TOPO Hiking

Pic de Cimet, Orgeix

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L’arête finale en vue, l’étang de Naguille se découvre

From the Orgeix valley, the ascent to the Pic de Cimet offers both an interesting aerial final route and a splendid panorama of the Lac de Naguille below. The ridge leading to the summit is impressive, and in places narrow, making it necessary to put your hands down. On the way back, you can make a loop to reach the nearby Pic des Estagnols from the Col des Clotes. The route then continues along a series of ridges with new views to the north, before returning off-trail to the approach path.

Technical summary

Type ✦ Hiking
Location ✦ Orgeix
Region ✦ Ariège
Country ✦ France
Max altitude ✦ 2714m
Distance ✦ 9kms / 10kms (if Estagnols)
Dénivelé ✦ 980m / 1100m (si Estagnols)
Difficulty ✦ AD
Duration ✦ 5h to 6h
Interest ✦ ★★

Access to the place

From Ax-les-Thermes, take the Orlu valley road. At Orgeix, fork across the Oriège and follow the road/trail south to the Llau parking lot.

Map & topo

Voir en plein écran

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 30'

From the parking lot, follow the yellow-marked path up the left bank of the torrent. Further up, you come to an open basin with a hut. Cross the Orgeix valley stream. Start the ascent to Pic de Cimet.

Course 3h à 4h

The route is an out-and-back at its simplest, with an optional passage over the Pic des Estagnols on the way back. Only the final ridge leading to the summit of the Pic de Cimet can pose a problem, as it is aerial and requires you to use your hands in places. The rest of the route is on marked trails, except for the final stretch to the Col des Clotes, which is without difficulty.

Part 1: Col des Clotes or En Sur (2260m, 1h15 to 1h30)

Head due east and find a well-marked path that climbs through the forest heading northeast. It climbs steeply and then leaves the forest. Keep climbing on the left side of the torrent, then turn left to pass behind a small sarrat. You are now in a narrow grassy valley. Climb up to the bottom, past a hut, and gradually make out the Col des Clotes. At the end, you cross the grassy slopes without difficulty, as the terrain is very clear. The pass is reached. View of Pic de Cimet, its western ridge leading to the summit.
Part 2: Pic de Cimet (2352m, 1h to 1h15)

Follow the path down to the jasse below the col. Cross it and aim for the Pic de Cimet. The Etang de Naguille can be seen below. Follow the path over a ridge, weaving in and out of small rocky summits. You then reach a pass at the foot of the final ridge.

Climb steeply onto the ridge and follow it to the end. There's no real path, but a few cairns along the way. It's not difficult, but you may have to put your hands down in places, and some passages are aerial. The view of Lac de Naguille becomes more and more commanding, and the panorama to the south gets bigger and bigger. At the summit, a magnificent 360° view.
Part 3: Pic des Estagnols (optional)

Descend the Pic du Cimet ridge and return to the Col des Clotes. From here, you can return by the same route as before (round trip), or continue by making a loop to reach the Pic des Estagnols. In this case, head due north from the Col des Clotes and follow the ridges on a clearly visible path to the Pic des Estagnols. The final section is on boulder scree, climbing through III/IV.

Back

Either take the ascent path from the Col des Clotes, or, in the Estagnols option, follow the West ridge back down before heading back south to find the ascent path (off-path and a bit of improvisation). In either case, cross the footbridge and descend through the forest to the starting parking lot.

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