May 2007.   Report by: Bryan Rynne


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This year the usual wine/climbing group went to Orpierre - about 120 miles NE of Nice, and about 30 miles west of the Cote du Rhone Villages area. Orpierre is a small village with one bar/restaurant and lots of small gites. It is surrounded by a large number of single pitch sports crags, but also has the Quiquillion ridge above the village, on the flanks of which are a reasonable number of 6-8 pitch bolted routes at about F5-6b level, together with a few other crags with similar, slightly shorter, multi pitch routes (see photos). All in all, a very good destination for a group climbing at this level.

We stayed in a gite (well, three gites in the same large farm building, near Laragne-Monteglin, about 8 miles from Orpierre.), and indulged in fine wine and food, together with some very good climbing. Thanks to Christine (with some additions from Ruth and Patrick) for the usual excellent cooking - I pursued the usual sophisticated wine buying strategy of ransacking the local supermarket for the most expensive stuff I could find.

The weather was on the hot side, but we could still climb - any further into the summer and it would be too hot (Sally and Ruth had been before in August when it was scorching, while Bryan and Patrick had been in September when it was OK during the day, but cold before about 10am and after about 6pm). Overall, a good time was had by all.