TOPO Climbing

Lordat cliffs, climbing areas in Haute Ariège

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Dans Joko, secteur Gare à Vous

In the heart of the Ax valley, on the southern slopes of the Montagne de Tabe, facing the Ariège Pyrenees, the Lordat cliff is the perfect climbing spot for all seasons, at an altitude of almost 1000m. There are 4 equipped sectors, 1 in the north for summer and the others in the west and south-west, overlooking the valley and in full sunshine for ideal winter sessions. For the moment, only the Gare à vous sector and the routes we've tested are described. All the climbing topos for the Ariège region are online on the CAF des Montagnards Ariégeois cafma website. Many thanks to them for their hard work and for making these topos freely available!

Technical summary

■ S tarting point: Village de Lordat, Ariège (09)
Route type: equipped rennets, some 2-length routes, some adventure terrain routes
Route length : between 10m and 35m (one 40m)
Type of rock / holds: limestone, good quality, small walls, ridges, dihedrals, bulges
Orientation: depending on sectors South, West and North
■ A pproach time: 10' to 15' depending on sector
Average altitude of sectors: 850 m
Route equipment: around one hundred equipped routes, studs, chained belays, spaced equipment on some routes
Equipment required: 15 quickdraws, 2x40m rope

Difficulties: a majority of routes on 5, 6 and 7, some routes on 8 (5b to 8b max)

Ressources

Very detailed topo of the Lordat cliff on Gratteron and Chaussons

Access to the place

How to get to Gare à vous
From Foix, on the N20 between Tarascon-sur-Ariège and Ax-les-Thermes, turn left towards Garanou, just before Luzenac. Go up through the village and take the road that climbs north-west towards the cemetery. The road becomes a track until you reach a small parking lot at the end of the road, where you can park.

To reach the Élysée sector
From Foix, on the N20 between Tarascon-sur-Ariège and Ax-les-Thermes, turn left into Luzenac. Follow the signs for Lordat on the left, and wind your way up to the village below the ruined château. Park at the hairpin bend in the village, or a little further up.

To reach the main sector
Your choice. Either park in the Gare à Vous parking lot, or in the Élysée car park.

Map & topo

The route of the approach to the sectors and the location of the sectors are indicative.

Voir en plein écran

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start

Gare à Vous sector (5' to 10')

From the small parking lot, climb steeply up the right-hand path towards the cliffs. Then gradually cross to the east, with a few short steep sections, until you find the first entrances to the Gare à Vous sector on the left. After another steep section with short switchbacks, you reach the base of the main cliff.



Élysée sector (5' to 10')

From the hairpin bend, descend westwards between the houses to a small square with a large tree. From here, descend along a slightly overgrown path which joins a track below with a large transmitter tower. Follow the track, passing the 1st hairpin bend to the left, then the second to the right below. At the 3rd bend in the track, take the straight path to the foot of the cliffs just above.



Main sector (15')

From the Gare à vous parking lot, follow the path to the left and fork further on to bypass Mont du Château to the east and enter the sector from the north. From the Élysée parking lot, cross the village and exit to the north, go down the track and then fork left to return and start to skirt round Mont du Château to the north and find the access path up to the walls of the Main sector.

Course

Only completed routes are described here. For the full range of tracks, visit the cafma website.

GARE À VOUS SECTOR

Very sunny sector, with a beautiful view over the valley. Good, compact rock.

[caption id="attachment_37355" align="aligncenter" width="502"] Official topo on Cafma website[/caption]

Spooky (n°2, 20m, 6b, 7 quickdraws)
A 1st step on orange-brown rock with the step in a hollow. A switchback then leads to a grey wall with a good step in the middle.

Ewen (n°6, 32m, 6a+, 12 quickdraws)
Fine start with mini cracks followed by a bulge, then an easier section and a steeper finish.

Joko (n°8, 25m, 6a)
Climb up a stack of boulders leaning against the wall, then on the small ramp, shift to the left for the key step on a bulge and a nice tub above to exit. Much easier finish (5a).

Camille (n°9, 20m, 5c)
Over boulders with not-so-convenient restorations, a second athletic passage with a nice handhold to exit.

Seuil critique (n°20, 25m, 6b, 10 quickdraws)
Climb the back of a ridge in 6a max, then a flat area before crossing a grey slab (point with rope) and climbing up with a series of fine steps to the belay below the ridge.

Le Pilier Muchette (n°24, 30m, 5b+)
Nice long route without too much difficulty, first part in a nice dihedral then on a ridge to finish below the crest.

Papillon (n°25, 30m, 6a, 12 quickdraws)
Fine starting wall with rulers, followed by an easy slope and then a difficult undulating slab (more on the right). Sotrir in a crack under a boulder to cross the 5b+ (n°25) and climb to the left on an easy ramp. Athletic final step to finish just below the ridge.

Yogume (n°29, 25m, 5c+)
Long, slightly more sustained route, starting with the aid of a crack, then after an easier section. Continue with another 1 more athletic passage at the top.
ÉLYSÉE SECTOR

Well-exposed sector, smaller than Gare à Vous. The central routes are quite interesting but still need a bit of cleaning up. There are still some loose stones. The rock is quite crumbly in places, or earthy.

[caption id="attachment_37391" align="aligncenter" width="502"] Official topo on Cafma website[/caption]

Citius L1 (n°11, 25m, 5b+, 9 points)
This is the leftmost route on the wide slab, just before the big indentation on the left. Vigorous start, then central section with more friable rock. Ends within the level.

Charlotte (n°12, 35m, 5c+, 12 points)
Up to the 5th point, physical climbing in the level, easier above. The final section is climbed on the orange section with large holes without too much difficulty.

Altius (n°13, 35m, 5c, 13 points)
2 finer passages in 5C, the rest in 5a/5b.

Fortius (n°14, 35m, 5b+, 12 points)
The rightmost route, quite long with 2 sections in the level, including the one at the top to climb a small dihedral.
MAIN SECTOR

North-facing sector, very well exposed for the summer season. Compact but polished rock in places.

[caption id="attachment_39937" align="aligncenter" width="504"] Official topo on Cafma website[/caption]

Lordat Échauf (n°17, 10m ?, 5b+, 9 quickdraws)
Not an obvious slab, holds not really straightforward, could be worth a 5c. The route is not 10m as shown in the topo, but rather 20m.

Saigneur des Agneaux (n°19, 18m, 5c+, 8 quickdraws)
Slab with some relief and fairly straightforward holds.

Lordat Attack (n°21, 15m, 6b, 5 quickdraws)
Vertical slab with some relief in the middle section. Very fine after the 1st point and physical at the top.

Lordat à Vue (n°23, 25m, 6a+, 14 quickdraws)
Athletic start in a beautiful dihedral. The step to overcome the bulge of the boulder. Easier finish.

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