Le Vallon des 5 Marches

Technical Sheet

This descent is listed V-Vert

Municipality: Rigaud
Valley: The Gorges du Cians
IGN map: 3641.OT
Departure altitude: 800m
Length: 450m
Altitude difference: 440m
Cascade Max: 45m
Approach: 1H 15mn (1H rise and 15mn flat)
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 30 September 2017 by Dany (Lion), Christophe (Cactus) and Dominique (Dom). Re-equipped the 03 and 16 December by the Lion and Cactus.

Origin of name

O The race begins with magnificent giant steps that go down towards the Cians Valley.


(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 6 et 7). 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 150m, we pass in front of the departure of the "Face de Ciolet" indicated by red marks on the trees in RG of the path (Photo 20). We continue for a hundred meters and the path turns to the right uphill. In this bend (indicated by fluorescent yellow paint marks and located just before a very characteristic broken tree) (Photo 21) we will leave the path to go down to the left following the yellow paint marks for a hundred meters (Photos 22 et 23). There, the slope gets accentuated and we find an achorage on tree (Photos 24 et 25). At the bottom of this small abseil in declivity (C12), we will go 6m in RD (Photo 26) to find an anchorage on the rock (Photo 27).

Return: At the bottom of the scree, we take on the left the path of the Vésubie channel. After about fifteen minutes, we join a track that will go down on the right for 100m to the road that will take on the right to find the downstream parking in 5mn.

MOV - Access

The Play Ground

Access in Pictures


(See "The Photo Gallery")

D From the departure anchorage on rock (Photo 27), we go down a C18 (Photo 28) at the bottom of which begins the giant steps (29 to 59 photos). After the C18 of the start, we will link C14-C14-C19 and C31 (29 to 45 photos). At the foot of the C31, we will descend on a dozen meters to get to an anchorage on tree (Photos 47 et 48). From this tree we will descend a C16 then we will make a descent of about twenty meters (49 to 52 photos) to find an anchorage on the ground, starting point of a C25 that finishes the descent of the giant steps (53 59 photos). A short de-escalation of 20m allows to descend in the Canyon, in RG. There is immediately an anchoragee on tree in RD (Photos 60 et 61) which allows to descend a C32 to another anchorage on tree in RD which gives access to a C8 (Photo 63). At the bottom of the C8, there is an anchorage on the wall in RD (Photo 64), starting point of a C15 (Photos 66 et 67) which allows to reach, in RG, the anchorage of the C31 in pendular (Photos 68 et 69). Without being really complicated, starting from this anchorage can be a little tricky for the less experienced. The Leader will be able to easily equip his teammates two meters away from the anchorage, without having them come along further, above the "hole" where they could encounter problems to start from themselves. Doing that way, everyone will be able to start from this anchorage without any difficulty. Once arrived at the bottom of the C31 (Photos 70 et 71) we will go down a small scree on about fifty meters (Photos 72 et 73) down to an anchorage on a tree in RG (Photos 74 et 75). We then go down a C14 (Photo 76) down to an anchorage on a big tree in RD (Photo 77), starting point of a C33 (Photo 78). Then, an anchorage, also on a tree, in RG (Photo 79) allows to descend a C37 (Photos 81 et 82). We then find an anchorage in RD (Photos 83 et 84), starting point of a magnificent C45 (85 to 89 photos). Downstairs is an anchorage in RD (Photo 90) that gives access to a C40 (Photo 91). This leads to the start of a superb C30 (92 to 95 photos). We then arrive at the foot of a monolith, a large block of rock that arived here, one day, falling from the top. An anchorage on tree in RD (Photo 96) allows to easily go down the scree (C38), down to the channel of Cians that will follow on the left (Photos 97 et 98) for about twenty minutes until we reach the road.

The Photo Gallery

The Synopsis

MOV - Presentation

Aquatic character

L The canyon is dry all year round but can run under heavy rain.


A No known escape after having started descending the giant steps. 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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