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Roc de Scaramus and Pic Fourcat

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The ascent of the ridges leading to the Rocher de Scaramus and then to the Pic Fourcat offers an exceptional panoramic route over the Ariège Pyrenees. The classic route starts from the Col de Marmare, just behind the Col du Chioula, with multiple descent options for skiing either south or north, depending on conditions. Today, we tested the south-facing combes with fresh snow cooled by the wind to 10 degrees below zero. The hike is worthwhile above all for the beauty and openness of the landscape, as the difference in altitude makes it impossible to enjoy long descents.

Sur les crêtes soufflées, vues sur les Pyrénées ariégeoises

Technical summary

Type ✦ Ski touring
Location ✦ Col de Marmare, Caussou
Region ✦ Ariège
Country ✦ France
Orientation ✦ South and East
Max altitude ✦ 1969m
Ascent length ✦ 12km
Dénivelé ✦ 840m
Difficulty ✦ R-2.2-E1
Max. gradient ✦ 30
Duration ✦ 4h to 5h
Interest ✦ ★★

Access to the place

From Ax-les-Thermes, climb towards the Col du Chioula. Once over the pass, descend on the opposite side to quickly reach the Col de Marmare. Park at the bend in the road.

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 15' à 20'

From the pass, behind the parking lot, take the path in the forest heading north-west (leave the wide track heading north-east, approach possible but longer). After a few hairpin bends, you emerge from the forest at a higher level into a wide basin. Opposite, due north, the Pic de Gérale, a rounded dome covered with fir trees, and to the left, the ridge that rises in stages to the northeast. Cross over to reach the start of the ascent, along a cattle fence.

Course 3h à 3h30

Part 1: Roc de Scaramus and Pic Fourcat (1969m, 1h30 to 2h)

This involves climbing up the long dome more or less along the barrier. This is done in several successive levels, with 2 or 3 steeper sections that you have to negotiate in laces. From the Roc de Scaramus to the Pic Fourcat, it's hilly but with very little difference in altitude. No difficulty other than the wind, which often blows at this point. The panorama, which opens up more and more, is splendid.
Part 2: Ski south side (1h30)

If you choose to ski on the south side, you can start in the valley below Pic Fourcat and ski to the edge of the forest. Cross a little to the east to climb a rounded ridge that heads towards the crests, a little to the left of Roc de Scaramus. Further up and before the ridge, ski the shallow combe, then cross to the east for a few dozen more meters of gliding. You arrive at the edge of a new forest, in the hollow of a talweg.


From the bottom, in the hollow of a small talweg, climb back up, crossing due east, to gradually return to the route of the ascent over the ridges. All that remains is to ski small slopes to return to the bottom of the basin and slide down the forest path to the parking lot. A few pushes with the poles and a stair climb are to be expected.

Map & topo

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