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Rock Climbing

Near by Puy Saint Vincent

The Hautes Alps are situated in Provence between Gap (to the south west), Grenoble (to the north west) and the Italian border (to the west) near by Puy Saint Vincent. The area is sometimes referred to as the Southern Alps or the Ecrins and enjoys better weather than the Northern Alps around Chamonix and it is considerably quieter. In fact this area claims to have 300 days of sunshine a year, stays a lot drier, and offers year-round rock climbing by choosing your crag carefully.

rock climbing puy saint vincent 01Taco Spriensma Photography

Popular crags

The area is dominated by the 4,000m+ peak of Massif Des Ecrins plus several other 3,000m+ peaks, giving 1,000's of Alpine routes across all grades. There are also around 1,500 sport routes from single pitch to multi-pitch routes up to 600m long - of which the majority are well bolted. This climbing is mainly situated in the Durance Valley around the towns of Briancon, Ailefroide, L'Argentiere-la-bessee and Guillestre, and includes over 75 crags. All of these crags have solid rock with a wide choice of grades to choose from.

Many different styles

The type of rock here is very varied from limestone, conglomerate, quartz, gabbro to granite and gneiss - offering many different styles of rock climbing. There is also an excellent bouldering area near Ailefroide. The map below shows the major crags in the area and the table opposite shows a selection of the popular crags.

climbing-areas-puy-saint-vincent2

 Crag
Nearest Town
Type of rock
No. of Routes
Max Height
Grade range
Best Season
Rocher Baron Briancon Quartz 60 20m F3 - F7c Spring
Plampinet Plampinet Limestone 90 40m F4c - F7b+ May to October
Mont Dauphin Fort Guillestre Conglomerate 75 40m F3c - F8a+ May to November
Ailefroide Puy Saint Vincent Granite 160+ 400m F3 - F8b April to November
Fessourier Puy Saint Vincent Limestone 34 40m F6a - F7c May to October
Clapeyto Arvieux Limestone 40 250m F4b - F6c May to October
La Grande Falaise Freissiniers Limestone 140 150m F5 - F8c March to November
Le Ponteil Champcella Limestone 60 200m F5c - F7c+ March to November
Les Traverses Puy Saint Vincent Limestone 130 35m F4c - F8b+ All Year
Le Pouit Champcella Limestone 70 80m F4c - 7c+ All Year

 

rock climbing puy saint vincent 01

Taco Spriensma Photography

Source: Climb-Europe