Targasonne is one of the most interesting bouldering venues in France (if one forgets Font of course…) : many boulders, magnificient landscape, nice weather conditions… The place has been developed for several years now by local climbers, Phil Gondoux being the most well-known. Many strong climbers have come to this place now and the Chaos will remember for a long time the visit of klem Loskot whose performances are reported in an article at CRAGX, with some beautiful pics… A monstruous gathering (500 climbers according to the organizers, 5 according to the police ), Targasonnic, took place in May 2004 and saw some choice new problems being sent. A pretty film is available HERE.
The place is divided into several areas placed on a high (almost 1500m) Pyrenean plateau close to Font-Romeu.
I can’t find the words to fully express the beauty and the quality of the area: you have to go there to feel that…
The rock is granite with a very aggressive grain except on a few very stiff problems where, miraculously, it is still possible to climb with sore, red fingers (I’m thinking of Agathe the Poison in sector ‘Dieux Païens ‘)…
To date, 900 blocks have been developed, from very easy for children to very hard (Psoass Hole 8b).
Guides and useful informations
From Toulouse, go in the direction of Andorra then go through the Porte-Puymorens tunnel. Then go to Targasonne through Angoustrine, following signs for Font-Romeu. It should take you 2h15 to go from Toulouse to Targasonne.
From Perpignan, go in the direction of Font-Romeu and you’ll get there in 1h30…
The first areas are found near (and in) the La Griole Campsite.
Where to stay
You’re looking for somewhere to stay in? Check Louis Dollo’s website… We have been testing La Chouette at Odeillo : pleasant and comfortable even if the room could be freshened up a little. More expensive but nicest is Cal Barbe in Targasonne. At Baynat de Baïx, you will find large rooms with saunas and jacussis but ZeBloc didn’t test that place.
Meteo France’s local phone number will give you a short term forecast : 08 92 68 02 66. You also have Odeillo’s webcam to check the snow level…
You can climb at Targasonne for most of the year, except when there is too much snow but it doesn’t usually last too long.
It’s difficult for me to give you a ‘best-problems list’ because there are so many nice problems in that place! But here is some advice if you don’t have much time and you want to go right to some of the best problems..
– Dieux Païens : Videomaniac, which is knwon everywhere is a high 6b with good holds. Don’t miss Little Death (7b) and Lobi One (7b)…
– Arixo :some magnificient problems in that area : El Mezclador (6a), L’Aquarium Envolé (7a+) and Sing While You May (7b). Some people like Black Block (7c or 8a depending where you start from)…
– TAZ : you will find here some of the historical hard problems of Targasonne : le Tombeau de Dame Panc Ashash (7c+), the amazing Thanatodrome (7c or 8a for a sitstart, see Klem Loskot’s movie atnadvanture.com. )…. Problems N° 2, 3 and 4 of the red circuits are nice (6c to 7a), le Seigneur des Annales (7b+) will test your finger strength, as will its neighboor Nazgul, 7c.
– Baleine : small area with high quality problems. On the Baleine boulder, you will find a nice 7a+ and a beautiful 7c : Magic Instinct. On the boulder facing the baleine : 3 must-do problems between 6a and 6c. Just below the Baleine, in the trees, is a top quality 7b.
Last, when you go back to the cars from Baleine, you will see on the lefthand side a nice-looking boulder which is…nice. Creatura (7c or 8a sitstart) uses the two holes in the middle of the boulder..
– Dolmens : above Dieux Païens area, you will find the Dolmens area and its difficult problems Psoass Hole (8b) in a roof (movie at nadvanture.com) and a nice problem with Uniformicide (8a) and Ground Control to Major Tom (8a+) … A little farther, ‘No More Cookies’ (7b+) was opened during Targasonnic 2004.
This area is heaven : boulders sitting on the grass, no noise…
– Themis : less density here than at other areas but some nice problems in the medium difficulties.
– Chapeau et Proue : close to the campground is another historical area of targasonne. Tons of nice easy problems, some of them with bolts on top, due to their height. You will find here the ‘Mandala of Targasonne’ (believing C Sharma) : ‘In the Shadow’, 7c.
– L’Arche and l’Aigle are two other areas described in the guide but we think that they are less interesting than the others.
The Chaos of Targasonne really is a large place and new problems are developed every day : some new areas (Col de Juell for example) are being discovered and developed… Stay tuned to Targabloc…