The Ariège region of Southern France is the compact area where the Ariège River cuts through the Pyrenées on its way from Andorra to the coast. There is a lot of high quality climbing in the area with a superb variety of rock types to go at; from the soaring granite slabs of the Dent d’Orlu, to the steep limestone bulges of Génat. Limestone, granite and gneiss are on offer and routes vary in size from boulder problems to long epics of over 20 pitches.
The area has a long and intriguing history and offers plenty to do as well as the climbing, including mountain walking, caving, river rafting, skiing and checking out the many ancient castles. Factor in the year-round climbing, easy access from northern Europe and plenty of high quality accommodation in the area and it is easy to see that the Ariège region has lots to offer.
Despite its attractions, the area has remained off the radar to the climbing world in general, and the lack of a comprehensive modern guide to the area must be a large part of the reason for this. The new France: Ariege climbing guidebook will hopefully open up this great area as a new destination for travelling climbers. Crags Included Arabaux, Abeilles, Carol, Roquefixade, Lavelanet, Roche Ronde, Roc à Steph, Calamès, Roc de Sédour, Bédeilhac Quarry, Dévers de Sédour, Sabart, Alliat, Génat, Le Saut de l'Ours, Arbiech, Sibada, Baychon, Auzat, Goulier, Pic Rouge de Belcaire, Les Toulousains, Sinsat, Verdun, Appy, Ax les Thermes, Dent d'Orlu, Walking Peaks, Wild Swimming