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Jonte, Gorge de la
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Jonte, Gorge de la

 
Jonte, Gorge de la

Page Type: Canyon

Location: Cevennes, France, Europe

Object Title: Jonte, Gorge de la

 

Page By: kletterwebbi

Created/Edited: Apr 5, 2004 / Feb 6, 2010

Object ID: 152485

Hits: 6304 

Page Score: 79.78%  - 11 Votes 

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In Memory of Stefan "kletterwebbi" Weber

A note from the SP staff
Stefan Weber, the member we all used to know from his climbing pseudonym kletterwebbi, died on May 28th 2004 in southern France at the age of 37.

Stefan joined SP early on in 2002 and contributed a number of excellent pages and routes to this site. He was an accomplished climber excelling in difficult alpine and technical routes. The Dolomites, especially the area around Gröden / Val Gardena were special to him, as it was his old ancestral home.

kletterwebbi was always willing to share his knowledge and experience with other climbers, mainly here on SP, but also on other sites. He contributed his IT expertise as webmaster of his local section of the German Alpine Club, where he also engaged in leading trips for fellow members. Besides his climbing and mountaineering activities he was a musician, a composer of contemporary music. Stefan will be greatly missed by us all.

This page will be kept in honor of kletterwebbi, one of SP's most talented, knowledgeable members, and without a doubt, one of our greatest fellow mountaineers.

The picture was taken on the summit ridge of Lyskamm.

Overview

The Gorge de la Jonte (engl. Jonte gorge) is a slightly unknown climbing spot at southern france close to the well known Gorge du Tarn at the Cevennes-mountains. It offers some very good climbing possibilities in a fantastic setting.

Above the small village of Le Rozier at the junction of the rivers Tarn and Jonte the Gorge de la Jonte goes up direction NE for about 20 kilometres to Meyrueis. The Jonte is a tributary of the Tarn rising on Mont Aigoual above Meyrueis. On the heights either side of the Gorge de la Jonte are the so called Grands Causses. At a height of 1000m, Causse Mejean opens onto a vast steppe of yellow grassland as fascinating as the desert. Its landscapes dotted with typical hamlets of shingled roofs and shepherds huts rise and fall as far as the eye can see.

Both sides of the gorge consist of big rock cliffs up to 300 m height. One characteristic thing are the Vases, rock formations looking like vases growing on a small shaft from the ground (one of the climbing sectors is calles "Sector des Vases").

Getting There

Trailhead in all cases is Le Rozier. This beautiful, small village at the junction of Tarn and Jonte is located at the Cevennes mountain range at the south of france. See map for Details. Le Rozier can be reached as follows (the following descriptions are some possible examples, there are lots of other possibilities):

From N (Paris, international airport): Follow the A71 motorway to Clermont-Ferrand an continue at the A 75 motorway to Millaud (to avoid the expensive road fees use the country roads). From Millaud continue to Le Rozier.

From E (Germany, Swiss, Rhone-valley etc.): Drive to Lyon at the Rhone-valley, then follow the motorway A72 to St. Etienne. From there follow narrow country roads to Le Puy and reach the motorway A 75. Contionue at this to Millaud and finally to Le Rozier.

From S (mediterraneum): From the coast (e.g. Montpellier) follow the (not completed) motorway A 75 to Millaud and continue to Le Rozier.

From W (spain, Toulouse, ...): Try to reach the motorway A75 or A 71 and continue as described above.


From Le Rozier follow the narrow road (D 996) to Meyrueis up to the different parking lots:

P0 : parking area at Le Rozier for the sector Révérend and Capluc
P1 : below the sector Cathédral there are different parking possibilities
P2 : below the sector Roche Décollée
P3 : below the sector Licorne

Finally its possible to leave the car at Le Rozier and take a mountainbike (or walk) to reach the crags, this will neeb about 30 minutes (by foot).


Red Tape

The south border of the Gorge de la Jonte is closed for climbing.


When To Climb

All over the year, best time ist spring and autumn. The most S-face routes are very hot in summer.


Camping

Different campgrounds at Le Rozier, Milau and at the Gorge du Tarn. Best choice is one of those at Le Rozier.


Mountain Conditions

For a weather forecast try www.meteo-france.com. For the close-by village of Millau there is a local forecast.

Also at the homepage of Le Rozier can be found some informations.


General Climbing Informations

Rock Quality
The rock is perfect for climbing: a mixture of limestone and sandstone provides a very good rock quality with a a lot of big holds. Only a few areas of broken rock.

protection
The protection is good with bolts, but the distances between the bolts are sometimes BIG with only few possibilities to place additional gear. There is also some adventure area (no bolt, only pitons or nothing, so bring nuts, friends etc.). Those are clearly marked in the topo guide ("Terr d'Av"). The usage of a helmet shoulb be obvious ...

Type of climbing
The climbing is every time steep and needs some (or even a lot of) power. Most climbs are face climbs but there are alos some cracks and even a off-width (mjam ... ). The demanding protection together with the high and the steepness makes the climbing often a bit challenging for the leader but gives great satisfaction too.

There are single pitch and multi pitch (up to 6 pitches) routes from 4c up to 8b+ (5.8 up to 5.14 a). There are less climbing areas with "easy" routes (up to 5c) of the quality of those at the Gorge de la Jonte.


Routes & Climbing sectors

There are lots of real great, bolted climbing routes at the Gorge de la Jonte. The area is diveded into 16 main sectors with about 300 different routes, many of them with 4 or more pitches.

1 Capluc: Not a real sector but a huge bolder with three secondary routes and an easy and often crowded tourist path.

2 Révérend

Highth: 90 m
Number of routes: 40
Difficulties: 4c - 8a, the easier routes are not as agood as at the other sectors
Orientation: S, E

3 Ravin des Echos

Highth: 90 m
Number of routes: 5
Difficulties: 4c - 7a, good easy routes (4c, 5c)
Orientation: SSW

4 Cathédrale

Highth: 90 m
Number of routes: 12
Difficulties: 5a - 8b+, some good easy and some very hard routes
Orientation: S, SSW

5 Les Vases: many good routes of all difficultuies, some fantastic but demanding 5c routes. The route "Les femmes et les grimpeurs d'abord", rated 5c, is definitivly a MUST !

Highth: 90 m
Number of routes: 72
Difficulties: 5c - 7c+
Orientation: S, W

6 Roche Décollée: long, steep, exposed, very sustained and VERY good, go for it. The "Arête ouest" is a must.

Highth: 130 m
Number of routes: 9
Difficulties: 6a - 8a
Orientation: S, E

7 Diagonal du Gogol: some good, short, well bolted baseclimbs and some good, long routes, very recommended is "Le Diagonal du Gogol" (6a+). Also some very good multi pitch routes up to 5c.

Highth: 90 m
Number of routes: 20
Difficulties: 4c - 6b
Orientation: S

8 Bitard Some adventure area but also some good multi pitch routes. Recommendations are "Le décline des trop gros" (4 pitches up to 6c+) and "Julie la frousse" (4 pitches upt o 6a)

Highth: 110 m
Number of routes: 18
Difficulties: 5b - 7b+ and a A3 aid climb called "little big wall"
Orientation: S, SSW

9 Air du Temps: That beats everything! Fantastic sector with some BIG routes. Recommended are all routes but especially "L'air du temps" (6 pitches up to 6b) and "Gallo loco" (4 pitches up to 6a, do it, do it, do it ...).

Highth: 130 m
Number of routes: 15
Difficulties: 6a - 7c
Orientation: S

10 Fusée: An other of the BIG ones ... Long, steep, exhausting multi pitch routes. Recommendations (for example) are "Keep cool Raoul" (6 pitches up to 6c+) and "Fais caf c'est dur" (4 pitches up to 6c)

Highth: 130 m
Number of routes: 10
Difficulties: 6a - 7b
Orientation: S

11 Arcadie: Some classic, demanding routes, not so many bolts ...

Highth: 90 m
Number of routes: 9
Difficulties: 6a - 7b
Orientation: S

12 Licorne: Some hard baseclimbs (ca. 7a), some longer routes and also some adventure area without bolts (nuts, friends, ...)

Highth: 70 m
Number of routes: 28
Difficulties: 5c - 8a
Orientation: S

13 Le Truel: Not as high as the other sectors. But some good one pitch routes.

Highth: 50 m
Number of routes: 25
Difficulties: 6a - 7c
Orientation: S, E

14 Body Building: a curious, big boulder close to the road with (surprise !) exhausting, overhanging routes. Worth to have a look at.

Highth: 15 m
Number of routes: 6
Difficulties: 6c - 8a
Orientation: S

15 Parking des Vases, Bloc Déversant: boulder blocks close to the road (but who will climb those with such a neighbourhood ... ?)

Highth: 12 m
Number of routes: 12
Difficulties: 5c - 7b+, mainly 6a
Orientation: -

16 Meyrueis: some smaller sectors close to the village Meyrueis with many easy routes.

Highth: 70m
Number of routes: 30
Difficulties: 4c - 7c+
Orientation: S, SE

NOTE: all recommendations are from myself (Kletterwebbi), I climbed all of those routes. Someone else may give other suggestions.

Guidebook

Topo de la Jonte, Club alpin francais, section causses et cévennes, one will get this topo guide at the shops in Le Rozier, Peyreleau etc. The sales of this topo guide goes directly into the equippment of the crags.

Vultures

The Gorge de la Jonte is the home of a population of Vultures (Gypaetus barbatus, Bearded Vulture) . This vulture is living in mountain areas, have a weight up to 7 kg and a wingspan up to 2,7 m. There are about 200 birds right now at the area. While climbing one of the exposed, steep routes of the valley there are many of those vultures fying around the rocks. And sometimes there is a big rush - and one of the vultures is gliding majestic close to the climber ... perhaps the bird is hungry !

Roquefort

Close to the Gorge de la Jonte there is the village Roquefort. At this village the famous Roquefort-chees, a blue mold cheese, is produced. The Roquefort-chees is produced of sheep milk and a special mold (Penicillium roqueforti). The only place on earth where this chees can be produced are some deep caves at the Combalou-mountain close to the village of Roquefort. It's one of the top french delicacies, often copied but none of the copies have ever reached the quality of the original.

External Links

  • Roquefort
    The village of Roquefort
  • Societe
    dairy of the agricultural cooperative society
  • Papillon
    The other big producer of Roquefort chees
  • Le Rozier
    Homepage of the small village of Le Rozier. This is trailhead for most activities at the Gorge de la Jonte.

Images

Easy but very airy and very...Gorge de la Jonte - Sector...My wife fighting with the...Climbing at the steep S-face...Gorges de la JonteGorge de la Jonte - sector...The climbing area of the...
Gorge de la Jonte - sector...The Gorge de la Jonte is...