Text and pictures © 2011-2013 Guillaume Dargaud
Last updated on 2012/12/20
"Disobey. Defy. Take your own time. Fly." — Anne Clark.
Left: Slab climbs on excellent granite with short approaches on the head of the Maye, right above La Berarde, the end of the road.
Right: Climbing with a view on the upper Veneon valley. Yes, it's not very steep and mostly slab climbing on excellent rock, providing a good introduction to the area.
Left: Jenny and the upper Veneon valley seen from the Tete de la Maye.
Right: The Dibona peak, named after its first climber, remains one of the most climbed peak in the Alps, and for good reasons: very sexy looking, excellent rock, and very short approach from the hut (whether it's a short approach to reach the hut is left as an exercise to the reader...)
Left: Here on Passage Obligatoire (6a), one of the most classic route. Thanks Cambon.
Right: It's been 20 years since I last came to the Dibona, climbing the exact same route. Still good though. And it now feels a lot easier than when I was a student with only a few plastic climbs under my belt.
Left: The Stoefer ridges, where many of the routes merge
Left: Arrival on the summit ridge for Jenny, with the Soreiller valley below (2 hours from the road).
Right: Last move before reaching the summit, but it's an awkward offwidth.
Left: Summit of the Dibona.
Right: Jenny on the summit of the Dibona.
Left: Coming down the Dibona on the normal route: 2 25m rappels and then some grade 2 exposed downclimbing. Note the climbers on the summit.
Right: Climbers on the west face of the Dibona.
Left: General view of the west face.
Right: The south face of the Dibona: aid and hard.
Left: Climbers rappelling down the 2nd pitch of Visite Obligatoire.
Right: Looking south towards the Rouies, the Olan and other summits of the southern Ecrins.
Left: Last pitch of 'Ethique de la Joie' (6b), a new route not in the classic Cambon guidebook, starting between the Martine and the memorial.
Right: A little awkward move before merging with the other routes.
Left: Summit of the Dibona.
Right: Summit of the Dibona with the Soreiller valley beneath.
Left: The Dibona in the evening, as seen when walking out.
Right: A year later and back again on Passage Obligatoire. Starting the route at midday with the closest party already on the 4th pitch and us being 3 people on the same rope, I thought we would be alone...
Left: ...well we not only caught up with the previous party, but we managed to pass no less than 7 parties on the route and the summit ridge. Fortunately I know several shortcuts.
Right: Delicate slab on the summit ridge.
Left: Almost on the summit, the final offwidth.
Right: Next day on the much harder 'Martine is on the Rocks', back after more than 2 decades I didn't remember it being so hard the first time around.
Left: With Tonino, Antonella and the Soreiller hut.