Le Quiè de Sinsat is truly an epic cliff offering a vast array of routes. One of the earliest established and best know cliffs in the Ariege, Sinsat has a wide variety of styles including some airy multi-pitch and a number of hard aid lines. Many of the harder routes have seen few repeats.
Without doubt one of the prize cliffs of the Ariege, the Quiè de Sinsat rises nearly 1000m from the valley bottom. This awe inspiring swathe of rock situated just to the east of Tarascon and on the main road to Andorra is around 20 minutes drive from us. The cliff is vast and the different sectors are often treated as separate crags. The CAFMA web site has the area divided into Sinsat I & Sinsat II with the various sectors within the two groups. Most of the routes are south facing so are best avoided in the summer, the rock is generally superb and varied compact limestone. There is a climbing ban due to nesting birds of prey from February to June on some sections of Sinsat.
The Faliases Sinsat area is the quickest to access at between 10 & 20 minutes walk from the parking and has around 120 routes over 5 sectors of mostly single pitch sport routes ranging from 4a to 8a.
The Pubis area , higher up the massif is superb and has some of the best routes at Sinsat. Spread over 6 sectors with walk-ins ranging from 35 to 55 minutes, there are around 45 fully bolted routes from 1 to 6 pitches. The multi pitch routes require abseil descents & the rock is generally highly featured slabs and walls. Sector ‘GR4B+’ has the easiest routes in the mid to high 5s. Sector ‘Un jour ce printemps là’ has some unmissable routes climbing the highly sculpted 120m wall with pitches ranging from 5c to 6c+.
The TGV & Peppermint areas offer some really adventurous climbing on the vast upper slabs and some of the classic lines of Sinsat. With walk-ins of 45mins to an hour, up to 300m of climbing and abseil descents most of the routes represent serious undertakings. The easiest and an Ariege classic is Peppermint 280m of fully equipped climbing with the hardest of the 7 pitches going at 6a. At the other end of the scale routes such as TGV & Protein Elastique have pitches up to 8a free or a few grades lower with aid.
Detailed under La Pelle on the CAFMA site are several routes stretching to the peak of Sinsat to give some superbly atmospheric climbing. La Pascal (6c) climbs 280 meters initailly on a slightly overhanging wall leading to easier ground above. The route is equipped but the equipment is old and trad gear is a must. Elodie (6c/A1 or 7a+) and L’intégrale d’Anais (6a+/A0 or 6b+) are link ups of several fully equipped routes to give outings of 14 & 12 pitches respectively covering a variety of ground.
The ‘The Faliases de Verdun’ is a small sector around 15 minutes from the parking with 22 single and 2 pitch sport routes. Mostly graded between 5c & 6c on clean slabs and cracks with the longer routes finishing on steeper ground to give the harder pitches.
The 3 higher sectors of Sinsat II are home to 10 big multi pitch routes and a small sector of single pitch routes. The multi pitch routes vary considerably in terms of quality and difficulty and scale probably the most impressive section of the Sinsat Massif. In contrast to the big routes on Sinsat I it is possible to descend many of the routes on foot making them a better option for those not keen on committing abseils.
The ‘Roc du Corbeau’ area is around 35 minutes walk and has 1 fully equipped route climbing 250m in 7 pitches going at 6b+ or 6c+ depending on the final pitch. The route is divided into 3 distinct sections with flat ledges between. The descent is by foot and the ledges can be used to walk off the climb between the sections.
The ‘La Mirouge’ area is around 45 minutes walk and is home to 3 multi-pitch routes and a small sector of single pitch sport routes. The multi-pitch routes are between 9 & 12 pitches. Two of them are semi equipped requiring trad gear and going at around 6a, the third is fully equipped and has difficulties up to 7b+ & A0. All the routes can be descended on foot and are substantial undertakings. Sector ‘Falaise du Levant’ is a 50m slightly overhanging wall with 5 routes between 6b and 7a and plenty of room for expansion. Due to the 40 minute walk in the area it is not as popular as it should be and would benefit from more traffic, however the routes are excellent.
The ‘La Poire’ area has 2 semi equipped routes at sector ‘Eperon Sud Ouest’ and 3 fully bolted routes. With difficulties ranging from 5c to 7b giving a good range of grades.
A small crag between Tarascon and Sinsat with routes up to 3 pitches on varied often pocketed rock.