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mwalker

France in September/October

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Heading to France at the end of September for three weeks to climb and see the place. Traveling by myself and wondered if anyone had any suggestions of where to go. Not there for long so figued I'd hit one, two or maybe three places where it's easy to find (attractive french speaking) partners.

 

Cham, Ceuse, Verdon, Font? Is the weather any good in Cham in October? Is it filled with brits? Didn't really think i'd bring crampons or axes, is that a mistake?

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The beach town of Cassis, a short train ride out of Marseille, is walking distance from Les Calanques, the home of Gaston Rébuffat. Stay in the cheap 2-star hotel (that's actually a 3-star IMHO) that sits below the old castle above the town. Plan on an October visit to beat the heat and the German tourists.

 

When you're tired of climbing, the fjords at beach level hold all manner of naked bathing beauties. A sight not be missed...

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Don't count on getting good weather in October in Chamonix. The town is relatively quiet at that time of the year. I'd leave the ice gear at home and plan on rock climbing. Since you're travelling alone you probably ought to stick with better known places to find a partner.

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the fjords at beach level hold all manner of naked bathing beauties. A sight not be missed...

 

Can't speak to the beaches near Cassis ... some of the beaches I've visited near Nimes, Toulon and Nice were definatly a "mixed" bag. For every 1 hot, firm babe there seemed to be 5~7 4'8" 200+ lbs French Grandmas with their 55DDD's hanging out all over the place.

 

I suggest also giving the Ecrin group at least some thought

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weather in the high alps could be good or bad. Shrug.

 

Can't speak to the beaches near Cassis ... some of the beaches I've visited near Nimes, Toulon and Nice were definatly a "mixed" bag. For every 1 hot, firm babe there seemed to be 5~7 4'8" 200+ lbs French Grandmas with their 55DDD's hanging out all over the place.

 

the young bathing beauties can't afford staying at home, they go to Thailand or Indonesia to get naked.

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You can easily buy anything you want in Chamonix; you can easily travel anywhere in France in under a day; why worry. Go where the weather is.

 

French girl in Indonesia:

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haven't climbed in france yet but actually got inspired to start climbing during my vacation at the calanques...

my climbing friends in europe told me some of the greatest places are

- orpierre (has also more moderate climbing),

- buoux (don't knwo about the grades there, just know that there'S a akind of amphitheater that allows to climb in the shade/sun allday long)

- and the gorge du tarne (which is probably just interesting when you're climbing 5.11s and up)

- and of course the alpine classic is the gorge du verdon (offers all kinds of mulipitch climbing)

unfortunately that'S just what i know from theory and not from my own experience (i just climbed in spain and italy (and germany+austria) so far)

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i second or third or whatever what was said above. cassis is one of the more charming parts of franc i have seen (there are many). and yes, id hit that.

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Dang Sobo, where do I sign up for your group led tour?

Went back thru my travelogue for that trip. Le Laurence is the name of the hotel, I don't recall the name but there is one cafe' at the harbour square with the best espresso, and La Panisse was the best restaurant with the freshest fish. Do NOT eat at Nino's - it sucked royale. Jose and Stefan run the climbing shop, which is part of a tree-climbing store. AlpineK would understand...

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good times! I also did a 3-week climbing trip thru France a few years ago. I still have several guide books and this cool map of France that shows the size and location of climbing areas all over the country. you are welcome to borrow it all, if you do please treat the material well and return it at the end of your trip.

 

I would second some of the recommendations here: climbing in Les Calanques and Orpiere, visiting Cassis and Chamonix. as was said before dont plan on climbing in Cham that time of year, like here, the weather can be a mixed bag in the mountains. plan on hitting the places that will most likely have good weather and then once you get there modify your plans to go where the weather is good. like HC said you can travel anywhere in a day so just be flexible.

 

if you have any interest in alpine climbing history you should at least visit Cham even if you dont climb there. and as it is full of Brits and just about every other nationality you can easily get by speaking English so it doesnt sound like what you are looking for in a climbing destination anyway. but visit for a day and eat great fondue!

 

if you are still looking for reco's I can give you more for other areas. not sure what you are looking for in your climbing, we were looking for lots of sport climbing 5.10 and under on that trip. I've been there on other trips for alpine climbing, Haute Route, etc. so we can talk about that too if you are interested.

 

hope some of this long babel helps,

 

cheers!

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Super easy. I soloed a bunch of the easier lines on my first trip through, and hooked up with a guide the second time, but our outing fell through at the last minute because of rain. I can put you in touch with Jose and Stefan of the tree/climbing store (if they even still work there anymore). I have the phone numbers in my travelogue if you want them. Someone at the other end of the phone can give you more recent beta. They both spoke "some" English, but be prepared to speak French or Spanish to really make things go quickly. I got by on what little Italian I remembered... :rolleyes:

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