Annot sits at 5,000 feet — spring and fall are best, with winter sometimes amazing, sometimes too snowy. You can climb mid-summer by sticking to the highest areas and the pocket (not sloper) problems.
Camping is forbidden in the forest. Annot has camping, but the closest campground to the boulders is La Rouie, roughly 3.5 miles up the dirt road. La Rouie costs 2.5 euro per person per night to camp (this includes a clean bathroom and hot showers), and 25 euro for a studio. Call 04 92 83 25 90 and be ready to speak French.
Visit abloc.org for free detailed topos (in French).
Annot ratings range from B1 to B16, along an open-ended scale with only three rough points of translation to Font grades: B6 = 6a/6a+ (V3/4), B10 = 7a/7a+ (V7), and B13 = 7c/7c+ (V10).
Rules and ethics
•No wire brushes on established problems and no chipping.
•Chalk only — no pof!
•No climbing after rainfall.
•Each fall, some of the farthest areas are closed for hunting wild pig. This closure equates to about 15 percent of the established climbing; visit abloc.org for more.
•Park in designated pullouts, keeping the road clear for tractors.
•Don’t pick mushrooms.
You can reach Annot by train, but it is 1.5 hours on foot to La Rouie and a bit farther yet to the boulders. There are cheap flights ($70 each way) from Paris to Marseille, where you can rent a car for the 2.5-hour drive to Annot.
Annot, the closest town with amenities, has three restaurants (the best is Le Versus; 25-35 euro/meal) and a bar (meals for less than 10 euro up till 8 p.m.).
Les Grès d'Annot, the cliff-sized blobs just above town, host 130-odd routes up to 5.14c. It’s worth nothing that the vast majority of these climbs were literally constructed — to the tune of some 100,000 Francs ($20,000) — in the late 1980s by a climbing-wall manufacturer hired by the town to attract climbers. If you dig drilled pockets on blank walls, you’ll be in heaven.