With 53 climbing routes for experienced climbers, the Costaros site is a great place to enjoy a climb in a peaceful, green setting.
The impressive Costaros cliff is one of the two extinct pipes in the Bartou volcano. There are 53 climbing routes with double or triple lengths (96 in all). The site is at an altitude of 900m and faces south-east. It is ranked as suitable for experienced climbers by the French Mountain and Climbing Federation.
The rock is made of basalt trachyandesite and gives a relatively good grip, with some nice rougher patches on the easier routes. The layout of the rock face, with its long, tall columns, also makes this an interesting site. The disintegrated elements in the lower part give rise to some great slopes, wide ledges projecting into space and sometimes comfortable tables to take a rest before setting off for the next section!
The site was set up for climbers in the 1980s. New facilities were added in 2012 to provide a safer climb. This is quite a large site and is best suited to climbers with some experience. The rock face alternates continuous columns and disintegrated elements, giving rise to a very wide variety of climbing routes.
As well as the inherent beauty of the site, the landscapes to be seen from the climbing routes are truly magnificent. And not to mention the wide range of raptors and other birds sharing the cliffs with climbers, including peregrine falcons, which you can recognise with their strident cry!
Climbing season: all the year round, but best between March and October (the south-eastern sector is inaccessible from March to June during the peregrine falcon’s nesting period, with warning notices on site).
Location: 30 minutes by car from the north of Le Puy-en-Velay, near Blanlhac, between Rosières, Vorey and Chamalières-sur-Loire.
Access: the site is well signposted from Chamalières-sur-Loire, and even from Rosières on the road to Yssingeaux.
Take the D35 road when you leave Blanlhac heading for Chamalières-sur-Loire, continue to the village of Le Chomeil, then there is a 15-minute walk to get to the climbing site.
Parking: between the villages of La Varenne and Le Chomeil, near the square washing place.
GPS: 45.175940, 3.967500 / UTM: 31 N 576021 5002951
Equipment required: 15 quickdraws and 70 to 80m of rope.
All year round.