After a night in a campsite by Lac Leman
We continued our exploration of the cragging a few km back up the Rhone Valley near the town of Aigle. This is wine country, and I suspect rather expensive wine too (a former Swiss colleague once told me the reason you never find Swiss wine outside the country is because the Swiss drink it all, as it’s very good!)
Our first attempt to find a crag, Drapel, ended in full scale retreat as we nudged the van between leaning chalets and narrow stone-walled vineyard access roads, including deploying wedges, some big rocks and the air suspension to navigate a steep drop in the road. Thankful to have survived with the van unscathed, we switched objective to nearby Yvorne, which seemed to have a slightly less convoluted route. Park outside the fairytale Chateau Blanc and walk towards the Clos du Roque winery and follow what becomes a grassy track as it skirts above the vineyards (through jaw-droppingly lush scenery)…
… until this ends and you pick up a steep climbers path zigzagging up through the wood and between the avalanche defenses to arrive at the crag in about 20 minutes.
We’re back in limestone country here, and to be honest the crag was a good reminder of the wear and tear it suffers in comparison with the granite we’ve been enjoying for most of the last month. We headed to the far left end of the crag in the hope of finding a bit less polish, and did 3 6as: Le vent de la discord (tough!), Le feu de logis,
and La guerre du cru, and got sent packing by Instincto, 6c.
Here’s a shot of a local also having a bit of a struggle for grip
At that point, we downed tools and wound our way up into the hills to a fabulous van parking spot just above the ski resort of Leysin. You actually park in a quarry (Carriere des Chamois) which even has a few (albeit disappointing looking) routes in it, but the views over the valley (and to Mt Blanc again!) are spectacular!