After the lengthy approach to Les Cheserys yesterday, we opted for roadside today, so checked out La Joux. Accessed from the station of the same name, it’s a very pleasant 10 minutes stroll up to and along the Petit Balcon Sud.
The crag is in a very pretty spot and the views up to the Midi and Mt Blanc are, of course, stunning (though it’s looking a bit broody up in the big hills today!)
Sadly, we didn’t really think much to the climbing. Not a patch of the other Valley crags we’ve visited this trip. How Indiana Jane could possibly warrant 3* is beyond me and the other routes we did were disappointing. Here’s Helen pulling over the overlap on Les Animaux du Desert, 6a+
A two crag day was called for, so we stopped by Les Gaillands on the way back to the campsite. I wasn’t feeling too optimistic as I had vague recollections of polished rock on a roadside playground from a visit 25 years ago. First impressions only served to reinforce the memory
In fairness, there were a lot of people, many of them kids, getting a lot of enjoyment out of the place – just not much of a wildness experience. We persevered though, and sought out sector Frendo at the far left of the crag (still only 5 minutes walk). We had the whole place to ourselves and were really pleasantly surprised. I did La Batson, a two pitch 6a+, in one sapping 40m runout and thought it was outstanding (and more like 6b+!) Helen enjoyed the adjacent Lame de Rasoir, 6a. Probably worth another visit.