun friend" area whose classic route is covered by the Ciotat topo. Thanks to the support of the ffme and volunteer friends, we were able to re-equip 5 lanes on this sector: the L1 of the spectrum of the sands 7a, the L1' of Flesh for fantasy, The heart of the millstone 7a, Sun friend 7c, La Pagode 8a.

David at Sun Ami re-equipment

Yesterday I went back to this sector to take advantage of these "new ways". Be careful all the same some lanes still require a lot of cleaning and wearing a helmet is highly recommended.

Search for method in Sun friend,

The re-equipment of this area makes it possible to propose an alternative to the black star for pathways in the seventh degree. This type of basic way missed a little around La Ciotat…

Be careful it leans!!

Climbing in Laos

What could be better than two weeks under the sun and heat of Laos to cut the winter and climb on a beautiful limestone full of tuffas! This is what climbing in Thakhek offers, a real little piece of paradise for climbers.

Colos and devers, in the Hangover sector

Baptiste, my rope companion for this adventure, living in Lorraine, we had planned to join us in Bangkok and then resume a domestic flight to Nakhon Phanom, border town with Laos and not far from Thakhek. So we spent a night in Bangkok, and took the opportunity to visit some night markets including the atypical Chang Chui Market, both art center and party venue!

Chang Chui market, Bangkok

Once you arrive at Nakhon Phanom airport you then have to take a mini bus or tuktuk to get to the bus station and then take a bus to Thakhek. About an hour and a half drive, counting the border crossing. We paid for the visa directly at the border crossing. Once you arrive in Thakhek, it will cost you an additional 100,000 Kip to make the 12km journey to the camp, Green Climber Home.

The petanque field and the Bungalows of Camp 1

The camp is located in the middle of nature and is surrounded on all sides by the cliffs. Most of the routes are beautiful, and there’s something for everyone from 5a to 8b. The approach steps are ridiculous, counting about 5 minutes in flip-flops for most areas! The classic day starts with a good breakfast at the camp restaurant, then climbs on the shaded areas in the morning: “Swiss Oldies” for a smooth warm-up in the 5th, “Botanical Garden” for beautiful tracks on colos in the 6th and “Hangover” and ” Partymeille” to heat the forearms!!

Tuffas and big jug for this route rated only 6a!

At noon, we return to the restaurant / bar, for a meal not too hearty accompanied by a good mango lassi! Then nap, swim, nap and if you still have energy, climb on the other side this time: Hilton for his ways in the 5 and 6 and the famous roof with plethora of hard tracks.

The local pool….

In short, Thakhek is a real little place of paradise for climbers. No matter what your level, there’s something for everyone. Life on site is easy, the restaurant is good and very affordable, and it is possible to bathe on site! For rest days, you can rent scooters to visit the city and its surroundings. We visited some temples and caves. It is also possible to perform a large loop of several days in the interior of the country. Most, non-climbing tourists, are there for this 🙂 Finally there are other climbing sites in Laos, referenced in the topo, but of lesser interest, but it is also possible to combine your stay with a visit to Tonsai in Thailand, another splendid place for climbing!

Tham Xieng Liab Cave

Winter outing to the blower hole

The second attempt for this shock team will have been the right one! Indeed, two weeks ago we had to turn around because of a raging sea! Sheaves of water crashed on the wall well above the zip line making it impossible to pass.

On the attack of the big reminders

This time the sea is still a bit rough, which adds a little atmosphere, but nothing to do with our first attempt. We were able to get down without any worries.

Lucas in the first big recall
Start of the re-up in via cordata

Happy New Year 2020!

May this new year be more vertical than ever! And no need to wait until spring to make this good resolution, the proof this photo dates from December 28, my last outing of the year with a group of Marseilles at the top!

July 14, Cape Canaille. End of December 2019

Multipitch from Luminy

Today we went to the side of Luminy and more precisely to the base of the Candelle to realize the great classic road of the sector: “La Civa”. The area has the advantage of being well sheltered from the wind and offers an exceptional panorama of the Sugiton cove and Cape Morgiou.

A climb in the sun with stunning sea views, “postcard” atmosphere today!

The end of the 2nd length
First major route for this English rope
One last photo before entering under the grey London sky

Climbing at Dansaïres Circus

He was blowing really hard today! We had planned to climb on the needles of Vau, but after reflections we fall back on an extremely well protected area of the Mistral.

Discovering the area for Stephanie

The Circus of The Dansaïres, is one located in a pleasant valley of the Garlaban massif. It is accessed by a little difficult approach walk of about twenty minutes. The main area, is very well protected from the Mistral and offers lanes from 4b up to 6c. The rock is compact and the equipment excels and plentiful.

I particularly recommend the well homogeneous left lanes in the 4. Finally the first length of “Lili des Bellons” in 5b is beautiful.

Warm-up track in 4

Climbing in Cape Canaille

Yesterday with Julien we did an original sequence at Cape Canaille. We went down the “Philémon” return trail to where the veer crosses the relay of the second length of the track called “Everything is a matter of angle”. The goal is to be able to climb the hard sections (7a and 7c) before the arrival of the sun while respecting our parental obligations in the morning :-), drop off at the nursery and school!

Julien to attack the photogenic dihedre of the length in 7a

The timing was perfect and we were able to try the 7c before the sun arrived. Julien took the time to dissect the movements, I follow behind him second well flashed by his methods. We have already planned to come back, just to chain him both in the lead from the top! The atmosphere is insane and gassy.

To end the day sum go try the 8a last length “sands of time”. I had refitted this length last year with a friend, but had never come back to climb in it. The least we can say is that there is not much passage! But the way is rather nice with a block section at the beginning that took us a while to decipher, the rest seems doable after a good tracking and cleaning. A case to follow what…

Race with the sun in “angle question”

Introducing multipitch in the Calanques

Ebba and Karin, two Swedish friends, contacted me recently in order to complete their first major route in the Calanques. They already had a little experience of climbing, especially in the gym. The main objective was to make the famous “arrete de Marseille” of La Candelle, but given the bad weather and rain announced in the afternoon, we fell back on a shorter route.

Ebba in the second length

We decided to go to the cliff of The Crete St Michel, accessible in about twenty minutes from Luminy. This wall has the advantage of offering a large number of affordable routes on a well compacted rock sheltered from the east wind.

Nice view of the port of Morgiou, the rain is coming!

We climb the track named “La Chaloupée” 5c max in 4 lengths. And it didn’t take much more! We took the shower at the end of the last length, the timing was perfect!

Arrival at the top of Karin, just before the rain!!

Climbing at Pic Foch

This Saturday we go to climb the gates of Marseille near the District of La Barasse. This is a perfect cliff for initiation. After a short approach walk of about 15 minutes, we arrive at the foot of a pretty grey slab very compact. The level of the tracks is crescendo from the 3 on the left to the 6c of 35 meters further to the right. The equipment is very close which makes it easy to learn how to climb in the head.

A magnificent 5b on a rock still preserved from the patina
Smiling on the descent, the contract is fulfilled;-)