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Canyon de l’Artigue, Marc

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Between the Pic du Montcalm and the Pic Rouge de Bassiès, the Ruisseau de l'Artigue winds its way through a sinuous rocky corridor, forming magnificent waterfalls and beautiful pools. The program includes an almost continuous series of obstacles, alternating abseils, jumps and slides to suit everyone's tastes and desires. It's ideal in summer, as the water flow is too strong in the off-season, but it's also well attended, with many groups setting off. The finale under the cascades of a stream of Estats is spectacular. Probably one of the most beautiful canyons in the area.

Festival de sauts dan le canyon

Technical summary

Type ✦ Water canyon
Location ✦ Marc, Auzat, Vicdessos valley
Region ✦ Ariège
Country ✦ France
Orientation ✦ South, South-East
Max altitude ✦ 1400 m
Length ✦ 500 m
Dénivelé ✦ 170 m
Difficulty ✦ V3-a4-III
Max abseiling ✦ 19 m
Duration ✦ 3h30 to 4h30
Interest ✦ ★★★

Access to the place

From Tarascon-sur-Ariège, turn right at the last traffic circle towards Ax-les-Thermes on the N20, heading south up the Vicdessos valley. Pass through AUzat, then Marc, and as you leave the village, turn right towards l'Artigue. It's uphill all the way to the final parking lot alongside the torrent.

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 45'

Go up above the parking lot and take the GR T60 path, which climbs westwards through the forest. It climbs steeply, then crosses into the Estat valley floor. The path finally turns north-west up the small valley where the Artigue stream flows. The Pic de Belcaire and Pic Rouge de Bassiès soon come into view. The path joins the stream at a footbridge, now broken. Cross here, and you're off to the start of the canyon.

Course 3h

The descent can only be made in summer, as the flow rate is too high out of season: to check this, go to the level scale a few minutes from the parking lot to check: 40 is a high flow rate, 50 is almost unfeasible. Today, at around 36, it's perfect!



The equipment in place is very good and all obstacles can be recalled if you want to avoid slides or jumps. The water is quite cold, but the exposure is good, with almost constant sunshine, as the canyon is quite open.

From the footbridge, walk along the torrent bed to quickly reach abseil 1 (RD, 6m, jump possible). Behind it, unclimb the ledges and a large boulder in the middle (slide or jump or passage under the boulder). Swim 10m out into a mini-bief to pass along the right bank, installing a handrail that gives access to abseil 2 (RD, 8m, jump possible). Walk a little to find abseil 3 (RD, 10m), which can be avoided by careful descent.

After a short transition, we reach the double cascade, abseil 4 (RG in the active or RG, 16m) followed almost directly by abseil 5 or the big slide (RD, 17m), which can be jumped by abseiling on the right-hand side until you're above the basin. Short walk to abseil 6 (RG, 14m, jumps possible at different heights). Continuing with a slight left turn, you reach the impressive abseil 7 (RG in active or RD, 19m).

Last transition to abseil 8 (RD, 8m, jump possible). Then it's a short walk out of the Artigue canyon to the spectacular arrival of the Estats stream, which cascades down in large sprays. A final abseil 9 (RG, 6m, final jump possible) completes the descent. This is where you'll find the return path.

Back

Follow the path on the right bank of the torrent, passing the level ladder just before crossing the Artigue, skirting the water intake and finally returning to the starting parking lot.

Map & topo

Voir en plein écran

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