With a large number of routes rising out of the woods in a couple kilometer long stretch of crags, Marche-les-Dames is behind only Rocher de Freÿr in popularity for Belgian rock climbing venues.
Marche-les-Dames consists of 23 separate buttresses rising up above the Meuse River. Nearly 500 routes exist in the range of 20 to 80m high at nearly all grades, from easy jug hauls to difficult crimpfests. Stacks of routes exist in the popular 4, 5 and 6 range (French scale).
The climbing is on well featured dolomitic limestone and the cliffs face primarily to the south. Shade available near the base of a number of routes as the trees are tall and sometimes fairly thick.
Areas to climb here include the most popular Rochers de Beez along with the Central Group, Camp Commando (Intérieur Camp) and the Groupe de la Gare.
Outside the military camp, the rock climbing is managed by the Club Alpin Belge (Belgian Alpine Club). Routes inside the military camp are apparently accessible to Belgian citizens possessing the proper ID (and CAB membership too?). Routes are primarily sport climbs and equipped with a mix of nicely done fixed anchors with the occasional rusty bolt.
Marche-les-Dames is well remembered as a climbing area back to the early thirties, especially as local haunt of the popular King Albert I who died while soloing on the Roche du Vieux Bon Dieu on 17 February 1934.
List of the areas and their sectors:
Le Groupe de Beez:
• Rocher de l'Ecrin • Rocher de la Jonction • Le Jokari • Rocher du Cellier • Massif du Centenaire • Massif de la Liedekerke • Rocher de la Fanette • Aiguille du noble • Rocher Caribou
La Partie Centrale - Domaine Royal :
• Fouquet • Rochers du Roi Albert • Du Dièdre Noir et de La Popeye (Some areas closed due to overlooking the road and rail line)
Intérieur Camp :
• Fouquet • Vallée du Tarzan • Heylen • Crombez • Château • L'Amphibie • Mess • Rocher du Soukak • Massif du Petit Flambeau
Groupe de la Gare :
• Deschamps • Jumelles • Boule • Rocher Des Dames • La Vallée du Charbonnier • La Féraugière • le Petit Flambeau
For a via ferrata diversion, there’s a popular and well done iron path in Camp Commando. Includes a bridge between rock formations. Starts near the Albert refuge.
Located between the towns of Beez and Marche-les-Dames and just downstream from Namur.
From Namur, take the N80 east along the river and continue along the river by following the N959. Go past Beez under the E411 and follow the road towards Marche-les-Dames. In around 4 kilometers, the Port de Beez marina on the river will be on the right, and nearly directly across from the boat parking, will be a car park for the crags with information kiosks.
Take care as the trains blast by here at quite a high speed.
A classic route at a modest grade, and, two pitches? Pinch me...Great position, improbably steep, well featured, and an adequate amount of fixed pro all make this impressive line a great tick for the visiting climber.Pitch 1: rally up steep rock on big holds, aiming for the large horizontal break above at a belay station 100 feet or so up. 5.5.Pitch 2: Great corner climbing up a steep groove. Steep, but, well featured with great stemming rests. Belay off fixed anchor at top of route. 5.8 ...[more]Browse More Classics in International