Guided Adventure in the Verdon Gorge


Posted on 2014-04-25 - filed under testimonials


Thank you Andrew Bisharat for gracing me with your writing talents in the following kind testimonial - you're a mighty fine writer!

"The Lifer: Alan Carne first came to the Verdon Gorge in 1979 as an 18 year old kid, and he was so inspired by this area that he knew this would be the place for him. This British ex-pat has been living in the outlying foothills of this gorge more or less since then, working as a #climbing guide ( He's as lean and tough as a piece of jerky, with sinewy tendons honed after three decades of cranking on the micro-crimps of this bullet blue rock. There are only a few people that I've ever met who have somehow retained that pure, youthful stoke to climb after so many years, and it's inspiring to be around. Looking forward to meeting up with Alan again tomorrow for a day of laughing and climbing on the most technical, demanding iron-hard limestone in the world. #LiveVertically #VerticalOrigins #Stoked #BonVerdon @ladzinski @emilyaharrington @etteloc @mattsegal
 â€” with Alan Carne"

Best Wishes for 2014

Posted on 2013-12-30 - filed under news

Photo: Massacre a la Tronconneuse 6b
Massacre a la Tronconneuse 6b

One of the priviliges of a perfect winter day in the Verdon - Freezing in the shade, incredible in the sun - and not a soul to be seen for miles. A beautiful end to a pretty special year.

From a climbing perspective its been really satisfying to finish off and send my Ceuse project from last year the 8a+ 'Femme Blanche', and here in the Verdon to re-discover 'El Topo'(8a) a 14 pitch mini big wall that I tried 5 years ago but never completed with a ground up ascent.  It could be this year's objective in the Verdon.

However, enough of me, 2013 is a year that firmly belongs to my wife Kate. A self confessed perpetual student, she this year
realized a long held dream of completing her thesis after 5 years of academic research and was awarded a Phd from the university
of Reading in England. It has been a long and often turbulent process that I've seen from a close perspective and which has
often parallelled the mixture of passion, excitement, obsession, frustration, despair and sheer personal isolation associated
with a difficult climbing or mountaineering objective. No matter how strong or talented in one's peer group, it is a process
that exposes all one's weaknesses, physically and mentally. As in climbing it was often neccessary to walk away from time to time from the objective (the Thesis) in order for the mind and body to adapt enough to move forward.
This identity forming (and life changing) process has tested her focus and endurance to the limit but as they say,

'Challenges create Strengths'.

Here with Kate on 'Massacre a la Tronconneuse', a 3 pitch 6b gem in a quiet corner of the Gorge high above the river and very exposed!

End of year greetings and best wishes for 2014.

Christmas Greetings from the Verdon

Posted on 2013-12-26 - filed under news

Photo: Escales - 26 December 2013
Escales - 26 December 2013

After a fantastic USA trip I'm back home and its been raining a lot! Finally it stopped today so I'm out for a walk to blow off some of yesterdays indulgence but no climbing today, its a cold and wintry boxing day here.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

USA Road Trip

Posted on 2013-12-03 - filed under news

Photo: \'Zombie Woof\' 5.12b!!
\'Zombie Woof\' 5.12b!!

After a trip across the Mojave desert to give my hands a rest on the smoother sandstone of Red Rocks, I'm back to pit myself against some more skin thrashing Joshua Tree

The grading here is perhaps the severest of any place I've
been to, but this makes it all the more memorable. Every route I send is like walking in the footsteps of the great stonemasters who have written the history of climbing on these oversized desert boulders. The likes of John Long, Lynn Hill, Tony Yaniro, John Yablonski, Randy Leavitt and many others who advanced free climbing standards here.

In this case, 'Zombie Woof', a very bouldery 5.12b was first toproped by John Bachar in 1980 and then free climbed on lead by a youthful Jerry Moffat on his first USA tour in 1983. Here I just managed to free climb it after 2 days of effort. A short but
uniquely satisfying and memorable pitch with surprisingly intricate  footwork to get established on the lip of the roof.