Guided Adventure in the Verdon Gorge

Best of 2014

Posted on 2015-01-22 - filed under verdon

Sending "oublier pour Tenir" 7b+ photo: Ladzinski

Living here, and living the life I always dreamed of as an 18 year old I certainly feel blessed every day of my life and it isn't easy to pick out a "best of the year". 2014 was filled with many special days climbing with special partners here in the mighty Verdon Gorge as well as abroad. 2 amazing road trips took me to Canada and "under the radar" to the South East USA.

The legendary Squamish Chief in British Columbia needs little introduction and indeed the immaculate granite crack and face trad. climbing blew me away. Upon arriving I acquired the Squamish Select guidebook and started exploring the intricacies of the 300m high "Chief" and  the many outlying areas. After 2 months I felt I had a good feel for the area having climbed around 300 pitches. As my first visit it will certainly not be the last.

More recently I returned from a superb November trip to North Carolina, Tennessee, and the Red River Gorge in Kentucky. As expected the "Red" was as awesome as its reputation and a first visit barely scratched the surface of the nearly 2000 routes listed in the 2 volume guidebook. North Carolina and Tennessee are less well known from an international climber perspective but the quality and quantity of granite and sandstone trad and sport climbing was truly world class. Looking Glass Rock, Rumbling Bald, Laurel Knob, and the Tennessee Wall with the spectacular backdrop of vast and beautiful Appalachian forest in full fall regalia

Perhaps the most memorable experience of the year however was working with National Geographic photographer Keith Ladzinski and the North Face Team here in the Gorge on a short film that will showcase the Verdon and its place in the history and development of European sportclimbing.  Working with Keith was a unique experience whose intensity and passion for his art parallels that of my own for the Verdon.

You can read his recent facebook post on the Verdon trip below:

Keith Ladzinski

"January 1, 2015 marked my 10 year anniversary as a full time professional photographer. It's been an incredible decade and a dream come true. It's crazy to look... back and see how much has changed in my life and there isn't a day that passes where I don't consider myself lucky. I post a lot from my archive, but this year I'm going to periodically post favorite pics from the last 10 years with a story each hashed ‪#‎DedicatedDecade‬ - Last summer I was lucky enough to return to the ‪#‎VerdonGorge‬ for my 3rd trip, this time for a short film for @natgeo on the origins of sport climbing. I love it there, they don't call it Europe's Grand Canyon for nothing. Every trip is made better with a great crew and I was lucky enough to be there with a group of friends that I've been hangin and working with for the last 10 years @etteloc @andrewbisharat @emilyaharrington and @mattsegal. Film coming soon. Rapping into the gorge is breathtaking, the floor falls out from under you and the further you go down the more perfectly isolated you are. We spent a few days with Allen Carne, seen here climbing high above the beautiful gorge on the famed blue limestone of the ‪#‎Verdon‬. Allen first visited the gorge in the late 70's and after his first trip he backed up his things in Britain and moved here never to return. I can see why"

If you have climbed with Alan or have climbed in the Verdon then we would like to hear about your experience.
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