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The Gardelle, Roumazet and Soucarrane ponds on a loop from Les Orris du Carla

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Another excursion to the end of the Soulcem valley to discover the Gardelle, Roumazet and Soucarrane ponds. A classic hike in the area, well-marked from start to finish, with no technical difficulties, but quite physical with several steep sections, including the attack on the Gardelle valley, which sets the tone. In a wild, high-mountain setting, the views over the ponds and the Soulcem valley are superb, even if today we were accompanied by diffused light and cloudy skies. We climb beneath the peaks of Pointe de Roumazet and Pic Rouge, which form the border ridge with Spain.

Technical summary

Departure point: parking des Orris du Carla, Étang de Soulcem, Mounicou, Auzat, Ariège (09)
Type of route: high mountain hike
Distance to cover: 12 km
Cumulative elevation gain: +1100 m
Cumulative negative elevation gain: -1100 m
Estimated total time: 5h to 6h
► Min and max altitude: 1620 m / 2476 m
► Markings: mainly yellow, small sections of GR T62
Equipment in place: none
Equipment to bring: GPS track can be useful, crampons and ice axe at the beginning of the season.

Difficulties: steep slopes, névés passages possible early in the season.

Access to the place

On the N20, just outside Tarascon in the direction of Ax-les-Thermes, turn south to pass Vicdessos then Auzat and continue along the Vicdessos stream up to the Soulcem pond at 1600m. Park at the end of the road, on the south bank of the pond, at the Orris du Carla parking lot.

Itinerary description


1st part: from Orris du Carla to the 1st Gardelle pond (2h)

From the parking lot, head back down to the road, cross the torrent on the footbridge and take the path that climbs steeply up the eastern slope. You soon come out into the valley of the Gardelle stream and climb up it. Cross over to the left bank (we didn't see the passage, so we crossed higher up. cf. photo) and finish the steep ascent. The path joins the upper basin. Continue along the left bank and at the top, cross the torrent to climb to the south-east and reach the edge of the first Gardelle pond.
Part 2: Etangs de Gardelle, Etang de Roumazet and Etang de Soucarrane (2h)

Return south-west to admire the upper Gardelle pond. Then follow the yellow trail along the 1st pond and over the 3rd. At the end, you reach a small pass at 2476m, where you switch to the Étang de Roumazet side.

Steep descent to reach the lower level of the Roumazet stream, then climb slightly up the GR to the small, green Roumazet pond. Skirt the pond and follow the GR as it climbs through a rocky chaos to pass another pass, this time giving access to the Soucarrane valley and its pond, overlooking Pic Rouge.
3rd part: from Etang de Soucarrane to Orris du Carla via Pla de Labinas (1h30)

Walk along the northeast bank of the Soucarrane pond as far as the weir and then down the yellow trail past the Soucarrane orris. Follow the Soucarrane stream for a while, then the path bends to the north, eventually descending steeply to reach the Pla de Labinas at the bottom, where the Soulcem stream flows.

Stay on the left bank of the river on the yellow path, rejoin the GR T62 further on, pass alongside the Labinas waterfall and end up on the track leading back to the Orris du Carla parking lot.

Map & topo

Voir en plein écran



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