Guided Adventure in the Verdon Gorge

Alan Carne

Photo of Alan Carne

Verdon based Climbing Guide and Pedagogue Alan Carne learned the craft of traditional Rockclimbing in his formative years on the Gritstone outcrops of the Peak District in his native UK.

Born in the City of Salford, and vicariously proud of having gone to the same high school as Don "The Villain" Whillans himself, an early youthful wanderlust took him cycling and hitch-hiking out of the inner city to the nearby moorland wilderness.

This period (late 70s to early 80s) witnessed an awakening of young and talented rock athletes centred on the limestone village of Stoney Middleton in the Peak District and Alan became part of this tightly knit band of British "Stonemasters" which he considers inspirational mentors, and included some of the legends, ( both sung and unsung) of the sport; Jerry Moffat, Ron Fawcett, Johnny Woodward, Derek Hersey, Nick Colton, Al Rouse, Mark"Zippy Pretty", Dougie Hall... and many others.

This appetite for travel soon took him in 1979 to France's Verdon Gorge. A mysterious Canyon in the heart of Provence and at that time just starting to emerge as the forcing ground for the development of big wall adventure sportclimbing. It was the start of a lasting and ongoing love affair with this part of France, and since 2005 he has been a permanent resident. Boundlessly motivated and always keen to inspire, he is a distinctive feature of the indigenous climbing community in the area.

And what else?

When not running it out on the beautiful grey walls of the Verdon, Alan is likely to be entwined in his parallel passion the Guitar, which he feels has many elements in common with climbing; analysis and perfection of movement, 100% focus, and the discipline of practice.

Brevet d'Etat Escalade

The brevet d'état (national diploma) and the mountain guide certification are the only two qualifications allowing a guide to work legally in France. The difference between the two is one of specialisation. The BE escalade is a rock climbing specialist and coach, and must climb to a high level themselves. The mountain guide, on the other hand, is an all-round ice, rock, and ski mountaineer. The entrance test for the BE escalade programme is by a climbing competition (minimum three 7a routes on sight) and interview based on presentation of an extensive list of experience.The programme itself includes modules in trad. climbing and advanced ropework, physiology and anatomy, training, teaching skills, and canyoning. After a period of approved guiding experience, the final exam consists of written, oral, and practical assessments.There is also a requirement for regular skill updating.

A growing CV and a reflection of Alan's climbing experience.

Photo of Alan bouldering


Tales of Power 5.12b (Onsight)

Cosmic Debris 5.13b (flash) 2009

Phoenix 5.13a (2009)

Crucifix 5.12b (2008)

The Nose (1 day ascent)

Salathé (3 days)

Astroman 5.11c (onsight)

Rostrum with Alien finish 5.12b (onsight)

Separate Reality 5.12a (onsight)

Indian Creek Utah

Tricks are for Kids 5.13a (2008)


Moonlight Buttress
(10 pitches 5.12d trad.)
All free ascent 2008.

Joshua Tree

Equinox 5.12d (1st try. 2010)

Black Canyon of Gunnison Colorado

Astro Dog. 17 pitches 5.12a trad (onsight)

Stoned Oven. 17 pitches 5.12a trad (onsight)

Link to photo gallery


Several visits to the Sandstone mecca of Wadi Rum.

2nd Ascent (onsight) of "La Guerre Sainte" 7b (12 pitches) on Jebel Nasranyia. (2001)

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France - Verdon Gorge

El Topo (14 pitches 8a) 2009

Liqueur de Coco 7c+ 2010

Les Braves Gens 8b 2007

Seance Tenante 8a+ 2007

Graphique 8a+ 2007

Genou de Claire 7c+ 2005

Claudia 8a 2006

An all free ascent of 'Mingus', a 400m route with pitches of 8a, 7c+, 7c, and multiple 7b+. 2006

French National Climbing Guide Certification (Brevet D'Etat Escalade - See Diploma) 2007

Extensive Experience of over 150 routes in the Verdon.

Link to photo gallery

The early years 1977-1983


Nectar E4 6b

Goosey Goosey Gander E4 6a


Profit of Doom E4 6b

Moon Walk E4 6a

Moon Crack E4 6b

Usurper E4 6a


Downhill Racer E4 6a

Strapadichtomy E5 6a

Millstone Edge

London Wall E5 6a

White Wall E6 6b

Coventry Street E5 6b

High Tor

Tales of Yankee Power E5 6b

Supersonic E4 6a

North Wales

Right Wall E5 6a

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Several visits to Arapiles, Grampians, Moonarie

Trad onsights up to grade 27('Yesterday' Mt Arapiles)

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Hampi, Badami and several areas around Bangalore.

Climbing and equipping new routes with local Indian climbers.

Link to photo gallery
Brevet D'etat - diploma for french climbing instructors