The Climber's Wife

Posts from the “Climbing” Category

Climbing in Siurana

Posted on March 9, 2014

The fairytale hamlet of Siurana is perched on a clifftop, just below the remains of a Moorish castle. In winter the narrow cobblestone streets are crowded with lost mountain winds but bereft of people. Wandering alone through the little lane-ways you’ll soon find the solid and stark grey stone Church. A little more wandering and you’ll come across the refugi, a true refuge here from the cold and swirling damp. Climbing-wise, the area is famous for it’s sport routes and considered (according to the guide book) as one of the best climbing areas in the world. The first routes were established in the 1980’s and new routes are still being established today…beware of enthusiastic new-routers cleaning rocks off onto the ground below. There are…

Gorges du Tarn

Posted on March 1, 2014

Gorge du Tarn is said to be one of France’s best sport climbing destinations. My dear Climber raced up a few 7a-7c’s and raved about the beautiful lines and amazing rock quality. I shivered in two sets of thermals and two down jackets and couldn’t wait to get away from the bone aching cold and damp of a French November. The only climbing related highlight for me was a crag kitten who, despite being quite boney, wasn’t terribly interested in eating Carrefour brand tuna. That stuff is truly vile. The Gorge itself is very pretty and features a wide and fast running river that, in summer, is home to a significant tourist boat trade – the punters (pun intended) whizz down the river and…

Climbing in Chateauvert

Posted on November 23, 2013

I know I have been going on about autumn a bit lately but after five years in the subtropics these beautiful trees and burning red vines just melt my heart. Chateauvert, in the south of France, offers both excellent climbing and the chance to do a little more leaf gawking. Correns boasts that it is the ‘first BIO village’ in France and the farms in the immediate vicinity produce any number of BIO approved products. Predictably the area is therefore home to quite a number of woolly jumper wearing hippies all of whom came out of the woodwork for the local fete, which was held while we were visiting. Sadly, the Vallon Sourn’s most famous residents (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie) were not in…

Bouldering in Fontainebleau for Beginners

Posted on November 18, 2013

Just a 45 minute train ride from the centre of bustling Paris brings you to the comparatively sleepy town of Fontainebleau. The town grew up around the vast royal chateau which features some seriously epic external staircases (perfect for a Cinderella exit) and huge and glorious formal gardens. The chateau was used continuously as a royal residence from the building’s establishment in 1137 until there weren’t any Kings (or Emperors) left to visit. For the Kings and Court Fontainebleau offered one key advantage over Paris – the forest. Members of the court could ride out for fresh clean air and exercise and, of course, a spot of hunting. This predilection for riding down and slaughtering innocent creatures meant that a huge forest park (larger…