Chamonix Valley cragging – La Joux and Les Gaillands

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.

One response to “Chamonix Valley cragging – La Joux and Les Gaillands

  1. Hi Dom – Cham hey – well after a fantastic – Med Weather Wednesday in the White Peak – it’s pissing down and windy here today ……. So in spite of your ‘broody look’ higher up to Mt B, I’d make the best of it for as long as you can……. Shame you can’t nip up to La Tour for a beer with Frank and Cath, but they don’t arrive til end of Dec……..

    Take care JP

    PS – Just getting some work to do from Roger so stand by for mither from us……..

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