TOPO Ski Touring
Ski touring. 650m ascent for 4 kilometers (1100m d+ if second ascent). Maximum altitude of 2364m at the summit of Pic de Tarbésou.
Departure above Ascou-Pailhères resort, above Ax-les-Thermes in Haute Ariège (09).
Ascent Easy, except for the slightly steeper final section which may require knives or crampons depending on conditions. Ski descent 1.1 E1.
We climb and ski more on the east side. It's easy to follow the ridges.
Field and environnement
The pass and ridges leading to Tarbésou can be very windy. The final section to the summit is often icy or very hard.
Gear and equipments
Knives in bag if final frozen.
Accessible hiking and skiing in a splendid setting. Busy race but plenty of skiing options.
Access to the place
Map & topo
Hiking to the start
From the parking lot, climb up the gently sloping blue trail and halfway up, wind up to the left of a chairlift to reach the upper plateau more quickly (otherwise follow the blue trail and return south).
The route is obvious. Climb up the plateau to the foot of Pic de Mounégou, then continue over a shoulder to the main ridge, with Tarbésou already in sight. The ridge climbs steadily upwards in successive levels, generally gently and without difficulty. A final plateau leads to the final section for the summit. The west-facing slope is often hard or icy in the morning, so it's best to take a route on the east-facing slope, which is more exposed to the morning sun. The final section is a little steeper, but the summit is reached fairly quickly. Exceptional panoramic view.
The best skiing options are on the east or northeast slopes. The start of the summit is steeper (35°) but the rest is gentler (25/30° max). You can aim for the Col de la Coumeille de l'Ours or a little to the left to find some nice slopes and continue further down. From the bottom, cut northwards and put the skins back on for 50 to 100m of ascent to return to the plateau and glide to the top of the resort's pistes. Depending on snow conditions, you can either take the blue run or the shortcut slope back to the blue run further down to the parking lot.