Climbing - A vertical perspective
Ariège is a dream location for beginner & expert climbers alike
Ariège sun rock climbing
Grade: Outdoor novice
Auzat, Sinsat and Calames all have perfect options for first time outdoor climbers and those climbing in the F4’s and F5’s.
Learn the ropes and improve technique in a beautiful natural environment. You might even spot the bright green, majestic European lizard. Suitable for families. It can be as gentle or demanding as you like. Longer courses available on request. Half or full day options. Advance booking needed. Climb with ropes or boulder.
Improve your grade
Grade: Outdoor climber, leading F5 minimum
For experienced climbers who would like to improve technique through expert coaching or gain an insight into training. We offer advanced skills training & performance analysis. Bouldering included. An opportunity to imporove your rope work too. Delivered by a former British champion, former national junior team coach and/or local experts. Half or full day options.
Private tuition - Climb your dream?
Climb your dream, learn a new technique, the day is yours. A long day-route or a tour of the finest crags in the area, finding routes best suited to you. Please let us know in advance what you would like to do so we can organise the best option.
Equipment: For all days we supply harness, helmet, belay plate, rock shoes, quickdraws and ropes. If you have your own suitable equipment you may bring and use it. Please wear loose-fitting clothes, tie hair back, bring waterproofs, suntan cream and take off any rings if possible.
Intro indoor wall boulder & Tips and Tricks sessions
Morning and evening half hour and hour sessions on our wall available for those who are not regular and experienced climbers. If you would like some performance coaching, tips and tricks please ask – open to all from beginner to elite.
Price for Chez Arran guests:
|Group Size||Per Day|
|1||£130 / 150€|
|2-3 £160 / 190€ per day Additional people up to 8||15€ / person extra|
|Group Size||Per Half Day|
|1 to 3||£75 / 90€|
|Additional people up to 10||15€ / £15 person extra|
TO BOOK: Indicate what you would like on your accommodation booking form & we will send the activity booking form.
Climbers doing your own thing?
We are happy to help giving advice for crags, access, routes etc. – just ask. We offer:
- Free Guidebook use
- Free use of printed topos
- Free map use
- Use of the climbing wall
- New Niaux Guide from Graham Lynch for sale
- Chalk and finger tape for sale
- Crash pad hire for 40 €/week
- Lifts to and from the crag by arrangement
Where can I find guidebooks to Ariège climbing before I arrive?
ARIÈGE ROCKFAX GUIDE OUT NOW!
There is a Rockfax to the area out now that we are involved in
authoring with Chris Craggs. It covers a good selection of the best crags in the Ariege and is a selective guide. Check it out when it comes along with the others! It will also include some crags which aren't currently published in any guidebook. We have copies for sale here for £24.95 or 30 euros. Contact us if you would like to buy a copy. We are setting up a fund for new route bolting, 5 euros of the price goes to this fund. It is also available on Amazon and in UK climbing shops.
There are excellent online topos to be found here: http://cafma.free.fr/ They include crag access descriptions in French and are the best place to look for the latest new development in the area. They are 95% line drawings. There are printed local guidebooks to Auzat, Calames area, Dent de Orlu, Sinsat and the most recent from Graham Lynch to the Niaux crags. You can find these online or buy in climbing shops like Decathlon Foix or in Tarascon sur Ariege tourist information office. We have the Niaux guide for sale here too - a comprehensive guide of the limestone crags in the Niaux valley.
How far away is the climbing from Chez Arran?
You can walk to Sinsat in 15-20 minutes. It is a 5 minute drive and further afield you can travel by car to 8 crags within 10 minutes.
What do you recommend if I climb Fr4-Fr6?
There is lots of choice! South facing Calames is a good bet but a bit hot in the height of summer. The Auzat granite is excellent for most occasions but can be a little cold mid winter - has to be the top crag for beginners. Sinsat and Verdun have many great options with the best multi pitch being at Sinsat and Dent de Orlu (another granite crag good in summer). Niaux crags have steeper sides but Sibada and a couple of the Alliat crags have a selection of good 6's. A great venue for sun or shade as there are options on both sides of the valley. Baychon has some very pleasant slabby 2 pitch 5's on the LHS of Zaza sector - well worth a look. Genat has some weather proof 6's. Ariège has a huge variety of options from slab to overhanging and 3 rock types to spice up your stay.
Where can I go bouldering?
For bouldering in the winter it is best to travel to the famous top class Targassone which is 1 hr away. In the summer there are options at Laramarde (10 mins) and Orlu 30 mins. Laramarde does get mossed up out of season.
Where can I find pictures of the climbing here?
Below and you can also check out our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chez-Arran/320358506480
What equipment do I need to bring with me?
A 60m and preferably 70m single rope will cover most crag needs. For the long multi pitch you will need twin ropes except where the pitches are very short. On the Dent d'Orlu multi pitch 2 ropes are a must as retreats due to changes in weather can be necessary. The odd wire can be useful depending on the crag and climb. Usually the guidebook mentions if routes are 'semi équipé' - partially equiped.
Where can I buy climbing gear here?
There is a large Decathlon just South of Foix. Book shops and tourist information often sell maps and climbing guidebooks.
Is there any trad climbing or is it all sport?
This is mainly a sport climbing area but there is some trad on Dent de Orlu, Bassiès and Rhule. Best in the summer on the high mountain crags. For the hardcore there are some aid lines to free on the high cliffs of Sinsat.
Can my trip be combined with climbing in Spain?
Yes! We have a few climbers who like to spend a week or two here in Ariege and a week in Spain. There are top Spanish crags such as Tres Pons (2hrs 15 mins), Terradets (3hrs 30 mins) and Rodellar within a half day drive.
Is there any hard or easy new route development potential?
Yes, there is lots of space on Sinsat for route development. There are a few secret new crags currently in development by locals. There is some new hard route development happening in or near the caves, for example Grotte de Sabart. If you like it steep check out Gaz Parry's blog spot http://www.gazparryclimbing.com/2012/03/como-un-tigre-8a.html for a great video of climbing Como El Tigre (8a) filmed by Kate Mills. If you would like to do some new routing over a period of time let us know! You can see a story about a subterrainean sport climb in a cave called Le Trog from John on UK Climbing: http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=6997
How easy is it to reach the crags without a car?
You can walk to the base of sinsat in 15 - 20 minutes which has a full range of grades and in addition our most local crag les Toulousains can be reached in 10 minutes on foot with grades starting at 6b+. There are many routes in the mid to late 7's. We offer bike hire or bring your own to reach other crags such as Alliat and Calames. There is a train from Tarascon Sur Ariege to reach Ax les Thermes for the crags at the top of the main valley.