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Buoux

  • Grade context: FR
  • Approach time: 10min
  • Photos: 3
  • Ascents: 774

Seasonality

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Summary

Buoux ("bee-yooks") is a classic sport climbing crag which was extremely popular in the 80s. It's famous for its pockets, desperate slabs and spaced bolting.

Description

"Through the 1980s and early 1990s, Buoux was considered the best crag in the world, the place where the best Euro-jocks came to play and to experiment," Stewart Green wrote in Rock Climbing Europe. "Here they honed the rock skills needed to open Ceuse, today's 'best crag in the world.'"

Many consider Buoux to be a hard crag because it requires to be highly skilled on slabs. It can get pretty hard on fingers since some routes are just made of sharp pockets. Bolts are a little more spaced than more recent crags, adding a mental aspect to the overall difficulty.

The crags are located in the Aiguebrun Valley, one of the largest massifs in Vaucluse.

Topo : Buoux + Additif 2018, FFME 84, 2015+2018. 152 pages + 28 pages. 25€

Access issues

Climbing is only authorized from the sectors "Face Ouest" to "Bout du Monde" on the Aiguebrun cliff. All the other areas, including the Confines cliff (on the opposite side) are currently on private land and are closed. Camping and fires are prohibited.

Climbing was forbidden in Buoux for more than a decade. The last area to have been reopened is the Face Ouest area which was re-opened in 2010 with many new routes and some classic lines rebolted.

Not respecting these rules could lead to the area being closed again.

Approach

The closest town is Apt, about 15min away by car. There are 3 car parks at the base of the cliffs. Park only in these car parks, not on the road and not at the Fort de Buoux car park which is for tourists only. The 1st car park is best for Face Ouest, the 3rd car park is best to access sectors close to Le Pillier des Fourmis.

You'll need to cross a little river to reach the base of the routes (with the help of a short cement bridge if you come from the 3rd car park). A track runs along the cliffs, parallel to the road. The approach can be between 5 and 15min depending on where you parked and where you're climbing. Some areas require climbing to access (Les Devers) but most are easily accessible from the ground.

Where to stay

If you keep following the road after the 3rd car park, you'll reach a dirt road which leads to L'Auberge des Seguins, a charming spot at the base of the cliffs, a restaurant, a swimming pool and 27 beds.

You can also stay in one of the paying camp sites in Apt (15km away).

Camping is not tolerated in Buoux.

Ethic

  • No camping
  • No sleeping in car parks
  • No fire
  • Don't leave any trash
  • Brush off your chalk and tick marks

History

View historical timeline

Development started in the 70s, focusing on multi-pitches and slabs. In the 80s, climbers started freeing more and more projects leading to an explosion of new routes. The first 8a were freed in 1983 (Ca Glisse au Pays des Merveilles, Patrick Edlinger and Rêve de Papillon, Marc Le Menestrel).

Popularity then soared, with thousands of climbers visiting the area on some of the busiest weekends. In the 90s, with the development of other crags in the region, Buoux became less popular but is now being revisited by keen climbers from all over the world.

Buoux is still being actively bolted nowadays by Antoine Le Menestrel (who married the daughter of the Buoux Mayor who once banned climbing), Pierre Duret, François Lepron, Bruno Clément and others.

Areas

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Name
Style
Routes
Ticks
Height
Grades
Brasil Sector
12
20
28m

Areas

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Name
Style
Routes
Ticks
Height
Grades
Songe Sector
10
8
25m
1
Autoroute Sector
26
19
20m
La No Sector
16
31
60m

Areas

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Name
Style
Routes
Ticks
Height
Grades
Mur Zappa Sector
24
29
19m
Salinas Sector
30
14
25m
Fakir Sector
21
21
30m
Excalibur Sector
36
55
22m
Scorpion Sector
16
49
22m
La Plage Sector
15
12
20m

Areas

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Name
Style
Routes
Ticks
Height
Grades
Les Dévers Sector
10
9
24m
1
La Conque Sector
5
13
27m
1
Rêve Sector
12
27
27m
1
Nombril Sector
8
30
35m
2
Le Styx Sector
22
48
25m
1
x Cliff
2
2
25m

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