I don’t have to introduce you anymore Christophe, my canyon guide friend with whom we have already discovered the Val d’Angouire canyon. This time he is going to a tributary of the latter; the famous Vénascle ravine. A canyon very rarely in water. But thanks to the rainy spring of this year, there is enough water to evolve all along the course. Indeed, it is always more interesting to practice a canyon in water. A dry canyon is somehow cut off from the fun aspect that a water canyon can offer. Finally, it is good to know that a canyon that does not flow generally presents stagnant pools. A not very healthy atmosphere that we prefer to keep away from.
Approach walk and organization for the Vénascle ravine
We leave Castellane at 8:30 am because for the last few days the weather has been turning stormy in the early afternoon. It is never advisable to take the rain in the middle of a narrow passage. Indeed, we often fear the “flush” effect. It is therefore better to leave before the rain. A good hour of road is necessary to arrive at Moustiers-Sainte-Marie by the D-952. We know it by heart but it is always very pleasant. Especially early in the morning when the road belongs to us.
To perfect our last adventure, we decide to take this time two cars. In order to make a shuttle between the lodging of Vénascle and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. This allows us to save the two and a half hours of walking we did the week before, loaded like mules. Too bad for the warm-up this time!
We park quietly on the plateau and we prepare the stuff. Once the bags thrown on the back, we are ready to leave! We ask ourselves then the following question “Where is the departure? We begin to look for, to look for… This famous departure is not easy to find. We turned back several times to find this very badly indicated departure.
Progression in the Canyon of the ravine of Vénascle
We change quickly and Christophe who already growls (I make fun of him :))) “Let’s hurry up, it’s getting covered!” We cover 50 meters before putting the first rappel and already, the scenery is set. A long narrow passage interspersed with small abseils. Even if there is only one jump, I have the impression that this route is more fun than the one in Val d’Angouire. The anchors are not as new but they held! Several passages under waterfalls, do not forget the hood!
At the end of the route, a few passages of de-escalation are mandatory. Two or three meters at the most but that will not be easy for the less adventurous, we will be careful not to slip… Then at the arrival, we join the Val d’Angouire which today is very wet. Probably too much to be able to cross it serenely.
A walk of 40 minutes is necessary to return on the highest parking of Moustiers, it is recommended to follow the red paint marks at the beginning not to get lost and to join the botanical path.