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Euro trip ideas?
4:51:06 PM

I'm thinking about a climbing trip to Europe for 6 or 7 weeks next May/June. Idea is to lease a car and go nuts! France, Spain & Italy are on the radar.

Wondering if anyone would care to outline their ideal euro trip (and favorite crags) that would fit this time frame and season. We're after a healthy mix of sport / trad / single & multi pitch.



4:57:24 PM
My dream trip.........

france - ceuse, font, verdon, tarn
spain - el choro, teradats, rodeler, malorca, santa linya, Desplomilandia

5:01:33 PM
It will be getting hot, but just drive to Ceuse... 6-7 weeks sorted ;-)

5:24:17 PM
Hey Mr Aaron,

Wait for me....!!!!!

You'd really love Verdon and Ceuse. Both are super killer. Font is also great. I thought Frankenjura,
Buoux, Finale (italy), Sperlonga (Italy) were not that great.

I might be in the area next year (Spain/Southern France ect)
5:49:56 PM
Hey Neil,

Those three are definately must do's. How about 'alpine' rock routes in Chamonix?

Would love to catch you over there, it's only been about 7 years since our last roadtrip!! When in the year are you looking at going?

6:07:39 PM
the alpine rock routes in cham are awesome. some of my favorite climbing ive done in europe. there is
some really awesome apine sport routes around switzerland and france too. ceuse is awesome. small TR
from a recent trip to chamonix on here somewhere.

9:25:05 AM
I agree with Neil about what's hot and what's not. The areas he slagged are good but take a long time to get used to the style of climbing and aren't as visually impressive.

Font is shit hot as well - add some bouldering to your trip. You have to make it to the Alps somewhere - be it Chamonix (Fra), Arco (Ita), Bled (Slov), Interlaken or Zermatt (Switz) ... Austria ain't so sh!t hot I reckon ... it's cool but doesn't have the same zang. My favs were Chamonix and Bled - both just absolutely stunning places to climb and some of the most beautiful places in the world.

If you're going and only climbing - budget 2 weeks climbing in each area, that way you have time to get used to the rock, chill out in the local villiages get to know the locals, and take up some projects.

Have a ball mate!!!

10:02:57 AM
Arco (Italy) - sport crags aroung town were polished and pretty shit. Cheap climbing gear though!
Dolimites (Italy) - very impressive scenery, cool via ferratas - actual rock routes not so great
China Wall (Austria) - crappopla.

When i say these areas are bad, i just mean they arn't up the amazingness of Verdon or Ceuse. Its a bit
like comparing Taipan Wall to Shipley Upper. Both good crags, but one is an awe inspiring natural
wonder, and one is 'just another sport crag'.

Another thing to note is that July is PEAK season in Europe. Camp sites are double in price, and it can
be very hot. When i was in France last year at that time is was 30'C+ most of the day, which was just too
hot to climb comfortably. I believe it was some sort of heatwave though (it last for 3 weeks!)
10:32:58 AM
Font is amazing! Even if when it's warmer to just cruise and follow a few easier circuits.

Ceuse is stellar, the walk in cuts down the crowds and therefore the polish. Go there earlier than later, as it may be the first and last destination of the trip! I only left after five weeks as it was the end of the season and the snow was getting heavier!

Verdon is amazing, with a multitude of multi and single pitch routes. If you like Tufa's - Bauchet is a newer single pitch cliff on the South side of the gorge with really good routes in the French grade 7 range. And as on the shady side will be cooler if the days are warm.

Buoux - I differ with my view of here with Neil. I spent 5 weeks here also and really started enjoying it once I started to get the style. So many routes of all grades means you can try and onsight everything - which is a real challenge with reading routes as the pockets are not simple, but can be a labyrinth of pockets inside so it's not always a set and go. Due to it's popularity some climbs are pretty polished but doesn't really distract IMO. Can be runout like Ceuse! Don't believe the 'everything is overbolted in France'.

Volx which was under an hours drive away from Buoux, is very much out of vogue. Is a good afternoon training venue (don't bother trying to hold the polish if the holds are in the sun!) and a nice respite for the cuticles from the pockets at Buoux.

Only spent a day at Orpierre (had a late start whilst at Ceuse and someone suggested Opierre as there is no walk in to speak of) Overbolted, dirty limestone compared to Ceuse. Wasn't impressed, though the easier climbs might be better...

Gorge Du Tarn - looks amazing!! Unfortunately haven't been.

Didn't make Spain that trip as it was some of the worst flooding on record that Autumn there so saw no point.

10:56:45 AM
As you well know Aaron, i prefer the 'see it all' approach to roadtripping.(ie, how many crags can i visit
in this short holiday?). I managed 10 major crags in 5 weeks with Rich Ham and Jono last year :-)

I can also reccomend spending 3 - 4 days on the English Grit on the way through. Just hire a car from
Heathrow, burn up the M-something or other and you'll be on the grit within 4 hours or so. You can
really pack in the climbing in a short time as its got zero walk-ins. Good small town atmosphere.

Orpierre - I didn't find it dirty, but it was fairly over bolted. Much better for easier grades (22 and under)
than Ceuse. Lines weren't as nice as Ceuse either, but its a major area and has a cool medivial town
right at the base. Chilled easy climber camping as well.

Theres heaps of photos from my two major euro trips here: - Stanage, Wales, Ablon, Chambotte,
Ceuse, Verdon, Dolimites, China Wall - Ceuse, Verdon, Chateuvert, Buoux, Orpeirre - Font! - Frankenjura, Eiger, Chamonix,
11:03:58 AM
Oh the choices! Thanks for everyone's beta.

Was thinking of flying into Barcelona or somewhere (depends where you can arrange one of those car
lease deals from) in late April before it got too hot there, and then working our way up through the South
East of France (Verdon/Ceuse/Chamonix). Into North Italy (Lake Como?), through Switzerland, then to
Font to drop of the thrashed lease car in Paris.

Hmmm - too ambitious for 8 weeks?

11:37:58 AM
On 4/10/2007 youngtuffdy wrote:
>Hmmm - too ambitious for 8 weeks?

Nah, sounds awesome!

The good Dr
11:42:50 AM
Switzerland should not be forgotten for awesome routes. Good in mid summer as there are many high crags. Do some of the really long amazing routes (eg Silberfinger - 7 long sustained pitches & the Kingspitz - only 650m, 22 pitches + 100m solo to the route base, both from the Engelhorner Hutte or Alhambra @ Ponta Brolla - 19 pitch, fully bolted 6b+). These should waste a day each!!

Spain is great, but really, really hot in summer. Check ot Montserrat, Montanejos and the Penon D'Ifach. Will have more details - Mallorca, Costa Blanca and Costa Durada - after sampling (again) in November.

Agree with Verdon, Ceuse, Chamonix. All fantastic. Font will be hot and humid mid year, though is an amazing place. There are other amazing, out of the way places that have escaped the general mobs (Massif de Aravis area comes to mind).

Plan and enjoy
12:27:25 PM
If i had cash and time to go to europe the dolimites would be foremost on my tick list. It is an amazing garden of stone. NM did not rate the climbing in his post, I personally thought it was the shit. Different horses. Long and short routes in a general area.

Big thumbs up for font. don't miss it, even if you are there in summer (worst conditions) it is so so so much fun.
12:32:51 PM
buoux looks like the business to me.

I've also heard good things about St Leger. Anyone been ?
12:45:19 PM
I personally loved Buoux.

Pretty valley, lots of good climbing.

Campsite in Apt is reasonable, with the camp hosts making a descent coffee and easy walk into the pretty town.

If you can, spare some money for a set menu meal at the Auberge des Seguins at Buoux itself. I was shouted a dinner there by Mike from Seattle as his going back home farewell. The food was devine!!

1:44:33 PM
On 4/10/2007 widewetandslippery wrote:
>NM did not rate the climbing in his post,

I believe it's impossible to form a valid opinion of an area if you only spend 2-3 days there. I takes 2-3 weeks before you even begin to get a feel for an area.
3:49:33 PM
Is June too hot for the Verdon?

3:57:45 PM
On 4/10/2007 SwineOfTheTimes wrote:
>I believe it's impossible to form a valid opinion of an area if you only
>spend 2-3 days there. I takes 2-3 weeks before you even begin to get a
>feel for an area.

Yere, very true. Both times i'v e been to the dolimites (about 2 weeks all up) it rained heavily, then
snowed - and then we got stuck in massive tourist traffic jams. This was all in the height of summer.
The place is massive, but i thought the rock quality was pretty rubbish on the routes. Its certainly a
'not to be missed' area, but I think i'd spend 50% of my time walking and via ferratering rather than just
focusing on the roped climbing. Because its so big its also very hard to work out were to start! Every
route we did seemed to have queues of people lining for them, but i thought they were pretty rubbish
compared to anything I did in the Verdon or Preles - where we had everything to ourselves most of the
time! Be warned, Dolomites seems to attract a lot of inexperianced (and very slow) groups of climbers.
11:28:59 PM
keep me in the loop Neilio - depending on the time you go I'd up for a 3-4 week trip. Sept/Oct I'd have more time, May/June I could do but probably only for a shorter time.

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