Rock climbing in Tunisia
French climber Youri Picart talks about a a recent climbing trip to Tunisia which resulted in the development of a series of different crags close to Djebel Zaghouan.
"At the Grenoble University Club for Climbing and Mountaineering (Gucem) we receive a good deal of foreign students who are eager to keep on climbing once they return to their country. Our friend "Slim" was one of these, but bad luck: he lives in Tunisia where there was no sport climbing.
In truth there are plenty of quality cliffs in Tunisia, many of which boast amazing rock in even more astounding places but up to last June, only three routes had been established there (at Djebel Ressas, near Tunis). These are protected with pegs and ascend rock which is not particularly stable, and no sport routes existed prior to our trip.
We needed no further input from Slim and quickly devised our plan with fourteen fellow climbers: to bolt new sport climbs of all difficulties at Djebel Zaghouan, circa 1 hour south of Tunis, so that all Tunisians can enjoy a safe climbing playground.
With the support of the local caving club, of Petzl and of the French CNDS (National Centre for Sports Development), we succeeded in the following: twenty-five new sport climbs (from 4a to 8a), and four multi-pitch routes (from 6a to 6c). Furthermore, on this occasion the first Tunisian rock climbing club was founded in Zaghouan.
These routes mark an important beginning and the local people, as well as us, would be proud and happy to provide you with all the information you require should you wish to go there and repeat our routes!"
by Youri Picart
The first ascentionists
Marc Bouchet, Slim Bouguerra, Jeremy Dréant, Etienne Favre, Anne Heng, Sylvain-Lionel Houville, Thomas Hubaud, Sebastien Letout, Antoine Martin-cocher, Jonathan Mercier, Youri Picart, Régis Pierquin, Manu Tessanne, Claude Vigier
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