The digital climbingbook Climbing around Gap – Escalade autour de gap
In addition to the Gap region, the guidebook Climbing around Gap covers the Dévoluy and the Champsaur massifs and, a little further north, the Valgaudemar massif and the Buëch valley. The guidebook presents more than twenty sport climbing sites, including the western part of Céüse*, the world famous sport crag , but also many multi-pitch routes generally fully bolted and at moderate level.
Local administrations (municipalities, departments and regions), that embrace the “mountain culture’’, fund the maintenance of several sites and promote the establishment of routes at moderate grade. Thanks to this commitment, many crags have been rebolted and several routes added in recent years.
The author of the guidebook, Laurent Girousse, is one of the main bolters of the crags around Gap. He is also the author of the exhaustive guidebook about Céüse. Incidentally, he runs the Pizzeria Le Crux in Sigoyer which feeds the best climbers in the world!
* The guide presents only the western part of Céüse which is the easiest part of the cliff. It demonstrates that Céüse is not only reserved for the elite climbers.
The main climbing sites presented in the guidebook
Céüse west face (sectors Lumineuse, Golots à gogo, larme de pluie, Dalles du CAPEPS, Cactus) – Blocs de Céüse – Ventavon – La Roche des Arnauds – Savournon – Sigottier – Agnielles – Saint-Julien-en-Beauchêne – Neuvillard – La Jarjatte – Ancelle – Pont du Fossé (Corbière, Les Dauphins) – Chaillol – Lesdiguières – Colombeugne – Surette – Les Etroits – Les Gicons
Pic de Charance, Petite Céüse, Le Saix, Crête de la Gerle, Méolion ( Las poas, Les Sucettes de Méolion, L’aiguille des Bergers) – Sommet Rouge – Dalles de Gleize – La Valse des Prises (paroi des Colombiers)
Climbing in the Gap area and nearby massifs
For many climbers (who have probably never been to the area), climbing around Gap comes down to the famous crag of Céüse. For more than 20 years, from April to September, Céüse has been the most popular climbing destination in the world. It deserves it… but it also suffers when hundreds of climbers crowd at its feet.
They forget that many other high quality sport climbing sites allow everyone to climb all year round.
They forget that there are many other high quality sport climbing sites to climb all year round.
Already in the Alps but with a foot in Provence, Gap occupies a privileged place at the crossroads of several massifs. By choosing your crag according to the season and the weather, it is always the right season to climb in the region.
This geographical diversity makes it possible to climb in radically different settings. At the superb winter and mid-season crags such as Ventavon, Sigottier, or Agnielles , you can climb in the sun while the snow covers the surrounding peaks. For the highest crags you will have to wait until late spring when snow has disappeared from the approach paths. You then climb here under the watchful eye of the chamois in a pronounced mountain environment (Les Gicons, the slabs of Gleize, the cliffs of Méollion…).
This geographical diversity also induces an interesting geological diversity. Limestone is predominant with all types of inclination, colors and grips. Let us mention the exceptional walls of Céüse of course, but also the bulges of Ventavon, the slabs of Gleize or the endless strata of Le Saix.
You can also climb on granite or gneiss, on some crags of the Valgaudemar massif, at the gates of the Ecrins National Park. These grainy rocks favour technical climbing, where footwork is often decisive.
There is also granite on the cliffs dominating Méolion in the Champsaur (Les Sucettes and Las Poas) where several multi-pitch routes have been equipped.