Climb Europe

Ceuse rock climbing

Ceuse is often described as the best sport climbing crag in France, and some would even go as far to say as the best sport crag in the world!  Well Ceuse is certainly blessed with beautifully pocketed limestone rock, outstanding lines and a magical location. The majority of the routes are single pitch and the rock climbing various enormously from overhanging jug feasts to steep technical walls.  The routes at Ceuse have a reputation for requiring lots of stamina and having the ability to climb between good but well spaced bolts.

There are around 350 routes at Ceuse that range from F5a to F9a+, though the majority are in the range of F6b to F7c.  The “Haute Provence Guidebook” details nearly 200 routes at Ceuse. This guidebook can be bought from our shop.

So is the reputation of Ceuse too good to be true? Well the magical location has its good and bad points.  The good being the rock climbing is at an altitude of over 1,600m. This along with its close proximity of the main Alps massif, means that the ideal time to climb here is from late spring through to the autumn, which is something very unusual for the south of France! The bad point is the walk-in, which is long, steep and takes on average about an hour. However, the vast majority of climbers will put up with the walk-in for the world class climbing on offer!

Rock climbing areas south of Gap

Crag Total Up to 4+ 5 to 6a+ 6b to 7a Over 7a+
Ceuse 198 0 20 61 117
Orpierre 212 12 98 61 41
Sisteron 75 5 32 27 11

Map of the rock climbing areas south of Gap, including Ceuse

Map of the rock climbing and sport climbing areas south of Gap

The France Haute Provence guidebook covers Ceuse, Orpierre and SisteroneThe above information has been extracted from the Rockfax guidebook, which covers this area, called Haute Provence and can be bought from our shop. This is a selective guidebook, as in total there are over 350 routes at Ceuse and 650 routes at Orpierre.

Ceuse logistics – accommodation and travel

The majority of rock climbers visiting Ceuse stay at Les Guerins campsite that is located at the base of the hill just outside the village of Sigoyer, though there are numerous hotels and gites in the area. 

Flying into Grenoble, Nimes, Marseille and Turin airports are several low cost airlines, with the travel time to Ceuse being no more than one and a half hours.

Overall the climbing at Ceuse is very enjoyable with the best time to visit being from late spring through to the autumn, though it does get busy in the August.

Other areas

If shorter walk-ins are your style then Orpierre is only 10 minutes and Sisteron is a roadside crag.   Of the two Orpierre is definitely the most extensive with over 650 routes up to 200m high, with the majority of these in the F5 to F6b range.  At an altitude of 700m the best time to visit is spring and autumn.

Within a couple of hours drive away there is some extensive climbing around Avignon plus the other world class areas of Buoux and Verdon.

Click on the thumb nails opposite to view a larger image.

All of these photographs appear in the Rockfax guidebook called France Haute Provence, which describes the sport climbing around Ceuse, Orpierre and Sisterone, and can be bought from our shop.

The France Haute Provence guidebook covers Ceuse, Orpierre and Sisterone

The France Haute Provence guidebook by Rockfax, describes the rock climbing at Ceuse, Orpierre and Sisteron. 

Buy the France Haute Provence guidebook from
our shop.