__History:__ More than a cliff, Ceüse is a group of several cliffs. These cliffs are different in many ways: their orientation, their kind of climbing and the type of rock. Their histories are all different: the people, the generations, the equipment as well and obviously the grades. Ceüse is a timeless classic and has been the witness of modern climbing history. Every sector has his proper history that we teach you before their description. Climbing in Ceüse started in the late 70’s, the cliff is then a training field in summer as well as in winter. Far from the rock that makes the cliff famous today we exploited at that time the weakness of its lines. Philippe Macle told me one day that one winter he climbed with his crampons the faults close to the viaferrata. Modern climbing arrived in the 80’s and 90’s. Drills replaced hammers that were used before to put pitons and bolts with the hand drill. Slowly this unique cliff reveals itself. __Sectors:__ Golots à Gogo , Capeps or Natilik are first exploited keeping focused on long routes. But then, one pitch routes started to attract with their flawless lines and their complexity. This period marked the arrival of the sectors “Cascade”, “Berlin”, “Demi Lune” and “Un Pont sur l’Infini". The 90’s and 2000’s were quiet regarding new openings but very active regarding the maintenance. Many re-equipments were done, the trend was more to secure and maintain what already existed than to set up new routes. Re-equipment of multi pitches routes and of the main sectors was done. In 2000’s 2010’s thanks to new motivations and new faces, equipment and opening of new routes started again. Face de Rat sector with affordable routes or even Grande Face and Nitshapa revealed their potentials. Openings were made researching for logical lines in a rock that will keep surprising us. Equipment became more in accordance with modern climbing. From 2010 until 2018 the potentials of Grande Face and Nitshapa were exploited along with the opening of the new sectors: Plein Sud and Papillon. More than 200 new pitches have been created since the last topo. But also multi pitches routes modern and more traditional. Even if the playing group starts to be reduced, it makes no doubt that Ceuse still have some secrets to reveal in the coming years. __Orientation and best period to climb:__ Each crag has its characteristics, with its quotations, its type of climbing and its best period to be climbed. The Sun! Either friend or foe, it will determine, according the seasons the best climbing conditions. It rises in the east (Gap side) and sets in the west (Col des Guerins side), the firsts sectors to be “hit” by the sun are Natilik and Grande face, and the last ones are Golots and Cascade. But you also have to take in account how high is the sun in the sky, it will be higher in summer than in winter, and will disappear more quickly above the cliff at the end of spring and beginning of summer, but it will fully hit the cliff at the end of summer, autumn and winter... Ha ha!! The other important thing is the altitude, between 1700m and 1900m below zero, don’t underestimate it as it influences a lot the climbing conditions. At spring time, the sun goes up quickly, it is not that strong and the conditions are nice either in the sun or in the shade... Do not hesitate to go from one sector to another. At the beginning of summer you have to be careful with snow ridges that can fall from the top of the cliff, especially at Berlin, Demi Lune and Un pont sur l’infini. In summer, the shade hits Cascade until noon and reaches Grande Face around 2 or 3 pm, there again you can go from sector to sector but when it is very hot, conditions can be bad even in the shade because the rock keeps the heat from the day... But sometimes a small breeze can arrive and change everything. In autumn it all depends of the weather as the sun is very low. If it is hot, the conditions are bad as the crag will be on the shade very late. If it is cold you have to climb on the sun and it disappears quickly except at La Cascade. In winter it is possible to climb in full sunlight, the snow melts quickly but can sometimes stay on the footpath, take adapted shoes even snowshoes if needed.The part under Berlin has already been done skiing. Anyway, you have to be clever and not hesitate to move. One thing is for sure; the eternal equipment, short, gloves, trousers, tank top, down jacket, flip-flop and hat should be in your bag at any time, even in summer. __The exceptional for all (by Roger Didier):__ Ceüse offers a wonderful view over the Southern Alps and all over Gap’surroundings. With more than 600 routes Ceüse is one of the largest and more diversify climbing area. It is globally renowned thanks to the quality and to the beauty of its routes but also because of the extreme difficulty of “Biographie” sector. Due to the diversity of the routes, each climber, no matter the level, will follow the steps of famous people as Patrick Edlinger, Jean-Christophe Lafaille or Stéphanie Bodet. I want to thank all the guides, highly qualified climbers, instructors, professionals and amateurs who contribute to the maintenance and to the renown of the cliff all year long. Every day we do our best to ensure the routes for all levels are well maintained, to improve hosting facilities, and security. The republication of this guide book is the opportunity to ask ourselves about all these preoccupations. Local authorities will give us the necessary support to develop this unique site which is part of a major tourism challenge for our region. Roger Didier, Président de l’Agglomération Gap-Tallard-Durance
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