Going home and Climbing in the Bourgogne

The day after our ski touring adventure in Chamonix, we set off in the direction of home, and decided that we would pop into the Bourgogne region, as there was a bit of climbing there that we could get done before dropping Colin off at Paris Airport. We pulled into Saffres that has a basic free campsite at the foot of the crag. Being in the van we could take advantage of the semi flat car park, rather than setting up camp on the hillside.

The next day we headed up to the climbs, now last time we were here, we only had a 50m rope and was only able to complete the routes of 25m or less, as well as this we were climbing at a lower grade. So in returning we had the option of quite a few more routes. That said as soon as we started climbing, the polish was in attendance on the route and the climbing was harder in the grade than we had experienced in Spain. The mix of polish and tough grades did not do too much for my ego, as I struggled up every route, but in a way so did everyone else!

That afternoon, we drove west, ending up in Avallon where we binged on WiFi at a McDonald’s. We parked at the same riverside park that we stayed at last time, as it was a really nice spot. The next morning we headed towards a crag we had not climbed at before, however on arrival we found that the car park had lots of smashed auto glass on the floor, so we headed just up the road to rocher du parc, where we had climbed previously. Now the big surprise here was just how polished it was, if I thought saffres was bad, this place was way worse. Colin led the first Climb, a 5b, and on my repeat of the route, I was slow due to trying to find an alternative route up the face to avoid the polish, probably making the route harder, but better than trusting the mess on the route. It’s a shame when a route is so Climbed and polished that its ruined and no longer becomes worthwhile.

The next route was a large crack and I led off, input was still polished but better than the other route. I found it good going until a mid section, where I could not find a hold, and ended up in a rough body position struggling to hold myself. Once I found something and got away again, i was soon at the top. I set up the top rope above a 6b which I failed leading on our previous visit. On the top rope I still stubbled on the last move before the bolt, however in the end I got the moves and made the top, although I’m not sure I’d beable to confidently do it on lead.

This crag is on the banks of a river and we sat beside this and had our lunch, watching the swans, cows and the occasional jet fighter plane rocket through the skies. It was nice to just relax away the afternoon next to the water, eventually we packed up and set off to Fontainebleau for the final climbing of our years trip! It’s crazy to think that this trip has only a couple weeks left, if that, I remember sitting by the river in Avalon looking forward to the months and months of travel ahead. This memory only seems a couple of months old not eleven! Oh well, it had to end some time and with the end of this trip, there are others already n the pipeline!


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