S P O R T    C L I M B I N G    C R A G S !
where?
Hills in and around Condroz.
vision
criteria?
SPORT: FREE instead of aid. SUSTAINED instead of bouldery. Rather COMMITMENT TO THE SEQUENCE than to protection placement, gardening and spying choss.

Also omitted:
(-) Vulnerable crags (ecology, archaeology, legal access,...)
(-) Dangerous crags (risk of rockfall or material failure...)

Nice ones that didn’t make the sport selection: Régissa, Fond des Cris, Bouffioulx, Petit Henet, Ny, Hé Quinet, Comblain-au-Pont, Rideux/Izier & Tabir Sarrail & Sandron, Carrière de l'Abbaye, Maurenne, Rochette, Parc, Grésière, Strivay, Roc à l'Aisne & Coléoptère, Champalle...

In the last decades the offer of accessible sport crags has been wayward. Many we lost, (Chateâu de Mielmont, Dalle de Modave, Comblain-au-Pont, Montaigle, Rocher de Faucons, Se*e Shop, Visé, Heure..) and quite some jewels have been opened..

CSport guides to first hand topo info, free of advertisements, rather than to unauthorized (double) copypastes. CS's recommendations are aimed to contribute to rock community, awareness and protection, not for commercial gain.
On the rock we can climb routes, not numbers. We vertically dance up our own way. There's no competition, right beta or obligatory holds. And when we don't reach what we want, we don't always adapt nature, instead sometimes we adapt ourselves and learn.

Yet will our love for these crags destroy them? The US-based 'Access Fund' signals the deteriorating effects of popular interest: vegetation fades away while local opposition grows almost as fast as the cars, dropped cigarettes and toilet paper accumulate.

On the other hand most people don't know anything else than their barren urbanized and suburbanized environment, shaped from questionable intentions, force-feeding us brands and sordid ideals. Rock climbing is one of many ways to step out of this imposed small-world lifestyle. To some degree outdoor promotion can help site recognition and therefore mobilize and propel outdoor protection.

Moreover it’s not unpleasant to share the sport: Imagine introducing your friends and family to rock climbing. Yet the capacity of crags is limited. So should we keep them secret?

In any case it's important that rock crags stay an unpainted canvas to some degree, instead of a thick-lined coloring book for black alcohol markers. There are commercial interests looking to make rocks ultra-accessible jokes, easy-to-consume adventure parks. In the 1980's similar market incentives have brought up businesses that bought and sold the Alps for mass skiing.

Protect, climb and always look for a way to make this ever vulnerable balance work. When you're at a crowded crag you're the crowd too. Don't be loud, the rock sleeps. Smoker? Put butts in a bottle. Visit less crowded crags, go at other times. For now the total capacity of the Belgian rocks fits the community, though sometimes locally not in the overdemanded step-in grades.

Last of all, climb safe! A helmet is often great on the Belgian rock. Moreover if you look to climb some Belgian 5th grades, be aware that often they're less steep and are therefore challenging in an alpine kind of way. This also means that these 'more accessible' grades sometimes contradictively require more training and skills than steep lines do. Such crags are indicated:
GUEST AT THE ROCKS - OPEN SAFE CRAGS RELY ON:
Cooperation of federations(!), local communities, governments, a diversity of people who climb, hikers, birdspotters,..
Volunteers investing time and material.
You the visitor, for making your interest have a positive instead of negative impact. Get proper training, remain self-aware, actively look up recent info and assess in-situ conditions and gear. We can change our ways. Everybody's got to learn sometimes.

 

VISIONS   ON   PREPARING   CRAGS:
*: Bananas represent sporty limestone crags.
E D I T
H A L L    O F    F A M E
8c+ galaxy freyr al'lègne right
2017 Sébastien Berthe,
2012 Kevin Lopata
? la traversée de kraftio gerlin
(more)
2020 Mat Pauwels 
8c+ kraftio gerlin
2020 Hannes Van Duysen,
2020 Sven Lempereur,
2020 Mat Pauwels,
2020 Simon Lorenzi,
2020 Anak Verhoeven
8c+ coup d'état fléron
2021 Thomas Salakenos,
2020 Simon Lorenzi
8c razorblade (ted gilette ext.)
freyr al'lègne right (of the pillar)
(story)
2016 Kevin Lopata,
2016 Sébastien Berthe,
2003 Nicolas Favresse.
8c le clou freyr al'lègne right
(photo)
2020 David 'Illitch' Leduc,
2016 Jérôme De Boeck,
2014 Sébastien Berthe,
2005 Olivier Favresse,
2004 Jérôme Abraham,
2002 Nicolas Favresse.
8c la traction universelle
carrière jaminon
(the Porche is forbidden since 2006 and can only be accessed with the permission of the local government)
2015 Simon Lorenzi,
1994 Claude Lorenzi.
8b+ oufti nenni carrière jaminon
(Porche currently forbidden)
2007 Werner Hofmans.
8b+ l'eau de lune
(mistral gagnant var.)

freyr al'lègne left
(Hold broke in 2018)
2010 Olivier Favresse,
2009 Nicolas Favresse.
8b+ bansai xxl freyr pape
2013 Lowie Lambrechts,
2008 Peter Taeymans,
2008 Olivier Coenen.
8b+ carabistouille freyr al'lègne right
2018 David 'Illitch' Leduc,
2011 Sébastien Berthe,
2010 Kevin Lopata,
2009 Olivier Coenen,
2007 Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll,
2007 Jérôme De Boeck,
2005 Benjamin Fallet,
2004 Jorg Verhoeven,
2004 Olivier Favresse,
2001 Jérôme Abraham,
2001 Nicolas Favresse.
8b+ esperanza freyr al'lègne right
2019 Siebe Vanhee,
2019 Christophe Henry,
2019 Ben Breton,
2017 David 'Illitch' Leduc,
2011 Eric Rampelbergh,
2011 Kevin Lopata,
2011 Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll,
2011 Olivier Coenen,
2009 Benjamin Fallet,
2008 Klaas Willems,
2007 Jérôme De Boeck,
2004 Jérôme Abraham,
2004 Olivier Favresse,
2003 Nicolas Favresse.
8b/8c+ insolence trou magritte
8b/8c+ helm's deep nasproué
8b/8c ragnarok nasproué
8b/8c ode to no one nasproué
8b alliance freyr al'lègne left (of the pillar)
8b bansai directe freyr le pape
8b dsg freyr al'lègne right
8b fritographie freyr le louis-philippe
8b jolie promenade freyr al'lègne right
8b l'empire du soleil levant freyr al'lègne right
8b la vie est un long fleuve tranquille freyr al'lègne right
8b masque à gaz freyr al'lègne right
8b shingen freyr mérinos nord
8b du glucose pour le moineau porche de roiseux
8b chevalier arno trou magritte
8b itinéraire bis trou magritte
8b la marmaille nue trou magritte
8b free6 carrière jaminon
8b space cowboys flavion
8b namché bazar freyr le louis-philippe upper part
8a+/8b bam bam mozet
8a+/8b polymorphisme direct freyr al'lègne right
8a+/8b johnny the consumer freyr le pape
8a+ ladyshave (razorblade - slip à clou) freyr al'lègne right
8a+ le spectre de shingen (aka variohector) freyr mérinos nord
8a+ pénétrator corneilles
8a+ toxic désir (toxic climax - flagrant désir) bomal
8a+ yahoo! - infiniment songe (link-up) bomal
8a+ cool cat freyr al'lègne right
8a+ globalia freyr le louis-philippe
8a+ johnny the wannabe freyr le pape
8a+ jungle boogie freyr al'lègne jurassic park
8a+ vibrato freyr al'lègne right
8a+ quomolungma freyr le louis-philippe upper part
8a+ biggest bang freyr al'lègne right
8a+ supernova freyr
8a+ arno trou magritte
8a+ diazepam flône
8a+ batman carrière jaminon

   

B R E E D I N G     S E A S O N

Better climb somewhere else than to screw up a bird family. And leave the ghettoblasters at home. Also let's not have any more crags closed by the DNF (forest and nature department of the regional Wallonia government). Dalle de Modave for instance got closed because of eggsmashers. A European directive (79/409) indeed provides that:

"Each State of the European Union is responsible for making an inventory on its territory of the Important Areas for the Conservation of Birds (IBAs) and for ensuring the surveillance and monitoring of species there".
Article 3 of this directive also provides
"Pursuant to the directive, the Member States must take all the necessary measures to preserve, maintain and restore the biotopes and habitats of the birds referred to in Article 1 by creating protection zones."

 

 

Each year during breeding season, to rehabilitate the peregrine falcon habitat:
  • Roche aux Corneilles: Despite years of climbing being banned here, and a precarious reopening 3-4 years ago, climbers nonetheless violated the breeding season in 2020 and now 2021. One pair of climbers got a fine. The environmental permit is in danger.

 

In 2021 during breeding season, due to reported live nests, yet more nests are around:
Entire crag
  • Flône since 31st of March, for the second year in a row due to a nest of Eurasian eagle-owls.

 

Parts of crag
  • Pont à Lesse: Castel 4: the three routes left of the Via Ferrata (Quark, Viper and L'Hopital) as well as the little wall up (4.6) with Pretty Woman, Obelix, Katastroof and Watergate.

  • Yvoir: Left half of La Dalle Rose.

  • Durnal: Routes around Atomic.

  • Dave: Central part with (C)Academique, Ange etc... OBSIROCBEL observed left falcon nests year after year calling for an annual climbing pauze, yet so far the protection is proclaimed only after falcons settle (more).

  • Freyr (so far, list expands throughout the season):

    • Les Cinq Ânes: Le Pino Prati and Le Gentil Saddam.

    • Pape left: the overhanging block above Johnny Bee delight watch. Think the dripping L2's like Johnny the Wannabee, Johnny the Consumer, Surplomb à Poil, Le Nez de Louis, Le Nez de Davaille, Surplomb Davaille, Bansai XXL and Les Portes du Chaos L2. Also forbidden are the higher lenghts Le Z and Plaisir Éphémères L2-...

    • Al'lègne down at the water: L'Al'lègne L1-L5, l'Hypoténuse L1-L5, Secteur Lecomte, Spigolo L2 and Parrain Julliette L2.

    • Jeunesse central: À l'ombre de la pluie, Manon, Scaramouche, Tsoin-tsoin and Mélampyre.

  • Chaleux: Unknown.

T H E     C O N D R O Z    R E G I O N

 

The Condroz are marked by laissez-faire spatial policies from the early 20th century. The power is afraid of democracy and the mass organising. The threat could be averted by dispersing the people over the whole territory, by allowing to build anywhere, facilitating it with very local railways crisscrossing the most remote areas.

The lands of Condroz open up to deciduous woods waving in the wind. The fertile lands secretly host creeks.. And the creeks tell you the way to dramatic hills with caves and archaeological sites. Climate here is soft, often hosting a cool breeze, providing water for lush landscapes and glowing fields of flowers that jump into action with the first breaths of spring. And on unexpected places, limestone, sandstone and puddingstone shoot up into the sky.

The Condruzian regions couldn't contrast more with the colder spruce-shale-and-grass-dominated Ardennes... Or with the Condroz the Condruzi once knew. While travel came to focus on mass-consumable exotic places, little care has gone to the once lush Condroz garden of Eden, sold out by miners, loggers, barbed-wire-meat farmers, construction companies and trailer park entrepreneurs...colonizing the grant sewers they imagined on beholding Condroz' biblical rivers.

Condroz was a garden, but it became a shop, selling out, mostly to a neglectful densely populated north: the triple brickzilla: the Walloon coal-axis, urban sprawl king Flanders and the Dutch Randstad (see map below). Yet times are changing and Condroz is not merely riding down a tragical trend of disdain. The crags might give hints of forgotten Condruzian stories, heritage and the rise of an unparalleled climbing scene.

  

Looking south over the triple brick-zilla.

  

1862. Montaigle where Molignée and Flavion join.
François Stroobant.

1864. Walzin above the Lesse.
Victor Hugo.

  

Approximately 1900. Château De Bouvignes by Rodolphe Wytsman.

  

1919. Huy by Sir William Rothenstein.

  

Freyr
4&5
6
7
8
Yvoir
4&5
4&5
6
anhee
4&5
gerlin
8
burnot
pending
Nausee ext.
4&5
6
7
8
pont a lesse
4&5
6
7
trou magritte
6
7
8
durnal
4&5
6
chaleux
6
7