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Biotone under the Vase de Sèvres, Gorges de la Jonte, Le Rozier

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Rendezvous today in the cirque des Vases, Jonte gorges. On the right, the cirque de Chine. On the other side of the cirque, our destination, the vase de Sèvres, over 100m above the ground, built to last, as long as the earth doesn't shake! Just to the left of the pillar supporting the vase, a magnificent southwest-facing ridge stretches out our fingers. Biotone, a 125m route, climbs up the cliff edge on impeccable rock to reach the ridge, just a few metres from the famous vase. Very well equipped, the climb is very pleasant, sustained (6a+) with an exceptional panorama of the gorges. We finish almost in the rain and thunderstorm, on the rock'n'roll descent of the sentier noir, in the heart of the cirque. Last route of the trip, we already have a few projects in mind: the Arête Ouest, the Diagonale du Gogol, not to mention a return to Boffi.

Biotone’s team

Technical summary

Access to the place

From Le Rozier. Take the road into the gorge, and after a few bends, park on the left or right at an orange emergency call station.

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 20'

Take the red trail that starts just to the left of the call station. It's steep and sweaty. After 5′, a large cairn and a fork to the right (wooden post). Climb the steep, winding path to the base of the cirque's west pillar. The start is easy to find, in a nook, with the name of the route inscribed on the rock.


The south-west-facing route is 125m long (topo says less?) in 4 pitches (35m, 35m, 20m, 35m). It is equipped with pins, generously on 6a+ and V+/6a. A little further out on V.

L1 (35m, 6a)
1 undeniably 6a starting pitch, but not marked on the topo (or do you have to dodge the pitch?). The rest of the route is easy in V, slightly diagonal to reach a small dihedral and exit onto a flat. Then walk to belay 1, at the foot of the big yellow wall.

L2 (35m, 6a+)
A very fine 6a+ pitch of continuity. Straight vertical start and 1 or 2 good fine steps to get out of a small bulge. Cross diagonally to reach a dihedral that can be used at the start, before heading up the left wall. The last third of the climb is steady, with a number of good holds, holes and rulers. A very vertical, athletic finish.

L3 (20m, V+)
Exit onto the ridge before crossing to the right to enter the slab. Gas everywhere. 2 or 3 sustained moves then an easier finish to exit on top of the right rock. A very comfortable belay at the foot of the large final slab.

L4 (35m, V)
A fairly vertical 1st section, with good holds, then an easier central section. Final section with a recovery on the plateau. The vase de sèvres just there, on the right. The loose rock just below.


This can be done either by abseiling a route on the other side of the cirque (L'envie au bout des doigts), or, as we did, by descending the black path. Certainly the quickest option, but the most exposed! Walk eastwards towards the cirque and quickly find the trailhead on the right, with a cut cable and bars in a chimney. Ojo! Queqlues passages super expo, prohibido caerse! At the bottom, with the help of knotted ropes sometimes at the end of their life, we touch the ground on the sectors at the bottom of the cirque des vases. We quickly rejoin the foot of the starting routes and the road to the parking lot.

Map & topo



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