Nina Caprez climbing in the Verdon

Photo by Keith Ladzinski / 3 Strings Productions.

The Galetas cave is one of the many outlying crops of steep rock that buck the myth that the Verdon Gorge is all blank, techy slab climbing from the 1980s. Located in the Provence region of southern France, the Verdon Gorge, with its canyon of 1,500-foot limestone cliffs, is considered the “Grand Canyon of Europe,” and is also one of the birthplaces of modern free climbing and sport climbing.

In 2012, American sport climber Jonathan Siegrist met up with the Swiss sport climber Nina Caprez to explore this mythical, storied canyon. When the weather seemed suspect, the two climbers ventured to the Galetas Cave, an area that is the brainchild of the legendary and tireless first ascentionist Bruno Clement, and is distinguished by its approach by boat up the Verdon River.

In this photo, Nina Caprez takes down Pue le Flon (5.14a) on her fourth try. Watch all the action in this great film: