Quartzite Climbing… But not as you know it!

Quartzite is synonymous (at least for this Gogarth devotee) with the climbing on Holy Island. Others will think of Arapiles or (more unlikely!) of Kamouraska https://rockaroundtheworld.co.uk/2019/10/11/kamouraska-carling-dont-make-crags-but/

It’s a great rock for climbing on: lots of positive, incut holds; many jugs; resistant to polish; and surprisingly solid despite some appearances to the contrary (and despite the experiences you might have had on Red Wall!), and there’s a broad swathe of the stuff spanning the Durance Valley around the village of Prelles. This is a great complement to the predominant limestone (not to mention the conglomerate on Mont Dauphin and the granite of Ailefroid that make the area such a great spot!).

We spent a few days enjoying the routes at Rocher Baron and Casse de Prelles, both of which have featured before on the blog, (use the “Search” box to find more) so here are some photos and highlights.

A busy Sunday on the sunny East Face of Rocher Baron – Families and picnics
Helen leading La Siesta au Soleil
Reviens Leon
Who is that bronzed Adonis?
Mike cruising Eau, 6a+
Me on Au Jour du Grande Voyage, 6c, on the sunny, steep south face
Following the sun, and avoiding the crowds, around onto the west face of Rocher Baron – new steel cables on the scrambling section have replaced the rag-tag fraying ropes since last year.
The west face – a good mix of 6s high above the main valley
Helen setting up for the crux sequence of Question d’Adherence – no question of her not sticking for a fine 6c send!
Helen cruising to the chains on Question d’Adherence, 6c
Casse de Prelles – Les Ressauts, upper tier of the main crag (with the mid-week locals, avoiding the school group on the sector below)
Mike topping out on La Pluie
Me on Energie Positive – fun and steady for 6b, with only one crimpy section
End of the road (trip) for Mike as he heads home – Celebrating a great week with the excellent CitroFacile, 6.5% at Le BrewPub in Argentiere

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