La Face de Ciolet

Technical Sheet

This descent is listed V-Vert

Municipality: Touët sur Var
Valley: The Gorges du Cians
IGN map: 3641.OT
Departure altitude: 800m
Length: 450m
Altitude difference: 440m
Cascade Max: 42m
Approach: 1H 15 (1H rise and 15mn flat ... phew!)
Duration: 4H
Back: 20mn
Shuttle service: 1.4 km
Roche: Limestone

Legend Quotation

Route accessible to the greatest number with abseils not exceeding sixty meters.

Descent very vertical with abseils that can approach 100 meters.

Reserved for lovers of verticals, relays full wall and large commuters.

Descent very impressive. DO NOT engage in it without being certain of its technical capabilities and perfect vacuum control.

Warning !

Beware of the falls of Stones. Thoroughly purge the starting surfaces before installing the ropes and make sure to take cover as soon as you get down.


Open the 14 October 2017 by Dany (Lion), Christophe (Cactus) and Dominique (Dom)

Origin of name

C This Canyon is located in the RD of the "Ravin du Ciolet" which, same as it, descends directly from the "Bar of Ciolet", itself located at the edge of the "Plateau de Paillers" (pronounce "Paillaisse").


(See "The MOV Access")

Downstream : From Nice, take the N202 towards Dignes. At the crossroads of La Mescla, turn left towards Dignes and Valberg. Pass the village of Touët-sur-var and, 1.5km further, at the intersection with the D28 which goes up the "Gorges du Cians", park immediately in the car park which adjoins the Cians bridge (Photo 01).

Upstream: With the second vehicle, take the D28 back to Touët. Arrived at Touët, we park (Photo 02) and, on foot, from the car park, we take the path at the 36 waymark. We climb up the village (Photo 03), we pass in front of the arrival of the "Canyon de Touët" (Photo 04) and we continue the path to the 38 waymark towards "Thiéry" and "Baisse de Thiéry" (Photo 05). It is the path that goes up to the departure of the "Canyon de Touët" (Photos 06 et 07). Besides, my Cocker (Geezer) shows us the way (Photo 08). We pass the start of the "Canyon de Touët" (Photos 09 et 10) and we keep climbing (Photo 11). At the 39 waymark, we leave the path that leads to "Thiéry" and "Baisse de Thiéry" to take a path that climbs to the left (Photo 12). At the end of 1 climb time, we arrive on the "Plateau de Paillers" at the level of an ancient sheepfold (14, 15 and 16 photos). From there, we take a small-marked-path that goes to the left along the cliff (Photo 17). At the end of 7mn, we arrive above the junction of "Cians" and "Var" (Photo18). We leave on the left the small start of path that leads to the departure of the "Ravin du Ciolet" and we continue our path on the right (Photo 19). After a hundred meters, we leave the trail on the left at the level of a red paint mark on a tree, just in front of a characteristic pine whose trunk seems to split in two (in fact, it is composed of 2 distinct pines) and located on the right of the path (Photos 20 et 21).
From there, we will make a short de-escalation of 3-4mn following the red paint marks and going towards the left (22 to 26 photos), until we find the starting anchorage on rock, at the top of the cliff (Photos 27 et 28). An apero (Photo 29) and Hop! ... on our way.

Return: At the bottom of the scree (Photos 96 et 97), we take a left on the path of the Vésubie canal. After about fifteen minutes, we join a track (Photo 98) that we will go down on the right for 100m until we reach the road which we will take on the right to find the downstream parking in 5mn.

MOV - Access

The Play Ground

Access in Pictures


(See "The Photo Gallery")

O Of course, we start with an apero at the top of the cliff (Photos29) while examining the topography of the places at the foot of the cliff. Already, the look is worth it, but in addition we will understand where we will go once down the cliff. If we go on the right we will be in the "Valley of 5 Marches". Too much on the left and it will be then the "Ravine of Ciolet". That said, these 2 Vallons are equipped and the lengths of rope needed are substantially the same (55m for the "Ravin du Ciolet" and 45m for the "Vallon des 5 Marches"). But ... it's better going down the right Canyon and you would anyway have to improvise an anchorage on tree to go down into the other Canyons.
We start the descent by a small C14 (Photos 33 et 34) which leads to the starting anchorage of the superb C35 (Photo 35).

Caution: It is clear on Photo 35 that there is a crevasse beneath the rope guard. Even with the rope guard, the 2 ropes will get stuck in the bottom of this crevasse and pulling back the ropes will then be impossible. This is what happened to us the day this picture was taken and we had to climb back up... 35m in pendular ... better to have the right equipment for this exercise! (38 and 39 photos)

To avoid this, the last teammate to descend will take care to position the ropes next to this crevasse and not upon it. This descent is a must (Photos 36 et 37) and, once down (Photo 40), we find a mono point anchorage which allows to go down a small C9 (41 to 43 photos).
From there, we will descend by going towards the left in the direction of a bouquet of tall pines, very characteristic in the middle of this vegetation made of scrub and small shrubs (Photo 42 and 44 to 48). Just below these tall pines is a large dead tree (49 to 51 photos) and, right next to it, we will find an anchorage on a tree (Photo 52) which, after a well deserved apero (Photos 53 et 54) will allow to descend a C18 under cover of vegetation (55 to 57 photos). At the foot of this descent (Photo 58), we will follow the wall in RG and we will go towards the beginning of the Canyon of the "Face de Ciolet" (59 to 61 photos). There, an anchorage on the ground (Photo 62) allows to go down into the Canyon with a C19 (63 to 65 photos).
In the Canyon, there is an anchorage on the wall in RG (Photo 66), starting point of a C28 with a fixed deviation in RG (Photos 67 et 68). An anchorage on the wall in RG (Photo 69) gives access to a sloping C42 (Photo 70). We then find in RD an anchorage on a big tree (Photo 71) which makes it possible to go down a small C10 on a sloping scree (72 and 73 photos). We then go down a C34 with a friction at minus 15m (74 to 76 photos). Then follows a small C10 and a C28 with a friction at minus 1m (77 to 80 photos). An anchorage in RD opens a C36 in slope, then an anchorage in RD is the starting point of a beautiful C26 with the mandatory installation of a rope guard at -2m (81 to 83 photos).
We then find an anchorage on a tree to descend a C17 sloping (Photos 84 et 85). We then get into the terminal C44 which decomposes into C31 and C13 (86 to 92 photos).
Then, all that remains is to de-escalate the final scree with an anchorage on a bunch of trees to help (93 to 95 photos). At the bottom of the scree (Photos 96 et 97) we are then on the path of the channel of Cians that we will follow to the left during 15mn until meeting a track (Photo 98) that we'll go right down to the road. The downstream car park is at 5mn on the right.

The Photo Gallery

The Synopsis

MOV - Presentation

Aquatic character

S Dry all year but it must probably run under heavy rain.


A No known lescape after descending the C35. If there was to be one (it's not sure at all)it would be anyway going in RD and hoping to find a passage between the cliffs in order to get back up on the path... why not?

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