Guided Adventure in the Verdon Gorge

Robin Brooke and Paula Ryan (UK/NZ)

Posted on 2012-05-14 - filed under testimonials

"What an amazing climbing venue, which somehow lived up to the pretty high expectations we had set, but what really made our first visit something we won't forget was Alan. Deep local knowledge, understated personality, infectious energy, huge experience and skills, bucket loads of passion for climbing and the Verdon; along with patience, coaching, and great judgement - makes for a perfect combination to introduce you to the best of the magical Verdon, improve your climbing skills, and dream up new objectives for the future.
My girlfriend and I spent five days with Alan in May, we've a reasonable amount of experience leading to F6a outdoor in the UK, but were looking for someone who could help us maximise the time, give us confidence in the intimidating situations, and help get the best from our first visit.
Each day Alan struck the perfect balance of challenge and realism, coaching along the way, taking us to the pick of some classic routes including some very long and sustained , often aided by his 200m static line allowing for some unforgettable descents into the gorge and getting early access to routes. We've come away stronger, better climbers, with some amazing memories, and some of Alan's infectious passion.
Looking forward to another opportunity to climb with you again,
Robin & Paula."

James & Ed Mabon (12 year old competition climbers – Devon UK)

Posted on 2012-01-20 - filed under testimonials

Hi Alan

A few thoughts from Russell, myself and the boys regarding the Verdon and James and Eds climbing days with you last summer.

We of course arrived in the Verdon Gorge last summer with high expectations of some stunning scenery and some thrilling and challenging climbing with a great guide. Our expectations were well and truly exceeded in all areas. 

The Verdon is completely different from anywhere that we have climbed before mainly due to the heights involved and therefore lengths of the routes. Climbing with you Alan meant that we absolutely got the most from our Verdon experience. Your enthusiasm for the area and the sport is infectious and your climbing,coaching and guiding skills are spot on. We felt that you were always on our agenda using your in depth knowledge of the area, the routes and the weather to help us to achieve exactly what we wanted from the experience. 

In James and Ed's words :

The Verdon Gorge is sick!! The thrill of being so high and completing 200 metre, 3 hour multi pitch routes is amazing and something we'll always remember. An awesome 2 days!

All of our very best wishes to you for a Happy and healthy 2012

Russell, Ali, James and Ed Mab

Connor Byrne - Eperon Sublime

Posted on 2011-08-29 - filed under testimonials

I first saw the Verdon Gorge a couple of years ago and I wanted to climb it.  My outdoor experience was a little limited to a couple of weeks in Wales, a couple of weeks in Spain and a few days locally but with plenty of plastic for rainy days. We were returning in 2011, August, I knew it would be hot for climbing but did not care.  

As I am only 15 Alan suggested meeting in the bar/cafe the evening before for a chat, and put my parents at ease.  The morning of the first day started with the awesome 200m abseil of Luna Bong, I have never seen a 200m long rope before! The abseil goes into freespace and was very exhilarating, I would love to do it again. We climbed Poignee de Gros Lards, a good route to get to know each others climbing styles and a feel for the rock.  

After a quick pit stop for more water in Verdon Sur Palud village fountain.  We then did Echo Logique to finish the day in the shade.  The next day started early with some faboulous mist in the gorge.  

Another go on that massive 200m rope to abseil in, then the big mulipitch climbing I had come here for...Alan had chosed me Eperon Sublime 7 pitches and 280metres of climbing, I remembers this as lots of fun, it was great to be out in the open, with lots of exposure and the view was just huge, the vultures at first suprised me as they appeared out of nowhere, I have never been that close to a vultures before and it was admazing to see them soring around. 

The climbing was just right for me, it was a great holiday treat, I felt safe with Alan as my guide and hope to go back soon and hit some harder longer routes.  Alan had been very clever with Eperon Sublime as some of this could be watched from a viewpoint from the road above which even kept my parents entertained, and gave them photo oportunities. 
I hope to go back soon and try some longer harder routes. 
Connor Byrne (Lancashire UK)

Verdon in summer

Posted on 2011-06-12 - filed under testimonials

The South of France in August?  Too hot and too crowded.  The Verdon however was different - the altitude made the temperatures and the sunshine a real pleasure for me and the family.  As an ex-climber and ex-fit person, I was worried about falling off the easier routes and failing totally on the steeper stuff.  

Alan judged us right however - the first routes were a dream and gave us all confidence.  Later we visited the gorge proper - it has to be the most spectacular and the most beautiful place in Europe to play on rock.  If it were not for Alan’s obvious knowledge of every handhold and his safe hands on the belay, I’m not sure I would have done the routes and there is no way my 14-year old daughter would have gone over the edge.  

As it was, she had the experience of a lifetime and wants to go back there next year.  As for me, I want to climb La Demande in 2012 - 400m of pure white rock surrounded by true beauty - can’t wait! 

Angus Lamming (Isle of Man)  2011