Exploring the Ardèche

Looking across the old course of the Ardèche river at Pont d'Arc

Unfortunately there was no sport climbing for me last weekend, but I did get out for a little outing with the family. We drove into the Ardèche gorge itself and took a quick look at Dent la Rez, which was helpful for getting my bearings and better orientated with the area.

In the gorge

The obvious destination was the town of Vallon Pont d’Arc and the nearby Pont d’Arc itself, a magnificent natural rock arch, which was created when the Ardèche river eroded and finally broke through the neck of the meander.

The natural rock arch of Pont d'Arc

Standing at river level, the eye is continually drawn skyward by the cliff faces of limestone. As I did so, it was hard not to wonder where the rock climbing routes were. In fact, the whole area is full of outcrops, gorge walls and clean, blanched limestone – a veritable climber’s paradise.

Pick your line and climb...


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