Guided Adventure in the Verdon Gorge

Alan Carne, Verdon passion

When I first discovered the Verdon Gorge in 1979 I was awestruck. That iconic photo of british legend Ron Fawcett on the cover of Mountain n°61 barely reflected the reality. Endless shields of iron-hard stone, sculpted with beautiful holds. The soaring crack systems of La Demande, ULA, Luna Bong and Eperon Sublime. The crazy verticality and lonely freehanging abseils in cathedral silence. Then, the nagging doubts marooned on a terrace in the middle of the 400m cliff, having already pulled the abseil ropes.

No matter where I climbed after that, the images kept flooding back, the distinctive smells of Buis (Box), and thyme. the unique mass of the limestone – I was hooked, addicted! At age 18 I had discovered something incredible, a passion from which to create my life's work.

Since then, climbing has remained my constant, a focus for growth and learning leading me here to where I've always wanted to be.

That first visit to the Verdon all those years ago was the original inspiration to step out of the expected norm, and through climbing live life to its fullest.

The history of climbing in the Gorge is now over 40 years old and still evolving, but the near-religious experience of a first visit here remains unchanged.
The Verdon continues to work its magic over me, I hope it can do that for you also.

Becoming a Guide

Like many climbers of my generation, pursuing formal training in this life discipline seemed to contradict the freedom to live according to our own rules and ethics. But in fact the discipline required to gain the French Brevet d'Etat Guides diploma has given me tools not normally part of the recreational climber's repertoire that allow me to safely transmit the passion, skills, and confidence of a lifetime, and in the process hopefully to improve your climbing.

Learning to climb in the Verdon is inspiring and should be more than an isolated 'shrink wrapped' event. Indeed it is often just a step in the direction of a longer term goal such as climbing on Yosemite's El Capitan, a big wall in the Dolomites, or an alpine north face.

Personal relationships, trust, honesty and empathy are important between guide and client and the mutual satisfaction in planning and achieving short or long term goals is often absent in the 'off the peg' or group courses found with many guide services.
I offer guiding on a personal, bespoke basis to individuals or private groups in order that you achieve your particular climbing objectives without being held back by others or pushed beyond where you are comfortable.
If you haven't done much multi pitch climbing, want to improve your leading and ropework, or haven't yet climbed outside, a baptism here in the Verdon is an unforgettable experience.
Whatever your objective, my intimate knowledge of the region allows me to customise trips with your specific goals in mind, ensuring that you have a safe and memorable experience, and that you build the autonomy to climb here or anywhere in the world.

Alan Carne Verdon Gorge 2012