Châtelard - Giétroz - Cacao Girls
The climb follows a continuous leftward slanting spur on good, compact rock. The rock is well featured with small and often sharp incuts. The approach has been very well prepared.
Approach # 15mins
From the French Swiss border follow the tarmac road behind the Hotel Suisse, over the railway to where the tarmac ends at a “T” junction. Turn right, signposted Gietroz, go to just before the bee hives then follow a faint path up a an area of newly felled trees to where it joins the main path near the start of Autoroute Blanche.
Continue up the main path for a couple of minutes. 10m to the left there is an orange dot indicating the new start of the route. A bolt is on the reverse side of a large boulder just above the orange dot. Easy climbing on the left, orange arrow, leads past a rock glued to the wall with the name of the route painted on it.
To go to the “old” start, keep following the path until a cairn at a clearing with a view down to the Electricity works in Chatelard, just before the main path enters a patch of coniferous trees. Take the side path on the left with new red paint marks which goes up then traverses left to a short, muddy scramble. The route starts at the top of this, behind a flake at a bolt with a red mark. The name of the route is painted on the rock. (N 46 03’42.1” E 006 55’ 58.3”)
Route # 3-4h
L# | 5b | Not too steep wall, generally with good holds. L# | 5c | A few delicate moves on a slab, the rest is easy.
Follow the fixed rope 15m downwards to the “old” start of the route (red point around the bolt)
L# | 5a | Direct to a wide crack, moving left over a bulge and up to a belay above a rock crevasse. L# | 5c+| Move down right on the edge of the crevasse, surmont the bulge above on the right then move back left to a thin move (crux, very hard for the grade!) on a steep slab. Continue more easily to the belay. L# | 5b | Straight up and then left to the edge where a steep wall in a fine position leads to a stance. L# | 5b | A short pitch, (to avoid rope drag.) Climb up to a ledge, move left then surmount the roof and go right to the belay. L# | 5b | Up the steep wall to the left, good holds, then finish up an easy slab to a ledge. Move left to a belay. L# | 5b | There are three bolted finishes. Cacao Girls takes the middle one, the obvious line of weakness starting with an awkward layback. Continue easily past the first bolted belay to finish up a little slab behind a tree, one bolt.
Continue upwards through the trees for 2 mins to join the descent path just above where it starts to steepen, fixed rope. From here one can either :
- Follow the path down the gully (slippery in the wet) then traverse under a one pitch sector to turn right and downwards on the path leading back to Chatelard, some red and white plastic markings. This path is the continuation of the approach path and takes you past the cairn marking the side path leading to the foot of the climb.
- Continue to the top 4 pitches, which start at a crack just above the level where the gully steepens. Name of the route written on the rock.
L# | 5c | Crack, delicate if wet. L# | 6a+ | The crux, 6m after the belay finish with a slab move, to the left. L# | 5b | Short pitch, traverse. L# | 5c | Another crack, good holds
Descent # 35min (20mins from top of P8)
From the top of P12 make two long or three shorter abseils to reach the path and descend the gully as described above.
The first eight pitches give excellent climbing at 5+. The last four pitches give harder climbing
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