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Dan Varian Reports from Kerlouan

Dan Varian Reports from Kerlouan
Dan Varian Reports from Kerlouan
Dan Varian Reports from Kerlouan
October 19, 2010 -  Dan Varian    

The Brittany coast seems to be a place where they know what wind means. Lamp posts and flag poles tin out a hypnotic tune in every town and large hedges surround most gardens. Fortunately this means it is a nice place to climb in the shade in summer. It’s easy to find a breeze at Kerlouan when you need it. The rock is incredibly rough but mostly through lack of traffic, Its pretty tacky granite really, the type you’d buy in bulk from netto rather than the smooth expensive Swiss stuff. But its had a bash anyway, with a heck of a lotto’ massif on the coast some of it inevitably ends up being good, really good actually. With some of the lines like Aeroplane Blind being total classics. There is also an amazing 8a called Ah Men.


Reading the topo also has one distinct advantage in that the sea is on one side and land on the other so we're talking vectors rather than raster for boulder searching. Kerlouan itself is a bit of a windy ghost town after the school holiday masses leave at the end of august. Our municipal campsite was €3 a night and was 50m from a beautiful quiet beach (out of season). There are tons of problems to go at in the 7’s and a handful of really good 8’s with potential for much more. We only had 2 days there but it felt much longer, I climbed as many amazing looking classics up to 8a as i could until my skin was screaming to stop.

The highlight of this area came upon finding this amazing world beater of a line, after searching it out i sieged it into submission and got a rather incredible feather in my cap which i'll cherish forever more.

My main regret from here was not going swimming, the lagoons are really clear and would make a perfect rest day or end of climbing day activity.

You can find more info (mostly in french) at Krimpadenn, EscaladeMag, and TrekEarth. Looks like they are starting to write the new topo for Kerlouan too.

Bretagne bloc from on Vimeo.

The bad technique is due to it all being flashes, except for bruit du frigo which is nails when you try and climb it like a muppet.

In comparison I thought Ploumanach was pretty rubbish to climb on and very underfeatured but amazing to look at. Parabola is the obvious exception to the rule here and it is one of the purest boulders I've seen anywhere and an incredible line/climb, certainly an obscure Fred Nicole tick as well. There is a sitter to this which would go (it was in the high 20's when I was there and still so I didn't stick around for too long after doing parabola, when your pits are stickier than the holds its time to move on!)


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