Gorges du Tarn
About Gorges du Tarn:
The beautiful Gorges du Tarn is a major area in Europe, on a par with Buoux, Ceuse or Verdon. Only a tiny fraction of the rock in gorge has been developed so far but that still equals over 400 routes with new secteurs being added all the time. And most of the route here would probably be worth 3 stars in any other climbing area.
The rock in the Tarn is heavily featured limestone, often overhanging and covered with pockets and so thus very climbable. The style of climbing often requires more stamina than power (though there are exceptions). There are climbs of all lengths though most pitches are 15 metres and upward and in the higher grades there are number of pitches that are between 50 metres and 70 metres long.
There's not a large number of easy routes in the Tarn and for an extended trip you probably want to climb at least 6b or 6c. If you climb 7a or above there are many high quality routes to go at.
Climbing on one side of the gorge is completely banned to protect birds. The gorge is home to massive but shy vultures which can often be seen circling high overhead.
The routes are well equipped with good bolts although sometimes more spaced than other areas. For trad climbers who still think sport climbing is simply gymnastics there are some routes with 60' fall potential.
The best times of year are spring and autumn as the summer will be too hot. However the crags generally get both sun and shade during the day so you can choose accoriding your desired temperature. Several crags stay dry even when raining and most of the walls dry out fast after rain making the Tarn gorge a possible venue in bad weather.
The Gorge du Tarn is a popular tourist destination and so there is a wide range of accomadation there. This ranges from a number of campsites in the villages of Les Vignes and Le Rozier (some of these have trailers for rent too), Gites (small houses or flats), or even free camping in the pullout just past the Planet Causse secteur.
Finally don't forget the Gorge du Jonte. This is a similar, adjacent valley which joins the Tarn Gorge at the village of Le Rozier and it has many amazing crags too especially multi-pitch routes.
|Nearest town or city:||Millau|
Get to Millau and the Tarn Gorge is well signposted from there. Its a major tourist destination.
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