A slightly hidden look at the crag at Vallorcine f...
The Burnier-Potard guidebook calls Vallorcine "perhaps the best granite crag in the whole region." Not having climbed throughout the region, I won't make such sweeping claims, but it is a fantastic crag!
Come prepared to climb four or five bolted pitches of moderate rock, and bring a helmet--this is a popular spot, and you're likely to have parties above you.
The crag faces northwest and has lovely sights and sounds. Wildflowers line part of the path to the rock. Cowbells ring off cattle grazing the fields below and bring music to the top of the cliff. The only downer is that since the sun doesn't hit the rock directly, the area's frequent rain can leave it damp.
Descent: Rapping down is not recommended since the crag is so popular. Instead, follow chains left at the top of the crag and take the well-equipped via ferrata route back to the bottom of the wall.
We took the train from Chamonix. From the town of Vallorcine, you can see the crag, so just head in that direction. Cross the train tracks and make a right on the road. Pass some homes and continue into a field. A trail sign will direct you to turn left to reach the crag--follow it! Total approach from Vallorcine: 10 or 15 minutes.
Five slab-tastic pitches of fun, with a nice dihedral thrown in on pitch four for good measure. The right side of the crag was crawling with other parties when we arrived, but no one was on this climb on the left side. We thought it was a score.P1: Follow the easy slab past frequent bolts to snake left above the first overhang and right below the next. French rating: 4cP2: More vertical climbing and fewer bolts this pitch a little more interesting. French rating: 4b, but felt harder.P3: Crux pit...[more]Browse More Classics in International