This page contains information about Chateauvert, where to stay, where to climb and not least how to get there.
Most of us flew to Marseilles where had a rented car waiting. From there we drove via Aix en Provence to Brignoles, from where you simply follow the signs to Chateauvert which, by the way, is not the largest place in the world...
The easiest and best is to stay at "Domaine de la Reparade", an old wine yard that has been restored and now serves as a hostel or "gite" in French. There you'll find spacious apartments for 2 - 8 persons. The price is somewhere around FF 400/person and week (Christmas 1998). The phone number is +33-4.94.77.01.11, and YES the guy speaks English.
When it comes to climbing shops the south of France is underdeveloped and in
the Chateauvert area there are none what so ever... Hence it might be a good
idea to bring enough chalk... The closest shop is "Les trois mousqetons" in
Aix en Provence, about 1h drive from Chateauvert.
Rumors say there are shops in Nice and Marseilles but they might be hard to find.
The KLAAN was there in December/January and found that, since the crag is more or less south east facing, it's a good time to climb as long as the weather is good. It's quite likely that it gets pretty hot there in the summer...
The guidebook for Chateauvert is called "Topo-Guide d'Escalade du Vallon
Sourn" and is mainly in French. It's very good how ever and has among other
things a "quality grading" featuring all the routes makes it very easy to
pick the best routes.
Here you can order the guidebook. You can also buy it at the mayor's office in Correns.
A French site about the area you can find here.
Chateauvert offers slightly overhanging climbing on large comfortable holds. Lots of holes and cool formations to put both hands, feet and bodies in. When it comes to grades there are truly "climbing für alle": French grades
Note that many of the best routes are very long (up to 40 meters), which
means it's a good idea to bring long ropes as well as preparing by training
some endurance before you go there.
Here are a few routes that we recommend: