La Jacoterie

Drifting homewards and looking for cragging opportunities to break the journey, we took a “lucky dip” in the Vertical Life app and came up with La Jacoterie in the Jura. If you haven’t tried the app, it’s probably the best “paid for” topo app I’ve found, the handy thing being you can search crags and get basic information for free, then just download a single crag for a quid or two (very useful if you are just passing through).

Anyway, La Jacoterie looked like a real winner on paper (or actually on screen): 5* crag (out of 5), sun trap and a gorgeous setting in the Pichoux gorge. Certainly attractive on arrival too; obvious as two bands of white spires and ridges on the hillside, like a set of mismatched teeth…

There’s a friendly cairn to mark the parking spot and the slightly unobvious way down

… which leads beneath the first (impressive but undeveloped) band of rock and then through a breche via a cable and a few metal handholds.

The suntrap certainly lived up to its billing: 12C at the car and shirts off at the crag. Unfortunately, I didn’t really take to the climbing: very smooth, unfeatured limestone (albeit unpolished).

Probably wasn’t helped by choosing to warm up on a 6a with an abandoned maillon on the last bolt (should have known better!) – I’ve rarely had my arse so resoundingly kicked! (first route you find arriving at the crag: “6a du pas” if you want to avoid it). La retour de la vipere was easier but more crumbly –

Not sure we’ll be rushing back, but maybe worth a look if you’re passing…

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