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Ceuse

International > Europe > France > Southern Alps

Description

Limestone... Duh, Amazing routes...Check, Longish approach...Yes. Can be crowded on weekends, but seclusion can be found if that is what you are after. Singular brilliant cliff band crowning a hilltop. Face curves from West to South to East so sun and shade can be had pretty much anytime you want, to cold or wet in the dead of winter, the top of the cliff is a ski slope. Summer follow the shade, late fall follow the sun. The cliff is divided into about 12 different sectures and each has its own character, some are lower angle and more boken, others sport stunning stripes of blue and orange, some are just plain huge and others quite dark and intimidating.

Great routes from 5.10 to as hard as you can climb. Single and multi pitch sport climbing. A rack of 15 or more draws and 70m rope will do on most routes, of note the guide book only mentions if routes are longer than 35m so if you have a 60m rope beware.

Because of the long approach many climber stash their rope, QD's, shoes and harnesses under the boulders at the cliff they plan on climbing at the next day or a favorite spot, and just hike up with clothes food and water. This has lead to problems in the States most notably with bouldering pads but at the time I visited it seemed like standard practice.

Getting There

Make your way to Gap. Then head up the hill to Sigoyer and up D219 toward the hill top cliff. There is camping on the right, Les Guerins and a gite/auberge (mini hotel/bed and breakfast) on the left and finally parking at the Col Des Guerins at the end of the road.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

A colorful and motivational topo of the different sectors of Céüse. I had fun making it.
[Hide Photo] A colorful and motivational topo of the different sectors of Céüse. I had fun making it.
Morning light on the Ceuse massif.
[Hide Photo] Morning light on the Ceuse massif.
Hiking to the crag
[Hide Photo] Hiking to the crag
Céüse as seen from the summit of Petit Céüse.
[Hide Photo] Céüse as seen from the summit of Petit Céüse.
View from Gap as Céüse clears up after a summer evening thunderstorm.
[Hide Photo] View from Gap as Céüse clears up after a summer evening thunderstorm.
Sommerfugl, Ceuse<br>
<br>
Photo by Thomas Michalsen
[Hide Photo] Sommerfugl, Ceuse Photo by Thomas Michalsen
view from the crag
[Hide Photo] view from the crag
obligatory full frontal shot
[Hide Photo] obligatory full frontal shot
parking lot at the 'col de guerins'
[Hide Photo] parking lot at the 'col de guerins'
the fountain near the parking lot at the 'col de guerins'
[Hide Photo] the fountain near the parking lot at the 'col de guerins'
Sunset on a summer night
[Hide Photo] Sunset on a summer night
Ceuse at sunrise from lac de pelleautier
[Hide Photo] Ceuse at sunrise from lac de pelleautier

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] I visited with my wife (gf at the time) in the later part of October 2001 and we had great weather. Climbing in a t-shirt in the sun and a sweatshirt or jacket to belay. It rained one day while we were there and it happened to be on a rest day anyway so it was fine by me. I know that climbing can be good as early as May and even though it can be hot in summer you can always find shade though it may dictate what you can get on.

I would go back in a heartbeat and hopefully will at some point. Definitely worth a couple of weeks for the traveling climber. Jan 7, 2009
Ian G.
PDX, OR
[Hide Comment] If you stay at the gite, be sure to bring all the food you need as there isn't a real grocery store nearby (Monoprix anyone?).

Also...the approach. Stashing your gear is highly recommended. The approach to Ceuse has become the approach to which I judge all other approaches. It ain't no joke.

Ah yes, if you want to lighten your load, bring a few chlorine tabs for the waterfall water. I saw dudes just drinking it straight up, but my gf had the tabs, so...

Best sport climbing on earth...period. Apr 20, 2009
[Hide Comment] Does anyone know the name of the gite at Ceuse? Thanks Jun 30, 2011
Zach Alberts
Gap, Hautes-Alpes, France
[Hide Comment] The Gite is called 'la grange aux loupes' (lagrangeauxloups.net ) The camping is called 'camping les guerins' (campinglesguerins.com/)
There are two parking possibilities to approach the cliff. The first is a small, newly paved parking lot just across from the gite. This accesses the less steep, but a little bit longer approach trail. The other is just a little higher the bigger parking at the 'col des guérins'. This accesses the steeper, more technical, shorter approach. There is a fountain near the parking lot at the 'col des guérins'. This water is really cold and good and well worth filling up your water bottles here. The locals have threatened to shut off the fountain because of climbers bathing and washing their dishes in it. As part of the international climbing community, let's make a good impression and only use this water source for drinking.

Ceuse is in a protected area, so camping anywhere in the vicinity besides the campground is illigal. Sleeping in your car at the col des guérins is also 'technically illigal', although it seems to be unenforced at the moment. Also be aware that there are no bathrooms at either of the parking areas nor at the cliff, so it is best to do your buissness beforehand...

Ceuse is one of the most beautiful climbing areas in the world, please help keep it that way and enjoy! Feb 21, 2012
[Hide Comment] Does anyone know if you need a car to get to cause if you are staying at the gite? or is it close enough to walk? or is transportation available? Tghanks! May 4, 2014
[Hide Comment] One would walk from the gite Aug 9, 2014
Zach Alberts
Gap, Hautes-Alpes, France
[Hide Comment] The new guidebook which came out last year only mentions if the routes are longer than 40m, i guess they expect everyone to have an 80m rope. Probably 90% of the routes can be done with a single 70m...but with that said, several routes (especially the new ones on the grande face) in the new guide are between 35m and 40m high and not noted in the text. So be careful, even if you have a 70m rope. Jan 12, 2015
PaulOnTheWall
Whitehall, PA
[Hide Comment] Stirs up images of Patrick Edlinger dancing on these beautiful walls. Feb 19, 2015
[Hide Comment] What sort of daytime temps should one expect in early June? Mar 11, 2017
[Hide Comment] For those seeking some newer routes with more friendly bolting there are about ten sectors to the right or north that have great routes. They are not covered by the Rockfax book, but are in the Ceuse only book. The newer routes are also less polished. Jun 18, 2017
Abel.Richards
Waukesha, WI
[Hide Comment] I am an American student studying a few hours away from Ceuse until December 2017. If you are in the area and looking for a climbing partner please feel free to text me at +1-262-844-0301. Thanks! Sep 18, 2017