Climbing at Champeney

Friday 13 July
Climbing at Champeney
A cloudy start so we hang around for a while to see what the weather will do. When it seems OK we decide to go to Champeney with Mandy and Phil who are going via Ferrata-ing. We will go climbing on the same cliff beneath them. The valley is at the head of the road, and has views of the big mountain and glaciers all around. The climbing, approached by a zig-zag path from the car park, steep and short, is on black schist and a bit friable. I do a 4 plus and a 5a before Jim carries on with more climbs up to a 35 metre 6a plus. Around 3pm as arranged we can see Phil and Mandy down by the car and it starts to rain. (This wasn’t as arranged) A French pair beside us are raining debris and rock and ropes down onto us. We run back down the path and drive into the picturesque village at the head of the road. Its Auberge  invites us to linger with finely mown undulating seas of grass bedecked with pale umbrellas amongst dark coloured lupin spires. Here we order four pieces of the best bilberry tart, luscious and large, and coffees which arrive in multicoloured bright café ware. Back at the old house, there is the usual sorting and sitting on the balcony, watching clouds roll in and the rain start, which would last all night and into the next day. We play a singing game after dinner, which entertains us for hours. I’m sure the neighbours love it too.

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