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La Faille 
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Elevation: 1,600'
Location: 44.1996, 5.9462 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 1,952
Administrators: Euan Cameron, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Brian in SLC on Dec 6, 2012
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The "Gateway to Provence", Sisteron is a small town located between the French Riviera and the southern Pre-Alps, smack between Marseille and Grenoble.

Sisteron can be a base for nearby climbing in Orpierre, Ventavon, Savournon, Sigottier, Châteauneuf-de-Chabre , Volx, longer day trips to Ceuse and a fun place itself to climb for a day or three. Neat town to spend some time walking around in, with, nice lodging options and good restaurants, a market on Wednesday, friendly tourist office, knick knack shopping, and some tourist sites like the Citadel and a few museums.

Located in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France, the town is at the natural rocky gap barrier on the Route Napoléon taken by Napoléon in 1815 on his return from exile at Elba.

Rock climbing is located at Le Rocher de la Baume on east bank of the Durance River, across from the city’s citadel. It’s a fairly small, compact area with a couple of sectors:

  • La Faille: south and north facing cragging in the main slot formed by the impressive fins of rock. Just over 30 routes from very short beginner routes at 4+, moderate steep slab climbing in the sun and up to 8b with some hard, thin crack lines on the overhanging north face.

  • South Face: left, middle and right sectors on the main south face area with around 45 routes from 4+ to 7b+ and a couple of two pitch routes.

The local and somewhat difficult to find climbing shop is "the Blue Light" which is worth a visit (!). Some great deals on local gear and resoles from this local artisan:

Mike Cuaz
Soescalade The Blue Light
12 Rue du Grand Couvert
04200 Sisteron 04 92 31 16 57

Town attractions: The impressive Citadel and the 12th century Cathédrale Notre Dame des Pommiers et Saint Thyrse. Three museums of note: the Citadel Museum, the Baden-Powell Scout Museum and Musée Terre & Temps. The lido (beach area) and the airfields at Vaumeilh, La Motte-du-Caire and Château-Arnoux-Saint-Auban, which are dedicated to the sport of gliding.

The long distance hiking trail, the GR 6 (Grande Randonnée), passes across town west/east.

Helpful tourist office in town which also sells the local rock climbing guidebook. Lodging is available with hotels, gites, B&B’s and several campsites to choose from. See the official tourist website for more info:


Getting There 

Located south of Gap on the A51. The auto route runs under (!) town, so, make sure to exit or you’ll blow right past.

Train service available from Marseille to Briançon and Grenoble.

Distance from Marseille and Grenoble: 135 km (84 mi). Located 180 km (110 mi) from Nice.

Climbing Season

Weather station 9.9 miles from here

4 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',3],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Featured Route For Sisteron
Start of Mario Brousse at Chichou.

Mario Brousse 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c  Europe : France : ... : La Faille
Nice line on the left side of the south face.Follow a vertical, shallow crack feature and prior to a shallow left facing corner, jog right and continue up a cracky jigsaw face to the anchor.Good rock and nice slab climbing on fair sized features....[more]   Browse More Classics in International

Photos of Sisteron Slideshow Add Photo
Sisteron from Le Rocher de la Baume
Sisteron from Le Rocher de la Baume
Le Rocher de la Baume at Sisteron
BETA PHOTO: Le Rocher de la Baume at Sisteron
Streets of Sisteron
Streets of Sisteron
The tightly packed town of Sisteron
The tightly packed town of Sisteron
Le Rocher de la Baume
Le Rocher de la Baume
The Blue Light proprietor Mike in Sisteron
The Blue Light proprietor Mike in Sisteron
Tourist office in Sisteron
Tourist office in Sisteron
Sisteron from Le Rocher de la Baume
Sisteron from Le Rocher de la Baume
Le Rocher de la Baume from Sisteron
Le Rocher de la Baume from Sisteron
Sisteron from La Faille at Le Rocher de la Baume
Sisteron from La Faille at Le Rocher de la Baume

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