BETA PHOTO: Presles looking toward Gorges de la Bourne
The Vercors is the largest plateau in France. In the French Prealps, it’s a huge area that is loaded with rock climbing opportunities. The area is also known for sking (both alpine and nordic), hiking, mountain biking, canyoneering, and caving. Oh, and blue cheese! Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage is an A.O.C cheese good on its own, with a baguette or try it on a local pizza (superb).
The Vercors plateau rises up west (and far south to the west) of Grenoble, south of the Isère River, and to the north of Die. It’s a natural citadel with sheer, 300 meter limestone cliffs above the valleys.
Climbing areas abound. A few popular spots are Presles, Gerbier (RIP Lionel Terray), Les Trois Pucelle, Mont Aiguille, smaller crags like Corrençon, Furon at Lans-en-Vercors, Combeauvieux, the list goes on and on.
The largest town on the plateau is Villard-de-Lans, which is a fun town to stroll, bookstore to buy climbing books and maps, guide service, restaurants, pubs, hotels, grocery stores and some nearby camping (and a good tourist office). The main ski areas are also located here.
Other lodging and camping options are spread out both on the plateau, and down below in the bigger towns (Grenoble, Die, Valence, etc). Some of the smaller towns central to nearby climbing on the northern end of the plateau are Presles, Lans-en-Vercors and Saint-Nizier-de-Moucherotte.
There are a number of gites in the area that are comfortable and located near rock climbing. Recommended for a longer (week or more) stay.
The Vercors massif and nearby areas are protected as a regional park: Parc Naturel Régional du Vercors. The plateau has many roadless areas and near wilderness in the Réserve naturelle des Hauts Plateaux du Vercors which is located in the southeast corner of the area.
High and notable summits of the Vercors are:
• Le Grand Veymont 2341 m
• La Grande Moucherolle 2284 m
• Les Arêtes du Gerbier 2109 m
• Mont Aiguille 2086 m
• Roc Cornafion 2049 m
• Le Moucherotte 1901 m
• Les Trois Pucelles 1456 m
The easiest way to get around the Vercors is with a car, especially if several destinations are planned. The main access points, depending on the venue of course, are:
• Grenoble: through the Furon gorge (D531 south, direction Lans-en-Vercors or up from Seyssins to Saint-Nizier-de-Moucherotte.
•Valence to Romans: take the N532 to the north east to the town of Saint Nazaire en Royans.
•Clelles: down the A51 to the N75 from Grenoble, exiting onto the D7 to Richardière (Mont Aiguille)
•Die: Col du Rousset on the D518 heading north.
Vercors can be reached by bus from the three largest surrounding cities, Grenoble, Valence and Die.
Some of the towns served by bus: Autrans, Corrençon, Lans en Vercors, Méaudre, Saint Nizier, Villars de Lans, Saint Jean, Saint Laurent, Sainte Eulalie, Pont en Royans, Gresse, Clelles.
Browse More Classics in Vercors
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Vercors:
Featured Route For Vercors
: ... : Lans-en-Vercors
A great, three pitch route on immaculate limestone. Follows nifty features up an improbable gray pillar. Some tricky and exciting moves, but, never too hard and never too far away from decent anchors.Pitch 1: climb up the right side of the pillar, gaining the slab and following fixed protection up, aiming for a crack system just right of the middle of the pillar.Pitch 2: up off the belay, steep, trending slightly to the left following weaknesses and sometimes cryptic, but solid, holds. Bela...[more] Browse More Classics in International
BETA PHOTO: West side of Gerbier
BETA PHOTO: Mont Aiguille looking towards Le Grand Veymont