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Roc de Scaramus, Caussou

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From the Col de Marmare, the route to the Roc de Scaramus and on to the Pic Fourcat runs east-west along a long pre-Pyrenean ridge. The main attraction is the exceptional panorama to the south, with over 180° of Ariege summits, from Tarbésou in the east to Mont Valier in the west. To the north, we fly over the plains of the Aude and to the west, the snow-capped peaks of the Tabe massif. It's a long loop all the same, and the final stretch back to the Col de Marmare from Caussou is a bit of a leg-bender.

Face aux Pyrénées

Technical summary

Type ✦ Hiking
Location ✦ Caussou
Region ✦Ariège
Country ✦ France
Orientation ✦ South
Max altitude ✦ 2714m
Distance ✦ 15,9km
Dénivelé ✦ 1100m
Difficulty ✦ AD
Duration ✦ 5h to 6h
Interest ✦ ★★

Access to the place

The Col de Marmare (1361m) can be reached from the north via Camurac and Belcaire in the Aude department, or from the south via the Col de Chioula above Ax-les-Thermes. Park at the bend where the ascent path starts and where the PR that climbs from Caussou ends. The loop can also be done from Caussou, with all the ascent first, then the descent.

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start

From the pass, at the bend in the road, take the wide forest path that climbs to the north-west. After a few bends, you come out onto a large, grassy, high-level, totally open plateau. From here, you can clearly see the ridge rising to the north-west and the path along a fence.

Course 3h à 4h

The loop is almost 16 kms long. It's easy to follow the ridge, pass Roc de Scaramus and Pic Fourcat and descend via Sarrta de Malanet. From the Jasse de la Teste, however, it's less obvious, and the descent to the village of Caussou is on a path that's not very visible, and a little difficult to see. There are no technical difficulties along the way.

Part 1: Roc de Scaramus (1868m, 45' to 1h)

Simply follow the unmarked path along the fence. It climbs in stages, with a few slightly steeper setcions. The panorama gradually opens up to the south. We pass a first rounded summit, then the ridge continues in a less steep north-westerly direction. We reach the Roc de Scaramus, a small promontory facing the Pyrenees to the south.
Part 2: Pic Fourcat and Sarrat de Malanet (1929m, 30')

From the Roc de Scaramus, take the ridge path, still along the fence, and after a few undulations, you reach the Pic Fourcat. Magnificent 360° views of the Trimouns quarry and Pic de Soularac in the background.

From Pic Fourcat, follow the ridge down to the west. At the end, before you reach the quarry, turn south down the Sarrat de Malanet. It then descends more steeply to reach, at quarry level, a wide grassy plateau: la Jasse de la Teste.
Part 3: Descent to Caussou (2h)

From the Jasse, there are 2 options: either head east into one of the combes, but without a path and with a slope, or - and this is what we did - head west down to the bottom of the quarry. From here, we cut the road and joined a track heading east.

Walk on for a while, then after a few hairpin bends find a path that crosses due east to aim for a shoulder (above Caussou). Up to this point, the trail is well marked.

From this shoulder, the descent continues eastwards into the valley of the Coume d'Amont stream. Along a faint path through ferns and brambles. Further down, skirting the torrent on the right bank in the forest and then descending to the south-east, we join the track that will eventually lead to the village of Caussou.

Back

Go through Caussou and take the yellow PR path heading east. It climbs very gently, gradually descending into the small valley of the Marmare stream. Further on, the path approaches a track. Continue on the unmarked paths and join this track further on, or catch the track straight away and follow it, still climbing eastwards.

At the end, in a bend and just as you cross the stream, take the path up to the Col de Marmare (signpost). 450m of sustained ascent in the forest to return to the starting point. A physical finish.

Map & topo

Voir en plein écran

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