The Ariège / Aston Valleys Rock Climbing Guide
Three ‘Gneiss’ crags, a rock similar to granite giving generally more technical routes, and one limestone. Appy, Urs & Aston are all at about 1000m and are fully bolted. Ruhle by contrast is all above 2000m and mostly north facing so is mainly for summer offering a mix of sport climbing and trad outings high in the mountains.
A popular area that is well worth a visit. The location is fantastic with a breathtaking outlook. The rock is highly featured and high quality with a good range of grades. Around 25 minutes drive with a 15 minute walk in, the crag faces south so is an all year venue but can be hot in the summer.
Urs is Multi pitch territory on varied Limestone mostly in 5s and 6s. Routes are up to 6 pitches (160m) spread over 4 sectors and all require abseil descents. Access is around 25 minutes drive and 30-40 minutes walk and the routes are mostly south facing so get lots of sun.
Right on the GR10, the cross Pyreneean hiking trail in the heart of the range, Aston is an impressive wall of Gneiss with some great lines. Unfortunately, due to the long drive (around 50 minutes) and the forested location the crag suffers from a lack of traffic and is a bit mossy in places.
Close to the ‘Refuge de Ruhle’ one of several high altitude hikers refuges in the Ariege, the Ruhle area is around an hours drive and 90 minutes walk. One sports sector has routes mostly in 5s and 6s. The remaining sectors have various ‘adventure routes’ some trad and some fully bolted giving access to 2600m peaks.