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Falaises de l’Éperon, Saint-Gilles, Reunion Island

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On the west coast of the island, near Saint-Gilles, the cliffs of l'Éperon are a small climbing spot on a basalt wall offering a good twenty well-equipped routes, in a savannah-like atmosphere of overgrown yellow grass and elegant white Pailles-en-queue, between mountain and sea. It's a pity that the peace and quiet of the place has been spoiled by the construction of the Route des Tamarins, which now occupies the sound space below. The spot is still worth a visit, mainly for climbs in grades 5 and 6, on compact, fairly grippy rock. Prefer the morning or the end of the day, or even a cloudy day to avoid sunburn, given the northeast exposure.

Technical summary

Type ✦ Rind climbing

Location ✦ L'Éperon, Saint-Gilles

Region ✦ West

Country ✦ La Réunion

Difficulty ✦ 4 to 7b

Max route ✦ 15m (?)

Exposure ✦ North-East

Rock ✦ Black basalt

Interest ✦ ★

Access to the place

Above Saint-Gilles, cross the 4-lane national road and climb up to the village of l'Éperon. Turn left quickly to drive alongside the soccer stadium. Continue towards the "Hélilagon" heliport. Before you reach it, just before a short bend in the road, a runway starts off to the left, the starting point for the approach. Park further to the side.

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 15'

In the bend before the heliport, a wide path leads down to the sea. Go down it and at the bottom, before going back up, turn right (there is currently a huge tree trunk cut down). Follow this path through the savannah for a few minutes, then at a wider bend in the road, turn right towards the top of the cliffs (marked by a yellow arrow). At the top of the cliffs, on the right of the spot, descend using rungs and knotted ropes.

Course

The routes

The basalt cliff stretches for some fifty meters. The equipped routes are between 8m and 12m. The equipment is good, with mainly sealed pins and belays connected with a chain. The routes described below are those we tested (from left).


Cool Raoul (5b, 12m, 6 quickdraws)

Easy start, more vertical and physical 2nd section.


Vide et Eau (5a, 12m, 6 quickdraws)

Just right of Cool Raoul. Easier, with the key passage in the middle.


Biroute I (5a, 12m, 5 quickdraws)

The 1st pitch is harder, but after that it's sloping with some good holds.


Saralou (5c, 10m, 3 quickdraws)

Nice, even length, on small, fairly straight lines.


Pas d'Eau Nez (6a, 10m, 3 quickdraws)

Concentrated difficulty. Thin start and slightly overhanging exit.


Di Diou (6a+, 8m, 3 quickdraws)

Invigorating start with the crack, then a slightly overhanging finish with a change of opposition. Interesting.


T'as le bonjour de Paulo (6b+, 12m, 4 quickdraws)

A fairly fine dihedral, all placement and an exit via the ridge.


Au d'sus de ta tête (5c, 10m, 3 quickdraws)

Rather athletic and slightly overhanging 1st section, but with everything you need.


Route no. 18 (6a, 10m, 4 quickdraws)

Just after "Au d'sus de ta tête". 1 step to recover on a slab to be climbed with rulers.

Map & topo

Voir en plein écran

Photos

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