Climbing at the Via Mathis

Yoann FOULON ambassador TRANGOWORLD  realizes in the Verdon a large climbing route 7c, the Via Mathis on the Cliff of the Escales, Alps high Provence.

Presentation of the exit at Via Mathis

Date of climbing in Verdon

The outing was linked on 13 and 14 November 2016.

Climbing at the Via Mathis

Location of climbing exit

France / Verdon / Cliff of the Escales /

Or sleep

Gîte de l’Escalaes, 20 euros per night and per person

Topo du Verdon

CLIMBING IN THE VERDON

Style of climbing path

Large road equipped, slab, wall with holes.

Opening of the climbing lane

The track was opened in 2008 by Catsoyanis.

Approach to track

1min from the parking at the edge of the cliff, 1h for the reminders and to join the bottom of the way.

Time in the climbing lane

The estimated time for via Mathis is 7:30 am.

Length of Via Mathis

This way measures 360m.

Via Mathis listing

The quotations of the via Mathis are 7c max, 6c mandatory

Advice

The first part is very interesting and is very well equipped, go there even if you are limited in the level.

Climbing at the Via Mathis 2

Climbing in La Via Mathis

We have been fixing this weekend for a little more than a month with the Flo. The theme is climbing the way and we want to try ”  La Via Mathis ” a line that seems interesting both on the difficult side and on the originality. The small “hic” of our output is that it is organized for the second week of November, period of the arrival of the cold and often bad weather.

The cold is indeed at the rendezvous, the mercury (or rather the digital thermometer of the car of Flo) indicates -2 ° C when we arrived in the carpark of the cliff at 23h. The next day, the alarm clock set to ring at 6:30 am leaves us from our dreams and we discover a clear sky but a frozen ground to wish. The breakfast cooks us and after we dressed in our warmest clothes (thank you Trangoworld ) we leave to discover our project of the day. Before descending the reminders we cross some “highliners” who tumble between the meanders of the cliff, we will have a spectacle worthy of the greatest circuses throughout the day …

Start of Via Mathis

 

Arrived at the foot of the track we warmed up but the rock is still cold, the first length, a 6a hole crossed allows us to start the day all smooth.

The sun arrives quickly enough to accompany us from the following length. There, the tone is given, we go from one notch in difficulty, and the tightening of the small “croungnes” without feet finished waking us, climbing is technical and we say: “ok it will be serious.”

The next length is the crux of the line, this is a 7c, it is the most beautiful length of the track for who likes rock climbing. It begins with a section conti on holes and rulers to finish with a very athletic finger latches. I feast in this length or it feels bad everywhere but we get to grab movement after movement a few meters. I am disappointed to have fallen a move before the ferry, but happy to have fought a good battle.

Flo starts in the following length in 6c, the rating may be unimpressive no one sings fleurette, climbing always remains demanding and requires a certain concentration. A last length in 6b + leads us to the median vire, arriving there a tawny vulture takes off just a few meters from me, to rub shoulders of so large birds so close remains a magic moment.

In the afternoon, a series of 6c / 7a

Noon, we are happy to be in the timing, we can continue the way without fear of being caught by the early night of this mid-autumn. To add unevenness to the route, the rest of the track starts at the bottom of the big median turn.

A beautiful series of 6c / 7a makes us quickly take the height above the clear blue Verdon. The limestone is often riddled with holes and you sometimes have to test several to choose the best or the least worst, play can quickly make you climb the bottles.

In the middle of the afternoon the sun begins to lose ground and the shadow of the cliff opposite nibbles little by little our wall. In the length leading to the tunnel Florian is made to catch up by this cold shadow, the atmosphere between the contrasts of lights is unique and well prints the retina.
Relay in the millennial Cade

THE LENGTH OF THE TUNNEL

The most incredible length is that of the tunnel, it is a question of entering a hole which crosses the cliff by the inside to come out 30 to 40m more to the right. Progression is by crawling. On leaving this hole I cry to Flo: “I’m not a mole! “Yes, caving is really not for me, beurk.

Climbing at the Via Mathis 3
A short 6a takes us quickly to the last 7a. It is a length in a gray slab riddled with holes, one must place oneself to pass from one hollow to another with a very beautiful gas under the feet. It is really for lengths like that that I climb, to feel the unique thrill that the mixture of emptiness and concentration brings.
Florian joins me quickly at the summit under a flaming sunset light and the majestic flight of three griffon vultures that make us understand that they are the masters of the place.

The next day, in the gorges of Verdon

The next day, we want to climb again in the beautiful gorges of Verdon but the bad weather and the striking cold forces us to pack up.
We nevertheless stop on the way back to climb on the very charming rind of Venasque. The climbing happens rather on walls pouring out big catches, which is perfect for our sore feet of the slabs of Verdon.

We left the Verdon to escape the cold but as we arrive at the site of Venasque the sun already leaves the cliff, so it is still under winter temperatures and a certain moisture that we end the weekend. Fortunately, only a few ways are enough to tire us and we are not slow to return to put us warm in our fold Héraultais.

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