Susan Lowery Mediterranean sea-cliff climbing, 5 days in the Calanques - October 14 - 18, 2014
Susan Lowery Mediterranean sea-cliff climbing, 5 days in the Calanques • October 14 - 18, 2014
Susan Lowery took a few days this October to join Mark and Kathy for some rock climbing in the Calanques, on the sunny Côte d'Azur. A bit of a change from her usual ski mountaineering, alpine mountaineering and bicycling, and a lot of fun.
Susan and Kathy follow Mark up the Dièdre Guem on our first morning.
Topping out on the Dièdre Guem, clouds keeping the temperatures perfect and cool.
After our intro, we moved down close to the water line to finish the day on l'Hallu Nulle, a great 5 pitch route with a challenging approach.
Getting a little hotter as the sun comes out.
The route tops out on the ridge crest above the Calanque of Sormiou.
On our second day we moved to the Calanque of Morgiou, and did the Traversée de la Voile. Mouse over to see part of the route.
This route links up several exciting rappels, the first being perhaps the most committing of them all! Mark looks for the anchor at the base of rappel number 1 as the waves crash below.
Each rappel links up a new rampy ledge. Mark and Susan await Kathy's arrival on a shady perch.
View from the other camera. The weather is looking threatening...
... and the threat is fulfilled. A sudden and violent downpour caught us in the perfect spot, well sheltered under a vast overhang. Guess it's time for lunch!
The squall adds spice to this route, basically an technical amble close to the water line.
With a bit of time left to the afternoon, we made and exploratory hike over to the adjoining Calanque of Sugiton.
On day 3, we made the hike over to the gem of the area, the Calanque of En Vau, and climbed a classic buttress called Saphir.
Looking down onto the Calanque, inviting in the heat of this day.
On the top! Quite warm, it's time to consider a swim next.
A view into the canyon that leads to En Vau
On our fourth day of climbing we hiked into Sugiton and climbed the Arete du Vallon on the Aiguille de Sugiton. Mouse over to see the route.
Looking down the Arête du Vallon from near the top of the Aiguille de Sugiton.
Still with half a day ahead of us, we climbed a route called La Paroi Noire on the Crêt Saint Michel. Mouse over to see the route.
Day 4, we sought the shade by doing the Traversée de l'Extrême Bec, again in Sormiou.
The waves were "extra splashy" with big swells hitting the shoreline, so we had to do a strategic detour to avoid the most exposed section, but the climbing was fun and the waves added drama.
We finished up in the heat of the day on the Arête de l'Extrême Bec.
Steep, challenging moves on the Arête de l'Extrême Bec
Our last day, we brave the sunny side again to climb one of our favorite routes out of Sormiou, Melody. Susan on pitch 1, just above the tide line.
The tour boat from Marseille comes in close to check out what we're doing. Susan looking tiny on pitch one of Melody. Mouse over to find her. We had a great time once again visiting one of our favorite parts of France. Thanks for sharing it with us, Susan!