While browsing the article on Cape Canaille of the last “Vertical mag”, one way had particularly caught my eye: “The journey of the crab”! Indeed, I love Cape Canaille and its wide routes but to discover the activity, the route are often too hard. Below 6a, there is not much to get under the tooth.
This route is not referenced in the Ciotat topo and remains relatively unknown. Its route starts at the “goat way” and crosses over the big devers to exit on the conglomerate to the right of the Canyon “Ivresse of the deep”.
The route is long on paper but after the first two lengths, the rest is done on a very easy median turn where the progression is quite fast until the crossing under the canyon more delicate and sometimes wet.
In the end, it is a great route allowing a relatively easy climb which makes it probably the least hard equipped multi-pitch of Cape Canaille. On the other hand, it ambience above the overhangs! Note that relays are often suspended and uncomfortable unlike most of the local lanes.
In short, a beautiful discovery that will surely become a Cape Classic!
The Destel Gorge is truly a place I particularly like. There is a grey limestone rock of quality often reminiscent of that of the Verdon, well compact and filled with “water drop” (hole formed in the limestone by the repeated action of water). The place is not very well known and there still hangs a spirit of freedom where the possibilities of opening are numerous.
We chose a classic gorge: “The Pillar Of Serenity” a well-equipped homogeneous lane in the 6a.
Just the approach itself is a beautiful adventure, the path runs along the ramparts of the castle of Evenos before descending steeply into the gorges through the cave Saint Martin. Then you have to go down a lot of bars and a fixed rope to finally get to the foot of the track!
Moreover, by taking a look to the right many new pads shine on the face, new paths have emerged 🙂
We went the first two lengths without stopping in the intermediate relay. I did not see it, or unconsciously I did not want to stop, caught in the game of this beautiful physical crossing! With a rope of 50 m it passes without problem and we arrive on a relay very comfortable.
The suite takes place on a beautiful pillar with first a few steps in 6a, then a quieter end. The rock is beautiful and the line passes as close as it stops. We did not understand on the other hand the suspended and uncomfortable relay of the L4 … Why not see a few more meters continued so that the relay is less in a vacuum?
Apart from that, nothing wrong with the equipment is generous and the route homogeneous. We’ll probably come back and try the neighbors!
Some time ago we did a photo shoot with Sam Bié for “Vertical” magazine. You can meet me with my fellow roper David in the latest issue. Thank you Sam, it’s always nice to have beautiful photos like these! Especially since the article on Cap Canaille is super interesting and we learn some anecdotes about the place.
Despite a difficult start to the season because of the Covid, I had a lot of great outings this summer. A little in the juice, I did not take the time to publish regularly, so here is a selection of photos taken during these two months to catch up with me.
Here is a little glimpse of my summer, do not hesitate to contact me if you want to discover the routes or climb in the Calanques, I remain open all year round!
Today we made an original combination with Amira. We left the Mugel calanque by canoe to go directly to the foot of the “blue workshop”, a large easy route in the 4.
This route is really suitable for a first discovery of outdoor climbing. On the other hand, the anchorages are very far away and it is not necessarily easy to find the next point in the middle of this ocean of pebbles!
The view of the park and the Mugel calanque is really nice, and it is possible to continue up to the summit ridge in order to have a magical view with the sea on each side!
For the descent we opted for the abseil but a walk is also possible. We then joined the boat by crossing at the water’s edge with small climbing steps at times.
In short, a beautiful half-day and an affordable adventure even for beginners 10 minutes from the house, what more could you ask for!
On our last big road trip on the cliffs of Cape Canaille, we noticed this trash can probably thrown from the lookouts above by fools…
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 🙂
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.
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.
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…
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.
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!
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 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!!
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.
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!
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.
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.
May this New Year be more vertical than ever! And no need to wait for spring to take this good resolution, the proof of this photo dates from December 28, my last outing of the year with a group of Marseille at the top!