Leysin – Pierre de Moelle

The main Leysin crags are accessed by a cable car followed by a bit of a hike,

and with the weather looking a bit iffy to start with we decided not to chance it. However, we wanted one more day of high(ish) climbing, so went to check out Pierre de Moelle. This is set at around 1800m and billed as “ideal for family outings; in an idyllic setting”, and turned out to be just that.

Just beyond Sepey, a narrow road turns off at one of the hairpins and leads to PdeM in about 10km of winding but well maintained single track tarmac. Park at the col, in front of the hotel / restaurant PdeM, and follow a gravel track up the hill on its right, with occasional signs

and red and white flashes, reaching the crag after about a mile in about 25 minutes.

No, not that impressive buttress on the left (though there are a few multi-pitch 4s up the more broken middle buttress) … the crag is actually situated just off the path, about 100m wide and reaches a height of about 10am to 15m, and for some inexplicable reason it has a cut-out climbing cow bolted to it!

What it lacks in stature, it makes up for in the quality of the rock, not to mention the situation. Immaculate white slabby limestone with really unusual vertical flutings. About 30 routes from 4a to 6b, with a lot of 5s. Again, topo and access description available in free app. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=nomadsystems.carnetEscalade

It’s also a great suntrap! Noisillon, 5b

Corneille, 5b – I said there was a crazy climbing cow 😉

… and Hulotte, 5a, with some amazing flutings

All topped off with distant views of the Aiguille Vert and the Dru, about 50km away

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