Michele and Craig Young in Les Calanques, France • October 3-8, 2012

Michele and Craig, recently of Nevada, spent a bit of vacation time on the Mediterranean coast. Basing out of the town on Cassis, just east of Marseille, they joined Kathy and Mark for 6 days of rock climbing on the limestone cliffs and towers of Les Calanques.

Other Trips with Craig and Michele

Dolomites climbing July 2011
Mont Blanc area August 2010
Alps July 2005

Return to all recent trips

Craig and Michele at the Trou du Canon (cannon hole) on the way to Castelvieil on our last day of climbing.


On our first day, we climbed the Aiguille de Sugiton. We did two routes, the first being the Arête du Vallon (mouse over to see the line), and then a fine climb on the SE face, called l'AJ.


Michele finishing the last moves of the first pitch on the Arête du Vallon.


The final part of the Arête.


Mark, posing on the summit of the Aiguille de Sugiton.


On our second day, we did the "Traversée et arête de l'extrême Bec", a low-level traverse, then an airy climb up the arête, in the Sormiou Calanque. Mouse over the photo to see the route.


Craig on the Traversée.


Looking back towards the Calanques Sormiou from the last easy part of the Traversée.


Climbing up the arête of the Extrême Bec.


On the summit of the Bec.


For our third day we visited the Calanque En-Vau, perhaps the most classic (and with the most polished routes) in the area.


Another view of the Calanque En-Vau, looking southeast. We climbed an old classic route, Saphir. Mouse over to see the route marked.


Mark starts up the 4th pitch (I think) of Saphir.


Looking back at the lower towers on Saphir.


Craig on the last pitch of Saphir. And of course, after a sweaty climb, we took to the cool waters of the calanque for a wee swim.


On day 4, we were back at Sormiou, this time to do a route called "Melody". Michele on the first of 2 rappels to get down to sea level and the start of the climb.


We arrive at the start of the climb, only a couple meters above the water.


The belay at the bottom of the first pitch.


Our 5th day involved some easier climbing but was quite technical none-the-less. We did another low-level traverse, the "Traversée de la Voile" near the Calanque Morgiou.

If you mouse over the photo, I have marked the two routes we did on our last two days: The Traversée de la Voile in the foreground and Vide et Eau in the back on the left.


The Calanque Morgiou, as we walk tot he start of the Traversée.


Craig rappelling down to the start.


This route was all about rappels, some of them quite steep.


There are some 5 rappels required, each separated by a rising traverse ledge.


A fantastic setting.


Though the rock was not of very high quality, the ambiance made up for it.


At one of the belays.


Traversing left, always left.


For our last day of climbing we did a superb route on the west wall of Castelvieil, called "Vide et Eau" The name translates to something like "emptiness and water" and is a play on the word video.

Here, Craig starts up the 5c+ pitch from the big ledge at the base of the route.


Michele on the last few moves of the climb.


Mark and Michele at the top of Vide et Eau.