OK, I know what you're thinking - climbing in Belgium? Multipitch climbing in Belgium?
Yes, there is multipitch rock climbing in Belgium and it is well worth a stop. On your way from the UK to the sunny crags of southern France? Live in Holland and want to grope some real stone? Look no further for Freyr is the place to be.
Located 90 minutes SE of Brussels, this collection of towers and buttresses host a heap of steep routes on fine pocketed limestone. Its very popular with Belgian, Dutch, and southern England climbers who hone their skills here on weekends before heading to Chamonix to tackle the Aiguilles. A 60m rope and 10-12 draws are all you need though some bring small wires to avoid the runouts.
Guidebooks: In English (and somewhat dated): Selected Rock Climbs in Belgium and Luxembourg by Chris Craggs, Cicerone Books ISBN: 1 85284 155 9 (available through Amazon.UK but not via US Amazon)
In French: Freyr Topo. Available at climbing shops in Belgium or at the Cafe Chamonix in Freyr.
In French and Free: check the Freyr Website (on links section of this page) for printable topos, etc.
Ratings, weather, etc.
The ratings are stiff - think Paradise Forks or the older routes on Mount Lemmon. Guidebooks give ratings under the French system and Chris Craggs' book includes English ratings as well.
The easy trade routes are as polished as anything you've seen (thereby increasing their challenge and worth) but the higher quality routes are on good rock with well maintained anchors.
Good weather: April-October. Some people have climbed well into November with no worries.
Excellent prinatble topos available on the links section of this page.
After 2 years of unsuccessfull tries by various climbers, Olivier Favresse is the first to climb Shingen (8b++, at Freyr), being the 6th climber to ever have sent the route. The route was previously the hardest at Freyr, untill Nicolas Favresse liberated Le Clou (8c).
Alpine Club Member?
Must belong to an Alpine Club to climb there (AAC, BMC, DAV, etc). Also, all topos are in French but the locals are pretty friendly and willing to provide beta.
Where to Stay
Great camping about 2KM south of the crags at Villatoile. Ask for directions at the Cafe Chamonix (top of the rocks). Free but no frills camping right across from the Cafe (on top of the crags).
If you prefer a B&B situation of Hotel, nearby Dinant is loaded with rooms in all price ranges.
How to get there
See attached maps
Rest Day Activities
Dinant is also a center or kayaking and mountain bking with several shops along the river offering cheap rentals.
Don't miss the Belgian Beer
Don't miss the great Belgian beer over at the Cafe Chamonix. A good pint or two of Grimbergen Dubbel will quench the thirst of a thirsty climber.
Other Nearby Belgian Crags
Marche Les Dames - along the Meuse river east of Namur. A nice collection of one pitch wonders in the shade. The trade routes are slick but its worth a look. Hundreds of routes and crowded on weekends.
Dave - south of Namur along the Meuse. A nice roadside crag with an equal portion of 2-3 pitch beginner routes and overhanging routes in the 6-7 range. Nice location if rain is expected.
Yvoir (Rocher Paradou). A few minutes south of Dave lies this nice slab along the Meuse. 20-25 routes on quality rock (and a porta-john installed by the local alpine club). Camping nearby in Yvoir.
New Guidebook in English!
The excellent new Falcon Guide, Rock Climbing Europe by Stewart M. Green offers a nice section on Freyr. Best of all it is in English with YDS ratings - very helpful.