El Gringo Loco
Nice little three-pitch route up excellent rock, easy to get to as it is located close to the Belvedere Dent d'Aire shortly after La Carel. El Gringo Loco is a good introduction to the longer more exposed climbs in the Verdon.
From the north: take the A6 motoway to Avignon and take the N100 for Apt, then Manosque and Riez. From here take the D56 to Moustiers, and continue along the D952 to La Palud.
From the south: from Nice take the N85 to Castellane, and continue along the D952 for La Palud. Shortly before entering the village turn left along the D23, the panoramic Route des Cretes, which leads to the Belvedere de la Carelle lookout and the routes.
Park at the Belvedere Dent d’Aire and use the abseil station. Two 45 abseils lead to the massive terrace and the start of the route.
Start as for Petit Chat, after circa 8m break left. Three 30m pitches, perfectly equipped, twin bolt belays.
12 quickdraws, slings for the belays, prussiks for the abseils, helmet.
There are three other interesting routes with similar difficulties in this sector (Les Cantonier 6a+ max, Dolce Vita 6a+ max, Petit Chat 6a+ max).
The Verdon requires perfect abseiling technique. Never forget to tie a knot in the end of the ropes, and tie into prussik loops, prior to abseiling.
"Escalade au Verdon" by P. Légier, F. Ristori and A. Jam
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