BEGINNING OF HOSTILITIES
Passage by the airport of Marseille to recover a charming correspondent of Argentina. First time in Europe for Ivana who is going to be the official outside witness of this Rock Trip. Having come especially for the occasion, she will follow the adventure for 3 months, failing to obtain a longer visa.
FALSE START !
As soon as we leave the airport we head towards the cliffs and it is not 15 minutes that we pass next to a departure of fire on the edge of the road of the calanques of Niolon! Cars are stopped, and people gaze at the spectacle, helpless before the flames springing from the cluster of dried thorns, fanned by the mistral (name of the wind), gaining ground! We stopped and decided to take the lead while waiting for the official reinforcements. Indeed SPYDY (my truck developed) holds more than 60L of water reserves. It is therefore with the shower head that we play firefighter apprentices ... 10 minutes after it is a success! The fire is totally mastered and it is by leaving that we cross the Jeep firemen ... Thin! We could have asked for a favor in exchange for our act ... as a permit to park at night in the park of the Calanques (Thing prohibited since its classification Natura 2000). In short, we continue the way ... after a relaxation in this charming calanque of Niolon. On the way to the ... CALANQUES !!
ALPILLES OR CALANQUES?
Given our visit to the airport of Marseille we take advantage of changing the itinerary before we even start. Being close to the sea, we lead the convoy in the direction of Marseille to test the mythical white limestone and be amazed in front of the delightful landscapes of the Calanques. What better way to focus on our newcomer from Argentina? We face the heavy heat installed and decide to start with a classic route strategically chosen to stay in the shade all day: the famous traverse "Bora Bora" coupled with the "Marie Jacqueline" in the brook of Morgiou. A rather wise choice to reveal the paradisiacal atmosphere that reigns in spite of a sweat pronounced on our fronts at the approach and especially during the crossing of Cape Morgiou in full sun.
Warned of the risk of falling ropes in the water when pulling the rappel, we arm ourselves with this good old technique of the fishing line that is attached to the end of the rope to manage a serene descent. But rather than taking only the coil of wire we prefer to bring it back with the fishing rod complete story to try our luck at the relays in order to get us out a few dorads!
5 HOURS AFTER
Despite the fact that the fishery has not been successful, the climbing has been excellent. It crosses all along, with slight ascents and other descending passages that will leave you memories! Especially if your leader has deemed useless to clip the bolt exposing you to a potential fall on the beautiful limestone salient! But hey, we tighten the rock became a bit greasy with time and the passage rehashed since its opening in 1974, and we avoid dropping ourself. We go out unhurt but emotionally we are drunks. Drunks with the exposure and liquid atmosphere that impose this route and with beers from the bar of the port of Morgiou met on the way back.
AND THE MISTRAL IS YOU ARRIVING?
You can not climb in the calanques of Marseille without making a spot over the Grande Candelle. It is not the culminating point of the calanques but the eminence of this summit brings us to the most beautiful view that one can have of this kingdom. We decide to go there by a very classic route "L'Arête de Marseille". It is accessed from the faculty of Luminy, but on this day there is a mistral to uproot the maquis. But is it wise to tackle the ascent of a ridge when gusts exceed 80 km / h? Well, this question, we had it in the way. And it was no longer a matter of backtracking after jumping from one pillar to another. Indeed the first length leads to the top of a spire and induces the climber to bound on the massif of the Grande Candelle by a jump of about 1m. According to the topo, the rating of the route does not exceed the 6th grade but the combination of an exposed atmosphere and recalcitrant squalls force us to jam the holds as we would in the 7th grade. After these windy emotions we take likewise the time to appreciate the summit which proves protected from the wind if you are lying down.
SUMMER WHERE ARE YOU?
The wind does not cease and conveys more and more clouds that come to wriggle on the calanques. The summer is still not concretely installed and it is in front of such a show that we take the initiative to raise the camp and reach a place where the weather is more mild! We therefore roar our engines and we take the direction of our first destination:
le Massif des Alpilles