Céüse (VIDEO)

Housing perhaps the most condensed population of climbers pushing 9’s; welcome to the sandlot, bienvenue à Cèüse – Cèüse, France.

If you aren’t warming up on 7s, I recommend you prepare yourself for some soul crushing.  The 3 km, 450m elevation gaining hike (1.8 mile, 1500′) to the base of the 2km wide overhung limestone ‘crag’ serves as somewhat of a warm-up and cool-down as well as effective crowd control.  For those planning on multiple days in Cèüse there are a few variations to the hike to keep it fresh.  May I recommend Falaise direct on your descent?

The cliffs of Ceuse

I spent four days in Cèüse and by the time I warmed up to the unique style of climbing, I had squandered all of my finger skin. Next time, I will spend at least a week.  The climbing is incredibly hard and the bolting is not for the faint of heart, once you get a grasp of the hard and runout nature you are ready to play in this elite playground.  The VERY SMALL town surrounding the cliffs of Cèüse is busting at the seams with round disks of scrumptious goat cheese and one bakery, which happens to be closed on Thursdays.

Sector Berlin

  • Zagreb (6c) – sustained crux. Vertical yoga.
  • Casse-noisette (7a+) – tricky second clip. Save some for the mentally exciting crux above. Follow the tick marks and you are screwed.
  • La petite illusion (7a+) – burly introduction right out of the gate leads to delicate, beautiful climbing
  • San john’s pécos (7b+) – follow the blue streak for a stinger of a finish
  • Blue comme l’enfer (6c+) – easy, hard, easy. Sharp and juggy with one mind boggling crux before letting off.

Sector Bibendum

  • Bibendum (A0 two bolts, 7b+) – aid to the second bolt, everyone does it. This one makes you fight for the fun. Don’t miss the no hands rest.

Sector Un pont sur l’infini

  • La reine des pommes (6c+) – technical and sharp
  • Le vol du pilatus (6b+) – Sharp, though more consistently juggy
  • Dietetic line (7b) – warm up sequence plays peek a boo with two distinct cruxes
  • Gelati Dolomiti (7a) – a throwback to trad style, technical climbing leads to a beautiful lieback section.

Photo Album


Quick Reference Guide


Getting There

Fly into either Grenoble, Nimes, Marseille or Turin, leaving you with less than 1.5 hours of driving to Cèüse.  Many low cost airlines fly to these locations from within Europe, like RyanAir into Montpellier.

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Important Numbers

Emergency 112
Police 017
Medical emergency 015

All are at the base of the cliff and at or within a stone’s throw of the trailhead.



Article by

Raised in the ocean lined landscape of Southern California, Ilana now calls the rocky mountains of Colorado home. Ilana is a mother to an adventurous daughter, an accomplished rock and ice climber, skier, snowboarder, mountain distance runner, avid adventurer, and a Registered Trauma Nurse. A recent, near fatal accident in May, 2018, has left Ilana with a new disability; bringing her biggest life challenge to head, adapting to continue her pursuit of long, hard days in the mountains and share it with the generations to come. Ilana is the founder of Thrillseekers Anonymous, a seasoned event speaker, and has been featured in various media outlets including the February 2015 issue of ‘Climbing’ magazine, December 2013 issue of ‘Rock and Ice’ magazine, December/January 2013 issue of ‘Gripped Climbing’ magazine, Canyoneering: A Guide to Techniques for Wet and Dry Canyons (How To Climb Series) by Dave Black and Pasadena Magazine as well as a Climbing Expert on MTV’s Parental Control (Season 7 – “Heather”).

Ilana has written 121 articles for Thrillseekers Anonymous.

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