The Sea Cliffs, new sport routes. Michel Piola and Benoit Robert returned to the North Coast for a couple of weeks during June and July to create 66 new pitches on Madagascar’s northern limestone in the vicinity of Diego Suarez. These new sport climbs are at the two venues; Montagne des Francais and Nosy Hara. The popularity of this area is increasing fast and in addition to the new Piola routes, other climbers added a further 14 pitches.
However, environmental agencies such as World Wildlife Fund and Conservation International are trying to obtain a marine reserve status for the archipelago. Fortunately for climbers, the protests of local people have been heeded and it is thought that both Nosy Andantsara and Anjombavola should receive a special status that will allow tourist activities. Nosy Hara is still under discussion, as so far the proposed special status is likely to allow only access to the beaches and not the cliffs. Either way, it is possible that much of the interior of the island will remain totally preserved.
Gilles Gautier, Madagascar