What is the “French Yosemite”? Like the American one, it’s a rock-climbing paradise. And unlike the American one, climbing there is brand new.
This week, Seb Bouin’s “Hidden Gems” series finds the bolt-clipping beast in the French alpine crag of Champsaur — aka the “French Yosemite.”
I’m not totally sure what compelled Bouin to compare Champsaur to Yosemite. Yes, the squat, sandstone crag does bear a resemblance to the valley’s gray- and blue-streaked granite walls. Maybe more intimately, it appears to climb similarly — runouts and blank segments are common, and it clearly scares Bouin.
And that’s all part of the fun. Watch the Frenchman and his cohort go through the full wringer of developing a new cliff in this clip. When just walking up to it is hard, you know you’re in for it. Turns out, what waits at the top for Bouin and his crew is plenty more.
Runtime: 11 minutes