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Roc Blanc, Donezan, Mijanès

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Discover the magnificent landscapes of Donezan and particularly the Etang du Laurenti, at the foot of the cirque formed by Roc Blanc, Pic de la Baxouillade and Pic de la Tribune. Although very popular, the ascent of Roc Blanc is well worth the detour. A return trip to the Pic de Baxouillade is also possible, or for a more challenging route, we tried the south-east ridge of the Baxouillade, which descends to the Portella del Llaurenti, an exposed route with a few climbing passages to negotiate (IV/IV+). To be repeated, it would seem preferable to do the loop in the opposite direction to climb back up the ridge, possibly with a bit of protective gear, and finish at Roc Blanc.

Désescalade du sommet du Roc Blanc

Technical summary

Type ✦ Alpine hiking
Location ✦ Artigues, Donezan, Mijanès
Region ✦ Ariège
Country ✦ France
Max altitude ✦ 2546m
Distance ✦ 13km
Vertical drop ✦ 970m
Difficulty ✦ E3 / T4 / R4
Duration ✦ 5h to 6h
Interest ✦ ★★

Access to the place

From Mijanès, take the D25 towards Artigues, and shortly before reaching Le Pla, turn right onto a forest road. After some steep switchbacks, you reach the end of a road in good condition, 4.9 km from the junction with the D25. The rest of the way is on a rutted road with holes, and a track in places, to be avoided if there's heavy rain. It's okay with a car, but be careful not to leave your crankcase in it... It climbs for a while before finally reaching the final parking lot at the Laurenti forest refuge, the starting point of the itinerary. 7.3 kms from the D25 fork.

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start Étang du Laurenti, 45' à 1h

From the parking lot, take the wide forest path marked in yellow and red (PR). It climbs gently at first, then steeper over a section to reach a long clearing after 30'. You can see the Laurenti crest sticking out. Then it climbs up to a landing on more open ground. We cross a field of broom, then a scree slope that finally leads to the Laurenti pond.

Course 2h30 à 3h30

Part 1: Roc Blanc (2542m, 1h15 to 1h30)

Walk along the west side of the pond to exit to the south and cross a meadow. After a short climb, the path crosses a chaos of boulders. Continue to the south, climb up and at a small promontory, take the path on the right which leads towards the walls towards a small stone pass which can be seen. We're still on a PR trail marked red and yellow. At the small pass, behind you is a basin with a dry pond, below the south face of Roc Blanc. Cross to the south and tackle the steep section of the valley leading to the Col de Laurenti. All that remains is to climb to Roc Blanc. The path climbs steeply to the north, then crosses over airy grassy slopes on the way back to the east. You dominate the basin and cirque from which you came. At the end, with the help of your hands (II/III), you climb the last few metres to reach the summit, which is in fact a ridge of tangled boulders.
Part 2: Pic de Baxouillade (2546m, 45' to 1h)

Descend from the summit to the Col de Laurenti (15') and this time head due south, keeping as close as possible to the edge of the ridge. A mini-trail weaves its way along the ridge, dodging a little to the right, before finally ascending to the upper plateau (10' after the Col de Laurenti). The gentle, grassy west-facing slopes contrast with the east-facing walls. From here, follow the path southwards, more or less on the edge of the void. The more undulating the slope, the steeper it becomes, before climbing back up to the summit of Pic de Baxouillade.
Part 3: SE ridge of Baxouillade (optional, 45' to 1h)

A sporty and committed option! The aim: to reach the Portella del Llaurenti via the SE ridge. The start is uncomplicated, but you soon come across a number of aerial passages that you have to negotiate with your hands and then de-escalate. It's quite exposed but not very difficult (III). We pass a kind of gap before climbing a kind of large gendarme to continue on the ridge. Further on, we find the most delicate and exposed passage: a de-escalation in IV well above the void (10m). The rest isn't very complicated, but you'll have to look hard and in places dodge slightly on either the north or south side. Quite a few tricky aerial passages. Finally, the ridge widens a little at the end and you end up at the small col de la Portella del Llaurenti.


If you make the round trip to the Pic de Baxouillade, simply follow the path in the opposite direction back to the Col de Laurenti, then to the pond. This leaves the 30' to 45' descent to the parking lot.

Coming from the ridge, you end up at the Portella del Llaurenti, then descend on the north side into the narrow, steep couloir on unstable ground. Further down, extract yourself on the right bank to finish the descent on a less steep slope with more stable ground. Once in the basin, follow the stream on the left bank, passing an area of peat bog, and continue on to return to the fork in the road where you crossed the rocky chaos above the Etang du Laurenti. Return to the west bank of the pond and complete the 30' to 45' to the parking lot.

Map & topo

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