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En Vau is probably the jewel of the Calanques de Marseille. The climbing is excellent and the location is spectacular. Because En Vau is very popular, it is best avoided on weekends. The rock can be polished because folks have been climbing there for over 100 years. Route in En Vau are bolted, but, unlike other areas in the Calanques where the bolts seem to be about 3 feet apart, the bolting can be rather runout. So it's a good idea to bring a set of nuts and maybe a few small cams.
There are two approaches to En Vau and both require a bit of hiking. The first option is to park at the big parking area at the Col de Gardiole (off route D559, which runs between Cassis and Marseille) and follow the red/white trail, about a 40-minute walk. The other is to park at Port Miou and take the GR98-51 trail. This involves less distance but more elevation gain/loss (according to one local map the hike to En Vau is about 1 hr, 40 minutes).
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Featured Route For Calanque d'En Vau
Saphir 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13 Europe : France : ... : La Saphir
Saphir ascends a long ridge just to the right of the Petite Aiguille. Its five pitches range from 5.6 to 5.9 (according to the chart in the Rockfax book about the Côte d'Azur). The climbing is generally moderate and varied. The decidedly alpine second pitch can be done in two pitches. The next to last pitch is definitely the crux, because it's so polished. But with a little care, it can be handled. Be forewarned, Saphir can get really crowded. So you may find yourself passing or being passed by ...[more] Browse More Classics in International
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