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Corsica climbing: Anaelle Baconnier at Monte, perhaps the most beautiful crag on the island?
Photo by Thierry Souchard
Corsica climbing: Seb Curnier tackling the large overhangs in sector Mescaline
Photo by Thierry Souchard
Corsica climbing: Cédric Specia in the Francardo cave, a historic sector with difficult climbs
Photo by Pascal Tournaire
Corsica climbing: Adrien Boulon in action at his sector 3G près close to Bavella. Top quality rock climbing!
Photo by Thierry Souchard

Corsica: summer rock climbing on the island’s best crags

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Sport climbing in Corsica: the best summer crags to climb in the shade and avoid the sweltering heat. By Thierry Souchard and Maurizio Oviglia

Every summer I receive dozens of messages from climbers heading to Corsica for their holidays: where can escape the heat and go climbing? Are there any places in the shade? Where can I purchase your guidebook? It’s true, at the request of the publisher Versante Sud in 2000 I did write a climbing guidebook to Corsica. Now though there’s no way you can lay your hands of it, it’s been out of print for years. In the meantime though the local Corsicans have published their own, up-to-date, guidebook to the island’s sports crags and multi-pitch climbs, not only in French but also translated into English. So why not direct this question to one of the most competent authors of the Corsica guidebook, Thierry Souchard? Here is his answer, with all the latest updates. For all other information about the guidebooks and how to order them check out escalade.corse.topo.free.fr and their Facebook page.
(Maurizio Oviglia)


Climbing in Corsica in summer
by Thierry Souchard

On average, every summer is warmer than the previous one and next year will probably be even hotter. Ice cream, fresh drinks and and beer sellers are very happy about this, but not us climbers who are desperate for cooler temperatures (even if they also like to eat ice cream, have some french drink and cool beers). So there’s only one solution: find crags in the shade! And in Corsica you can find a climbing paradise. Here is a list of the best summer crags, when it gets too warm to climb elsewhere.

Bastia Area
E Torre: Shade from 11:00, short approach. Grade range 6a+ - 6b+
U Pignu – A Serra: Choose which face according to the sun. Grade range 5c - 6b
U Pignu – Face à la mer: Shade from 11:00, short approach. Grade range 6a+ - 6c
U Pignu – U Topu: Very small crag. Great to work a route. Grade range 7a+ - 8a
U Tipponu (best summer spot): Shade until 15:00. Technical slab climbing. Although you park at the foot of the cliff, you have to endure the noise of the road nearby. Grade range 5c - 6b
Monte: Shade until 13:00. Maybe the best crag of the island! Pumpy climbing, slightly overhanging. Grade range 7a - 8a+

Balagne (North-West Corsica, near Calvi)
Bonifatu – Le Bloc: Shade until 11:00. Short approach. Enjoy the fresh river. 7 routes. Grade range 5a - 6a, 7b
Bonifatu - Secteur Melaghja: Shade from 15:00. Multi pitch routes (3 to 5 pitches) + a dozen single pitch climbs. The river flows at the foot of the cliff. Grade range 5c - 6b
La Bibli: Shade from 12:00, short approach, the foot of the crag is just 5 meters from the sea! (Attention, the routes are short and most of them are trad climbing). Grade range 5c - 6c
Suare: The sport crag at Balagne! The approach is a little bit long but your are certain to find a cool breeze at the sector la Brèche. 2 sectors:
La brèche (best summer spot): in the shade the whole day. Grade range 5c - 6b
Le Toit et Le Dévers: in the shade in the morning. Grade range 6b - 7a

Portu Area
Beach of Portu: Shade until 15:00/16:00. Short approach and by the sea! Grade range 3 - 6c
La Lonca: Shade until 14:00/15:00 (and all day on the harder routes). River 5 minutes from the crag. Grade range 5 and 7

Centre Corse
Trimbulacciu: 2 sectors in upper parts of the Ascu valley
Illusions perdues: west facing, Grade range 6b - 7c
Sous l'oeil de Collina (best summer spot): in the shade the whole day. Grade range 6a - 7b
Francardu - la Barette: Shade until 15:00, short but explosive routes. Grade range 6a - 7c
Francardu - la Grotte: Shade until 14:00/15:00, very overhanging climbing. It’s a cave! Grade range 7b- 8a
Caporalinu: Shade until 11:00 to 15:00 depending of the sectors. Grade range 5a- 7b
Restonica - l'Oratoire: Shade until 13:00/14:00, river 5 minutes from the crag. Grade range 6a- 6c
Restonica - A Tomba (best summer spot): in the shade the whole day. Grade range 6a- 6c
Restonica - Chez Téo (best summer spot): in the shade the whole day. Grade range 6a- 6c

Aiacciu area
Saint-Antoine - la chocolaterie: in the shade from 14:00, pretty short approach. Grade range 5c - 6c
Monte Latu: shade until 13:00/14:00, short approach. Grade range 4a- 6b
A Richiusa - la source (best summer spot): The foot of the crag is always in the shade, superb routes. Pleasant breeze in the afternoon. Grade range 5c - 6b

Taravu (near Propriano)
Col de la Tana: there is always a face in the shade. Grade range 5c - 6b
Valdu di saltu: bouldering in the forest.

Grand Sud
Conca: Shade until 11:00 and after 14:00 depending of the sector. Grade range 5c - 7b
A Tyroliana: In the shade from 11:00, pretty short approach. Grade range 5c- 7b
3G: In the shade until 15:00. Grade range 6b - 8a
Mescaline: In the shade from 11:00. Grade range 7b - 8a
Col de Bavella (best summer spot): It’s possible to climb in the shade the whole day thanks to the different aspects of the different sectors. Grade range 5c - 7b
Col de Bavella - Punta Bigornu (best summer spot): Traditional climbing routes on the both side of a canyon. There is always a face in the shade. Grade range 6b - 7b

The cover of the Corsica climbing guidebook Falaises de Corse
77 crags and 2400 climbs
(6th edition, April 2018 / 408 pages / ISBN : 978-2-9526-3888-3)

Falaises de Corse

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