Type: Sport, Aid, 500 ft
FA: unknown
Page Views: 112 total · 8/month
Shared By: kenr on Sep 13, 2018
Admins: Euan Cameron, Luc-514

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Description

The main climb is not one of the longer VF routes in this region. But there is an optional 2nd VF route of similar length which can be used for descent / return. It is carefully designed as a separate challenge of its own -- down-climbing -- less strenuous, but more thoughtful techniques, and a greater sense of exposure. If that sounds like what you want, save some time and energy for it. The combination of the two makes an interesting half-day.
. . . (several other VF routes not close by, but in the same Vallouise / Ailefroide valley: two very easy, but VF Vignoux has more difficulty, and lots of opportunity for free climbing moves with hands and feet directly on the rock).

. . . (several Sport climbing crags very close by VF Tournoux: same Parking, approach in same direction).

Only a small portion of the main upward VF (and almost none of the down-climb 2nd VF) can be climbed "free", because the rock tends to be slopy and lacking in positive holds, so grabbing the steep rungs is usually the only way to get up it.
. . . (Climbers looking for more challenge could try getting up some parts with only their hands using the rungs -- feet touching only the rock).

In a remote setting with nice views.

French via ferrata difficulty grade = AD (assez difficile)
. . . on a a scale of (F PD AD D TD ED).

. . . (the "length" given for this route does not include going west along the top or the descent via ferrata).

directions: From the bottom start (N44.8090 E6.5081) of the VF cable -- follow the cable. At the top of the cable (N44.8086 E6.5078), walk SW about 60 meters on a vague trail, first gentle up then gentle down, until reach a junction of vague trails (N44.8082 E6.5072). Continuing straight S, then curving around SE, then N, then NE, will eventually lead back to near the Parking.
If want to take on the separate special challenge of the down-climb VF route, instead turn R following signs ffor "VF Retour". About a 100 meters NW on vague track, then 30 meters SW to reach top start (N44.8085 E6.5056) of VF cable going downward.

Lots more detail see the English-language print guidebook
Via Ferratas of the French Alps, by Richard Miller (2014, Cicerone).

Location

Bottom start of via ferrata cable is around GPS latitude longitude approx (N44.8090 E6.5081).

driving: First get to Puy-Saint-Vincent and find the neighborhood "Les Alberts" (N44.8276 E6.4955). Then E + SE a short ways to the neighborhood "Les Pres" (N44.8248 E6.5007). Those averse to driving on narrow curvy roads could park there (but it's a long walk up to the climbing - or bike?).

Next follow signs for Col de la Pousterle. Narrow road, be careful and ready for vehicles coming in the other direction. Asphalt ends around (N44.8123 E6.5118), with Parking available there for those who don't want to try driving up narrow dirt/gravel sometimes steep. Said to be drivable usually with a normal low-clearance passenger vehicle. Just below north from the Col de la Poustere pass is the trailhead Parking (N44.8088 E6.5142).

hiking: Walk roughly West about 400 meters from highest Parking (N44.8088 E6.5142) on trail with some slight ups and downs until meet wide dirt road. Turn left (West) onto road, then about 100 meters downhill west from the high point on the dirt road. At (N44.8097 E6.5083) turn Left (SSW) onto trail marked with light-blue paint dots. Going straight soon gets into polished slippery little down-move, so likely better instead to make an immediate sharp left and go around the left side of the obvious rock. Then uphill about 50 meters to find the bottom start of the via ferrata cable roughly around (N44.8090 E6.5081).

- - > See on this Map

Protection

This route is protected by a steel cable (about 12 mm diameter) attached to the rock by means of steel posts inserted into the rock. Normally each climber wears a harness with a Via Ferrata kit attached. The Via Ferrata kit has two lanyards or leashes, each with an automatic-locking carabiner, and the lanyards/leashes are connected to the climber's harness through a shock-absorbing unit - (because unlike most situations with a fall during belayed rope-protected climbing, the impact force if the climber falls with a VF kit on a VF route might be very large).

warning: Even if the VF kit and VF cable are attached and working properly to prevent a falling climber from going all the way down to the ground, serious injury could easily result from a fall, because there are hard objects that can be hit with high impact: installed hardware such as steel rungs intended for Aid, the steel posts which attach the steel cable for Protection to the rock, protruding rock horns or ledges, or even another climber. Therefore . . .
Falling while correctly using a normal VF kit is a very bad idea. Each climber must be sure to have sufficient strength and skills and endurance to be sure never to take a fall. 

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