Climbing in the Calanques - Marseille - France

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 90 of total 90 in this topic
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 3, 2012 - 04:09am PT
Les Calanques

"Les Calanques, situated between Marseille and Cassis, is one of the largest rock climbing areas in France. The climbing is enormously varied with technical slabs, steep overhangs in caves, multi-pitch routes up to 250m long in the mountains, and steep single pitches right on the sea's edge. In total there are around 2,500 bolted sports routes and around 1,000 trad routes."

Credit: Camp to Camp

An article in English about the Calanques:
http://www.alpinejournal.org.uk/Contents/Contents_1980_files/AJ%201980%2021-32a%20Lucchesi%20Calanques.pdf

Marseille and the arrondissements:
http://carto.marseille.fr/geoweb/portal.do

The Calanques seen from the air:
http://pcafpageperso.free.fr/Calanques/Pages%20calanques/Calanques_Carte.html

Photos of some of the walls (Pierre Pisano): http://www.pierrepisano.fr/albums/photos-calanques.htm

Area in En Vau where the Hemming traverse can be seen:
http://www.camptocamp.org/uploads/images/1260737499_777333066.jpg

Access issues:
http://les-calanques.org/
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xajqaz_calanques-l-escalade-interdite_sport
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xfyvac_la-creation-du-parc-national-des-calanques-de-marseille-version-longue-mdd-tv_news

Climbing restrictions: Climbing in the Calanques is restricted from the 1th of July until the end of the second week of September every year. In my view the best time for planned climbing there is from medio September until medio October. It's often "too" hot even in the shadows during summer.

Topo: http://www.topo-calanques.com/

Routes: Photos and drawings of historical interest (G. Albert): http://www.riouetlescalanquesdudralbert.com/Escalades/escalades.html

Mme Tanner, Gaston Rebuffat, Robert Tanner, André  Coudray, Gisele Alb...
Mme Tanner, Gaston Rebuffat, Robert Tanner, André  Coudray, Gisele Albert, Georges Albert, Novembre 1937

A book about the history of climbing in the area: "Des rochers et des hommes. 120 ans d'escalade dans les Calanques." By Bernard Vaucher. http://www.amazon.fr/rochers-hommes-descalade-dans-Calanques/dp/2909907740

Some photos from the area (though not only Marseille): http://www.panoramio.com/photo_explorer#view=photo&position=0&with_photo_id=71029004&order=date_desc&user=5399157

Traverse climbing - cliffs and ocean (go to 2:50 and you get the feeling)


How to get to some of the sport climbing crags by help of public transport:

Luminy
Bus 21 Luminy from Centre Bourse to Luminy. From Luminy you can reach Cret St. Michel, Morgiou, Aiguille de Sugiton, Le Virage, Paroi des Toits, Socle de la Candelle and more. 20 min to 60 min to walk from Luminy to the areas/crags.

Les Goudes
Bus 19 Madrague from Castellane to the end-station. From there change to bus 20 Callelongue to Callelongue. From Callelongue you can walk to the different crags in the Les Goudes area. 15 min to 60 min walk.

Colline de Lun
Bus 23 Beauvallon from Rond Point du Prado to Beauvallon. 20 min to walk from Beauvallon.

Pastre
Bus 45 Marseilleveyre from Rond Point du Prado to the end station. 25 min to walk.

Roy d'Espagne
Bus 44 ("Roy d'Espagne" or "Floralia Rimet") from Rond Point du Prado to the stop closest to the cliff(s).

How to get to Centre Bourse, Castellane and Rond Point du Prado:
To take the old harbour (Vieux Port) as starting point. From Vieux Port it takes 5 min to walk to Centre Bourse and 20 min to walk to Castellane. From Vieux Port you can also reach Castellane by subway. At Castellane you can change subway line and get to Rond Point du Prado.

The Calanques - Sormiou area - Colline de Lun - Roy Tore Fallaas
The Calanques - Sormiou area - Colline de Lun - Roy Tore Fallaas
Credit: Marlow
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jun 3, 2012 - 05:51am PT
I always wanted to climb in the Calanques but never got there.
schwortz

Social climber
"close to everything = not at anything", ca
Jun 3, 2012 - 06:11am PT
nice of you to compile info like that

i went there in 2001 in the middle of august. it was hot. i couldnt find anyone who was willing to climb with me. and large areas were closed due to fire danger. i did some bouldering/soloing on really easy/small stuff but it seems i missed out. and i hear that if you know where to go, and can access shady coves from a boat, then climbing in summer can be quite enjoyable....cest la vie...for another time
bentelbow

climber
spud state
Jun 3, 2012 - 09:03am PT
I was just there a couple of weeks ago. The place is awesome. You used to be able to take the tourist boat to the clanques but the place is becoming a national park. So now have to be approached on foot.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jun 3, 2012 - 10:21am PT
Do you have to brush away the cobwebs on the trad routes?
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jun 3, 2012 - 12:08pm PT
photos?

Photos of cliffs, food or bottles of wine would be appreciated.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jun 3, 2012 - 12:16pm PT
So if you're climbing there, and carrying pitons, do you go calanque, calanque, calanque?
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jun 3, 2012 - 12:19pm PT
Most climbers there bong, bong, bong.
Dickbob

climber
Westminster Colorado
Jun 3, 2012 - 12:37pm PT
Spent 4 or 5 days there before going to the Verdon about 13 years ago. Great place.

En Vau
En Vau
Credit: Dickbob
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 3, 2012 - 01:27pm PT
Donini

There are around 1000 routes on the Adventure climbing list of the Calanques, the most important areas being le Devenson, l'Eissadon, l'Oule and Castelvieil. The adventure routes are mostly bolt-free (non equipee). Among the routes are some routes known for their excellent climbing and other routes deserving their cobweb. Though I am not the right person to ask since I am a sport climber mostly climbing sport routes.

A link to a site showing you the way to 996 adventure routes (click on 996 voies):
http://www.topo-calanques.com/TA/voies_ta.htm

Darwin

For pictures from the area - see as an example the last link in the OP. Not much climbing - but a lot of pictures from the area.

Mighty Hiker

A calanque is a fiord (fjord in Norwegian). Placing pitons is called "pittonage".

Bruce

The quality of the sport climbing cliffs I know well is excellent. The quality of the rock at the adventure cliffs, Devenson as example, is said to be variable. There are routes on excellent rock and other routes on rock of variable quality.

If you climb routes from 5c (American 5.8/5.9) and up you very seldom find polished routes.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Jun 3, 2012 - 01:40pm PT
And how does the climbing rate in terms of quality? I know the nude beaches and ambiance are top notch but is the stone brilliant or merely good? As soon as you say gear or trad I always suspect that stone quality takes a hit or for some reason misses a mention as somehow placing your own gear makes up for it....? I dunno.

I might be there next year and would love to go but I'm not that interested in choss or mediocre contrived squeeze jobs.

I remember seeing at least one classic crashing waves sea cliff picture that looked fantastic. Is that true? I've never actually done a real sea cliff climb and the idea of doing so above the medateranian sea is super appealing! (as opposed to fulmar sh#t and fog that is)

also - polish. how badly polished is it?
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 1, 2012 - 08:32am PT
Georges Livanos, alias Le Grec - King of Les Calanques

"Contrary to « professionals » and today’s young climbers, he only climbed during week-ends which during his years started only the Saturday afternoons and during his summer holidays which were a maximum of 4 weeks – in his time no 35 hours week and no RTT - le Grec used public transport: so to go and climb on the Bertagne peak, with Sonia and his friends, they were taking the tramway to Aubagne, then the bus to Gémenos and then walking to the foot of the wall. To go to Chamonix, he took the railways and was driving a Vespa to go to the Vercors, it was the vehicle he used for his work as a sales rep for printing material, with which he travelled up and down the Bouches du Rhône, the Var and Vaucluse during 10 years. He waited until his pal Robert Gabriel stopped climbing in 1956 (for wedding reasons) to find a new rope mate, Marc Vaucher who had a Citroen DS and at last enjoyed the comfort and saving time that a car is giving you. Le Grec never learned how to drive as also he never learned how to swim. For a Marseille man that is really taking the cake! Himself stated that he was « a Sunday climber » and not a true « sportsman » as the young stars of today navigating in the 8th grade! Despite this, his list of ascents is still today amazing and above all of high quality: Oh the Livanos routes! Repeating them sufficed to convince oneself that you were part of the better ones! They were a must : "The one who did without bivouaquing the Livanos pillar at Archiane could consider the big North walls…" …Bruno Fara, Climbing years 1970), that is in the Vercors as in Dolomites, then in the 1950s and 1960s, there were much less French climbers there. This is how he concluded his scoring at the end of 1978, when, aged 55, he stopped climbing after 40 years of activity"

The following is a quote from his book Au delà de la verticale:

'The eagle doesn't hunt flies' said one of Tartarin's companions. One day, I had myself written to Robert Paragot : "When you have hunted lions, rabbits look meager. And I will quote "Robert Gabriel: "If I killed myself in the Calanques or in easy ground, I would not dare go out any more".

“Le Grec” lived to be 81 before he died in 2004.

http://www.summitpost.org/georges-livanos-le-grec/774008


Georges Livanos in CASSIN, once upon a time the 6th grade (1982)

"To Have or to Have not" Hemingway: a quotation from Georges's book:

"I will quote Gervasutti, as his judgement much more serene, is one of his peers, his rivals, although this competition always was marked with the highest fair-play: 'He is the man that never backs down once the goal is set. Comici and the Dimai brothers climb the Cima Grande di Laveredo North face in several instances, going up and coming down. Cassin would have stayed on the wall a week, but he would have climbed it. Other climbers are certainly more brilliant: so for example, Comici and Soldà. Comici climbs for pleasure, physical and spiritual, loosing often the result at stake. For Comici, climbing is an end. For Cassin, climbing is a mean. One should not judge Comici solely from his ascents ; many alpinists, in this case, would be superior to him. Cassin, in his case, must be judged from his record, and from this point of view, he fears no comparison." "About his lightning victories, the indestructible 'Veni, vidi, vici' has been used. It defines well the indelible iron mark of the Cassin's style. Caesar revised by Hollywood can be seen in the title of a movie full of gunfire of all calibers : 'I go, I shoot and I come back'. So then... Cassin a hero of swashbuckler novels, of western movies? D'Artagnan and Buffalo Bill? Cassin superman of comics? Why not?"

Video:
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5y7zr_1-le-grec-georges-livanos-1-3-homma_sport
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 13, 2012 - 01:10pm PT
Calanques au Coeur




Reilly
I guess you were there 30 years ago. Today is 30 years too late. Still a lot of excellent sport climbing.

Lolli
Yes, topless is cool as Reilly knows, but out of style as you know.

Lol...
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Aug 13, 2012 - 01:26pm PT
That ain't Les Calanques, I didn't see no topless shots.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 2, 2012 - 12:35pm PT
saa

climber
not much of a
Sep 2, 2012 - 04:39pm PT
Yeah, I tried to buya place there with enough land to plant all your tents, (those of you I know not all 4000) but it was to expensive. Even La Palud (sur Verdon) was too expensive.
As for Cham, i don t think it s gonna fly either. I can buy a space for Darwin , Whisper and Jax but that s it.

Now what about Brrittany? Who is willing to tackle the granite of Armor. Lots of boulders to FA and small routes too.

Cheers from France

S
splitclimber

climber
Sonoma County
Sep 4, 2012 - 12:33pm PT
looked at the guidebook for the area and was blown away with all the routes. squeezed? maybe. :)
gf

climber
Sep 4, 2012 - 02:52pm PT
Bruce
in a word -greasy
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 4, 2012 - 03:07pm PT
... and wet. ;o)
Brock Wagstaff

Trad climber
Larkspur
Sep 4, 2012 - 03:12pm PT
The Hemming Traverse 1977.
Hemming Traverse
Hemming Traverse
Credit: Brock Wagstaff
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 9, 2012 - 03:28pm PT
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 1, 2012 - 04:20pm PT
Marseille - Roy Tore Fallaas
Marseille - Roy Tore Fallaas
Marseille
Marseille
Callelongue with Les Goudes above - Roy Tore Fallaas
Callelongue with Les Goudes above - Roy Tore Fallaas
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 20, 2012 - 01:34pm PT
Calanques, Roy d'Espagne, Secteur Dalle Grise, where Patrick Edlinger climbed the world's first or second 7c at the age of 19 in 1979. The name of the route: Nymhodalle, route H. Source: Escalade Les Calanques (Andre Bernard, Gilles Bernard, Pierre Clarac, Herve Guigliarelli and Bernard Privat)
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Nov 20, 2012 - 04:06pm PT
I worked at Chateau Montaud, Domaines Ravel (http://www.vignoblesravel.com); the summer of 1982 for the vendange. Pierrefeu-du Var (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierrefeu-du-Var);.

I was allowed to use a Peugeot 109 and I would drive to Cassis (I was also seeing Muriel Blanchard, a chemical engineering student at university in Marseille, a dead ringer for Linda Evans, just shorter). My boss/friend François Ravel said not to drive into Marseille, as the car would not be there when I went to get it - Marseille is a sh#t town.

So when I went to see Muriel I would park at Bandol or Cassis and take the train in to Marseille.

When Jennie lived in Nice for three years in the mid-1970s, she was almost kidnapped by Arab gangsters in Marseille, no doubt for the Middle East sex slave trade, but she was able to get out of the car and ran to a nearby Gendarme. An attractive blonde Irish girl would have brought a lot. Marseille sucks.

Anyway, back to the Calanques, I climbed there a lot. Great limestone and dolomite to answer a poster's question on the rock quality (okay, some choss). And Cassis is a nice place, lots of German tourists though, at least BITD, not that there is anything wrong with that.

Bouldering/free soloing sans shoes and peeling off 15-50 feet into the water was great.

Some very nice wines, but expensive, are made around Bandol.

I recommend it. That is, climbing there, different and fun.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 20, 2012 - 04:46pm PT
Patrick: A lot has happened in Marseille the last twenty years. Earlier the mafia had a firm grip. Today I consider Marseille to be a safe city. I usually live in the old harbour when I'm there. I like the "ambiance". I have never run into trouble - day or night. Though there are still streets to be avoided at night.

Marseille on bicycle

Windsurfing Pointe Rouge, Marseille
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Nov 20, 2012 - 04:58pm PT
Okay Marlow, your point is taken. I haven't been there since 1985. You know better than I do, but...

I can think of better cities.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 20, 2012 - 05:09pm PT
Cassis?


Reilly
Getting off route and wound up in a banlieue is not a good choice. I agree.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 20, 2012 - 05:24pm PT
Today I consider Marseille to be a safe city.

It's better to be lucky than good. Two friends of my wife narrowly escaped
being kidnapped there. They got a little off route and wound up in a banlieue.
And I don't mean the St Tropez type.
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Nov 20, 2012 - 05:53pm PT
OMG Marlow, is that what Cassis is like nowadays?

It looks dreadful. It wasn't like that in the early-mid 1980s.

I knew it was somewhat of a tourist trap BITD, but that looks horrendous.

Kinsale in Co Cork is turning out to be similar.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 21, 2012 - 01:10am PT
Patrick

There is a lot of tourists in Cassis during summer.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 21, 2012 - 01:18am PT
So if you were to climb there with a rack of pitons, would you go "calanque, calanque, calanque" as you walked around?
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Nov 21, 2012 - 01:37am PT
Kinsale in Co Cork is turning out to be similar.

Just not as sunny as Cassis and no rock climbing. Kinsale is lovely, but like a lot of Cork/Kerry, it gets its fair share of rain.

Now I have German heritage (and English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh and Cherokee), but Cassis always had a lot of Germans, as does Kinsale.

And we know the old saying about Germans on holiday: they are always the first to get the lounge/deck/whatever chairs by the poolside etc...

And the best spots on the Cassis beach.

That said, the summer of 1985 I was on tour with San Francisco Concordia in Germany, six matches (won two, lost two, drew two, I only scored once but I set up three goals in those matches), and we were treated impeccably. A tour of Kaiserslautern stadium, Dortmunder Actien Brauerei with a luncheon held on our behalf, barbecues.

It changed my mind about Germans.


German heritage - Roth from Bavaria and Fleihmann from Düsseldorf (both on my mom's side and both to America in 1843).

I'd imagine Cassis is still a favorite of Germans. Croatia too, loads of German influence. Bouldered some in Paklenica National Park (situated near the Adriatic Sea near Starigrad-Paklenica), excellent limestone. I want to go back and do some longer routes.

Stayed in Novi Vinodolski for a week, lovely town.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 21, 2012 - 06:31am PT
Patrick

Thanks for sharing your experiences.

Croatia is today a hot spot for European tourists. Even Norwegians who know "where to travel" spend their summer holidays in Croatia. Times are changing and Croatia has still some lovely places for climbing, walking and sailing.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 9, 2012 - 02:58pm PT
Marseille, Vieux Port, ships on old postcards:
Vieux Port - Roy Tore Fallaas
Vieux Port - Roy Tore Fallaas
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Vieux Port - Roy Tore Fallaas
Vieux Port - Roy Tore Fallaas
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Dec 9, 2012 - 07:00pm PT
On the way to En Vau <br/>
 <br/>
May 2009
On the way to En Vau

May 2009
Credit: Brian in SLC

Climbing at En Vau <br/>
 <br/>
May 2009
Climbing at En Vau

May 2009
Credit: Brian in SLC
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 18, 2013 - 12:27pm PT
La Grande Candelle and Socle de la Candelle
Overall view of the Grande Candelle A is La Centrale B is Le Couloir s...
Overall view of the Grande Candelle A is La Centrale B is Le Couloir suspendu 6a+ Red line bottom right is Armata Calanca bottom part 6a-6a+

Climbing La Centrale
http://www.summitpost.org/la-centrale-calanques/824690
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Jan 18, 2013 - 01:16pm PT
Marlow, I really enjoy your contributions on European climbing and news. Thanks for this one, which I missed first time out - it's a nice resource.
Phyl
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 18, 2013 - 01:36pm PT
Phyl
Thanks! I'm doing my best ... unasked... Lol...
Magic D

Trad climber
Feb 10, 2013 - 09:58pm PT
Anyone interested in climbing at les Calanques this June? I want to go, but need a partner / leader.
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Feb 11, 2013 - 09:44am PT
This compliments Marlow's thread nicely,,

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=2009291&msg=2009291#msg2009291

Steve
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 11, 2013 - 02:38pm PT
Blakey: Thanks for linking the article by Bernard Vaucher.

Bernard Vaucher has also written the climbing history of the Calanques. Here is a link to a web-site where the book can be bought at the favorable price of 27 Euros: http://www.priceminister.com/offer/buy/1890400/Vaucher-Bernard-Des-Rochers-Et-Des-Hommes-120-Ans-D-escalade-Dans-Les-Calanques-Livre.html
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 11, 2013 - 02:42pm PT
Traversing the Calanques (Vertical 62 1993)
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 21, 2013 - 01:45pm PT
Good-feel walking in the Calanques. An heroic effort by the old lady.

Circuit des calanques Morgiou - Sugiton de Luminy-Marseille:
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xve665_circuit-des-calanques-morgiou-sugiton-de-luminy-marseille_travel#.USZpJB2vGSo

Edited: ddriver - May, June, July, August, first half of September - Almost always too hot!
ddriver

Trad climber
SLC, UT
Feb 21, 2013 - 03:21pm PT
Anyone interested in climbing at les Calanques this June? I want to go, but need a partner / leader.

Is June a good time to be there? Not too hot?
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 2, 2013 - 03:51am PT
Un parc National
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 17, 2013 - 04:18am PT
Les Calanques
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 20, 2013 - 03:38pm PT
A great website/blog with a lot of photos presenting the climbing in les Calanques - Compagnie Des Moniteurs d'Escalade Du Littoral: http://cmel.over-blog.com/categorie-427906.html

Paroi Des Toits
Paroi Des Toits
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 20, 2013 - 04:02pm PT

A reportage about the poisoning of the Calanques (for those who understand French): Sur Calanques Une Histoire Empoisonnee by Valérie Simonet.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 5, 2013 - 04:40pm PT
La Candelle, Sugiton, Les Calanques (Vertical Mars 2000)
Credit: Marlow
L'Arete de Marseille
L'Arete de Marseille
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 5, 2013 - 04:46pm PT
Sugiton - geology
Credit: Marlow

The formation of the Calanques
Credit: Marlow

Marseille - geology
Credit: Marlow

Source: Decouverte geologique de Marseille et de son environment montagneux
Credit: Marlow
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 14, 2013 - 04:09pm PT
Georges Livanos Le Grec
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 15, 2013 - 01:44pm PT
Le Grec - Vertical Avril 1995
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 18, 2013 - 03:18pm PT
Marseille: A history og violence
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - May 11, 2013 - 04:59pm PT
Moussu T E Lei Jouvents - A La Ciotat
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 5, 2013 - 12:38pm PT
Les Calanques - an old map
Roy Tore Fallaas
Roy Tore Fallaas
Credit: Rebuffat and Ollive - Calanques 1949
from G. Rebuffat and G. Ollive's book "Calanques" 1949
Credit: Marlow

Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 5, 2013 - 10:06pm PT
The Tour just passed through Marseille, and any climber had to have checked out the crags along the route. At least I did.
Lovegasoline

Trad climber
Sh#t Hole, Brooklyn, NY
Jul 6, 2013 - 02:46am PT
Wow Marlow thanks for posting all this cool info!
I had an art residency in Cassis for three months in the autumn 16 years ago so I brought my rack with me [one of the best (and free) digs I've ever had: duplex and terrace on the water at the harbor inlet across from the lighthouse, small secluded topless beach below, emerald green water]. My experience was that the Calanques wasn't an easy place to find a partner. My time there was spent hiking or solo top roping.
It's a stunning area. The view from the rock down into the inlets were full value and btw, completely on topic for a climbing related boob thread!
I'm gonna dig into all the cool stuff you posted.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 6, 2013 - 11:00am PT
Lovegasoline

Three months in Cassis in the autumn 16 years ago must have been a dream. I have never lived in Cassis, but I have climbed most of the routes at Dalle de Port Miou Vallon.

Some Cassis pictures taken during the walk to the crag 1998
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Nohea

Trad climber
Living Outside the Statist Quo
Jul 6, 2013 - 03:16pm PT
Great stuff!

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 6, 2013 - 03:41pm PT
La Ciotat (east of Marseille and Cassis)

Deep water soloing on conglomerate rock:
http://mpora.com/videos/HsRzd8Ck7

The rock - http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poudingue
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 7, 2013 - 11:48am PT
Zinedine Zidane about La Castellane, Marseille (2004 interview): 'I am first of all from La Castellane and Marseille,' ... I am proud of where I come from and never forget the people I grew up with. Wherever I go, La Castellane is where I want to go back to. It is still my home... It is true that it is still a difficult area, what is called in French a quartier difficile. But I think there is also a special culture there. I think Marseille is probably a place like Liverpool, very vibrant and very tough. I know players such as Bruno Cheyrou and Anthony Le Tallec, who should do well in Liverpool for this reason. My passion for the game comes from the city of Marseille itself. Unfortunately I can't go back there as much I want to...'

The whole article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2004/apr/04/sport.features

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 7, 2013 - 12:42pm PT
All the Calanques from Marseille to Cassis

Correct order from Marseille to Cassis is: Sormiou - Morgiou - Sugiton - En Vau - Port Pin.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 18, 2013 - 01:02pm PT
Joseph Conrad in Marseille - chronologically - his first sea-journey was on the barge "Mont Blanc":

1874
19 September - Konrad comes to Krakow;
13 October - Korzeniowski leaves for Marseilles . His uncle and guardian, Tadeusz Bobrowski, allows him a grant of 600 rubles a year;
15 December - he goes for his first sea-journey, as a passenger, on the barge "Mont Blanc" which goes from Marseilles to Martinique;

1875
23 May - Korzeniowski comes back to Marseilles;
25 June - another voyage on the "Mont Blanc", this time as a trainee seaman to Haiti;
23 December - return to Le Havre;

1876
8 July - as a steward on the "Saint Antoine", he travels from Marseilles to Martinique, Haiti, Venezuela, and Columbia. During these journeys he meets Dominic Cervoni, the model for several of his characters (Jean Peyrol, Nostromo, Attillio);

1877
15 February - return to Marseilles;
2nd half of the year - Korzeniowski is involved in gun smuggling to Spain

1878
February - Korzeniowski unsuccessfully attempts to commit suicide (because of debts?) - he shoots himself in the chest but is not seriously injured;
27 March - Tadeusz Bobrowski comes to Marseilles - he pays Korzeniowski's debts and grants him 950 rubles a year from now on;
24 April - Korzeniowski joins English steamer the "Mavis", for the first time as a "able bodied seaman" - voyages to Constantinople and Yeysk;
10 June - return to the mother-port of the ship - Lowestoft;
11 July - Korzeniowski as a sailor joins schooner "The Skimmer of the Sea";
23 August - he leaves the ship after three courses between Lowestoft and Newcastle;
12 October - he joins the "Duke of Sutherland" and as a sailor leaves for Australia"


Marseille - Le Vieux Port
Marseille - Le Vieux Port
Credit: Marlow

Marseille La Cannebiere
Marseille La Cannebiere
Credit: Marlow

"I'd like to just step into this street scene, head right over to the Cafe on the left, and watch the trams go by as I sip a café au lait. The trams have been there since 1875, when the first horse-drawn tram traveled on this very street. If I were sitting in some other city, I might look at the trams with sadness, predicting their demise in a few decades. Not so in Marseille where trams have been running continuously since 1876."
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 28, 2013 - 01:25pm PT
Calanques 2013
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Jul 28, 2013 - 01:53pm PT
Gaston Rébuffat:  Calanques
Gaston Rébuffat: Calanques
Credit: Brian in SLC
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 28, 2013 - 01:59pm PT
Brian.

Congrats with the book!
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Jul 30, 2013 - 01:46pm PT
Thanks! I just got that copy in the mail. Hard to find.

I've climbed at all three main areas described by the book, so, was curious to see what the recommended routes were...

Great area. Too bad the main cliffs at Sainte Baume are closed to climbing (seasonally?). We managed some fun shorter routes around the corner while there a couple of years ago in May.

Cheers!
ddriver

Trad climber
SLC, UT
Jul 30, 2013 - 03:53pm PT
Climbed at Les Goudes and Sugiton at the beginning of the month this July. Access restrictions in summer are based on fire hazard, see Conditions d'accès aux massifs forestiers for daily update, Calanques at top. Today (31 July) is unrestricted (orange). Our conditions varied from cool due to sea breezes and fog to quite warm for hiking but okay for climbing.

Access to Sormiou seems questionable, at least based on the RockFax guidebook description. The road now ends just past the prison at a gated community, so far as we could tell.

The description for accessing Sugiton was also a bit lacking. The Luminy campus is divided into two separate areas, in adjacent valleys. Local signage leads one to park at the western campus area, which adds a bit of hoofing up and over a pass. Most locals seemed to come in from the eastern portion of the campus near the School of Architecture or similar.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 30, 2013 - 04:46pm PT
ddriver

You say:
"Access to Sormiou seems questionable, at least based on the RockFax guidebook description. The road now ends just past the prison at a gated community, so far as we could tell."

and

"The description for accessing Sugiton was also a bit lacking."

My comments:
There's a road leading all the way to the village Sormiou, but you're not allowed to drive by car all the way, so you have to walk or use a bicycle. I have walked the distance a couple of times. You need 1,25-1,5 hours.

If you take Bus 23 Beauvallon from Rond Point du Prado to Beauvallon and walk in the direction of Sormiou, you find Colline de Lun 20 minutes walk from Beauvallon. Colline de Lun has a lot of sport climbing routes French grade 5-7. From Colline de Lun there's around an hours walk to Sormiou.

Sugiton is not the easiest crag to reach. One of the easiest crags to reach from Luminy is Cret St. Michel, where you find some sport climbing routes at Secteur Creche and just around the corner at Secteur Paroi Noire - a lot of «multipitch» routes (mainly 3-4 rope lengths) French grade 4-5-6.
rmuir

Social climber
From the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Jul 31, 2013 - 07:09pm PT
Hey, Brock...

Thanks for the memories. Upstream, post #20... Who else was with us that day? Is that my American ass hanging over the Mediterranean?
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 24, 2013 - 03:14pm PT

Calanques: Some easy multipitch bolted routes above the sea

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 26, 2013 - 02:48pm PT
La Ciotat - Mega Bloc - Marie Da Silva
La Ciotat - Mega Bloc - Marie Da Silva
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 8, 2013 - 02:17pm PT
Calanques Psicobloc Waterline Cliff Diving
Brock Wagstaff

Trad climber
Larkspur
Sep 8, 2013 - 05:01pm PT
Hi Robbs - Just saw your post from late July. Yeah, that was without a doubt a fun diversion from wet days in Cham! I actually think that may be Dick Jackson hanging his butt over the water in the photo. As I remember, he did most of the traverse in nothing but his EB's, and had to be "rescued" numerous times by the young ladies topless sunbathing on various anchored yachts. Good times!
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 22, 2013 - 12:59pm PT
L'air des Calanques
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 5, 2013 - 01:30pm PT
Marseille




1930s with parts of its history told
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Nov 12, 2013 - 01:25pm PT
Bump for content

Steve
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 16, 2013 - 03:58pm PT

Calanques - Pilier Est de l'Eissadon
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 28, 2013 - 12:07pm PT

Sportclimbing crags close to Marseille city - in the Marseilleveyre area
Marseille - Les Calanques - the main climbing areas
Marseille - Les Calanques - the main climbing areas
Credit: Escalade Les Calanques
Marseilleveyre
Marseilleveyre
Credit: Escalade Les Calanques
Marseilleveyre, Falaise du Roy D'Espagne, Secteur du Lys - one of the ...
Marseilleveyre, Falaise du Roy D'Espagne, Secteur du Lys - one of the secteurs at Roy D'Espagne. At Roy D'Espagne you find around 70 bolted routes, mainly grade 5c-7a.
Credit: Escalade Les Calanques
Marseilleveyre, Falaise Pastre, a part of Secteur Haute Tension, one o...
Marseilleveyre, Falaise Pastre, a part of Secteur Haute Tension, one of the secteurs at Pastre. At Pastre you find around 80 bolted routes, mainly grade 5a to 6b+.
Credit: Marlow
Marseilleveyre, Le Massilia. Here you find around 20 bolted routes, 25...
Marseilleveyre, Le Massilia. Here you find around 20 bolted routes, 25-30 meters high, mainly grade 5c-6c.
Credit: Marlow
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 28, 2013 - 12:20pm PT
The guidebook pictures above are taken from "Escalade Les Calanques" by Andre Bernard, Gilles Bernard, Pierre Clarac, Herve Guigliarelli, Bernard Privat. The guidebook is excellent and recommended to everyone who goes to the Calanques to climb.

"Escalade Les Calanques" by Andre Bernard, Gilles Bernard, Pierre Clar...
"Escalade Les Calanques" by Andre Bernard, Gilles Bernard, Pierre Clarac, Herve Guigliarelli, Bernard Privat.
Credit: Marlow
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 28, 2013 - 12:21pm PT

Another easy to reach crag - Vallon Des Escampons in the Morgiou area. It's 5 minutes walk from the bus stop to reach the crag. Around 20 routes, 20-30 meters high, grade 5b-6c.

Morgiou, Vallon Des Escampons
Morgiou, Vallon Des Escampons
Credit: Marlow
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 3, 2014 - 05:07pm PT

Morgiou on old postcards - climbing where ever you turn...
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Les Cabanons - upper left
Les Cabanons - upper left
Credit: Marlow
L'Abri cotier
L'Abri cotier
Credit: Marlow
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 25, 2014 - 03:31am PT
Les Calanques: A Personal History of the People and the Climbing. An article by Bernard Vaucher in Mountain 103, 1985.
Claude Cassin on La Traversee Sans Retour, Calanques
Claude Cassin on La Traversee Sans Retour, Calanques
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 20, 2014 - 04:06pm PT

Easy climbing in the Calanques (wise use of GoPro)
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Feb 21, 2014 - 10:16am PT
Hmm,

I think I'd already scanned that article and posted it up with a link to this thread!

Steve

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 21, 2014 - 12:09pm PT
Steve.

You certainly did and thanks for doing... now it's both linked and posted in the thread. ;o)
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 8, 2014 - 04:05pm PT

The Calanques - a digital map:
https://www.google.com/maps/@43.218187,5.442009,10141m/data=!3m1!1e3
dags

climber
May 1, 2014 - 08:30pm PT
I'll be heading over to the Calanques in May with a friend, and was wondering if a single 70m will be enough for the rappels we will encounter on the multipitch routes. I purchased the vtopo guidebook, and it suggests 2 50m ropes, but if a 70m is adequate we would prefer to travel with it. Any advice?
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 11, 2014 - 01:33pm PT

Cliffs around the village Morgiou

The village Morgiou you find at the "bottom" of the fjord in the middel of the photo. The white wall above Morgiou on the right side is Cret St Michel where you find many easier multipitch routes. At the right end of the photo you see a long wall where the stone has a darker colour (the middle part of the wall). This is Paroi des Toits where you find some of the hardest overhanging routes in the Calanques. Above the village on the left side you find Les Cabanons (hidden in the photo).

The village Morgiou is at the "bottom" of the fjord. The white wall ab...
The village Morgiou is at the "bottom" of the fjord. The white wall above Morgiou on the right side is Cret St Michel. At the right end of the photo you see Paroi des Toits with some of the hardest overhanging routes in the Calanques.
Credit: Marlow
Cret St Michel
Cret St Michel
Credit: Michel Piccoli
Paroi des Toits
Paroi des Toits
Credit: Camp to Camp
Morgiou. The cliff in the upper right corner of the photo is Les  Caba...
Morgiou. The cliff in the upper right corner of the photo is Les Cabanons.
Credit: Calanques13
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 2, 2014 - 02:00pm PT

Climbing on the white cliffs above the sea close to the fishing village Sormiou. A great video posted by Tim G. on another thread: http://www.epictv.com/media/podcast/pocket-pulling-and-pinnacle-hopping-on-the-french-riviera-%7C-epic-aerials-by-the-green-twins-ep-3/600474
Messages 1 - 90 of total 90 in this topic
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Trip Report and Articles
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews