2021 Bureau Des Guides Climbing Cliff Orlu Cp Bdg2021 Bureau Des Guides Climbing Cliff Orlu Cp Bdg
©2021 Bureau Des Guides Climbing Cliff Orlu Cp Bdg

Mountain biking and climbing day in Ariège

Mountain adventures and thrills

Just 2 hours from Toulouse, a perfect playground awaits thrill-seekers. In the Ariege Pyrenees, when the weather’s fine, it’s time for mountain biking and climbing! A bath of oxygen and nature to disconnect from routine and enjoy physical sensations in a wild and preserved nature. We’ll take you to the top of the world !

On the way to the top

Mountain biking for men, climbing for women

Today, we’re leaving Toulouse in the predicted sweltering heat, to cool off in the mountains ofAriège. Brice, Guillaume and Mathieu are planning a mountain bike descent ofAx 3 Domaines with an instructor on the winding trails. It’s true that the last time they went out on their own, they came back covered in bruises, and we were a little worried… With Tiphaine, we’re planning to get some height…So we put on our “comfort” shoes, as recommended by our guide Fred, and set off to climb the Dent d’Orlu. I’m so excited to be setting off on my first big route! It’s called “Tapas sans Dalle”, and Tiphaine misleads me by calling it “t’as pas 100 balles”! The mood in the car is relaxed, but I can feel a little apprehension rising in the pit of my stomach… We drop the guys off at Ax-les-Thermes where Ludovic, the mountain bike instructor , is waiting for them. We leave them to talk about disc brakes and suspension, and head for Orlu.

We attack

On a rope

We arrive at the parking lot, which we call “the frying pan”. I love the rattle of the quickdraws as we shake our rucksacks. The approach walk is nice in the woods, but a bit steep. It warms up my thighs, which is just as well before theclimb. We end up on a wide ridge with a superb view. The Dent lives up to its name with its canine-like shape. The mountain is already having a soothing effect on my body and mind. We set off from the vire des isards, where Fred reminds us that we’ll be doing 11 pitches of 35 to 40 meters. He checks our harnesses, knots and carabiners, while reminding us of the safety instructions. He takes the lead, I’m second and Tiphaine is at the end of the rope: off we go!

Effort satisfaction

Mission accomplished

Climbing on this gneiss slab with its perfect grip is a delight. All on your feet, hands flat on the ground, you climb higher and higher. I have to get used to the vertiginous view, but our guide’s calm and serenity give me total confidence. At the relay station, I take the time to admire the sea of clouds above the Orlu Reserve. The sun is warming our backs but we’re not burning out, which is quite pleasant. We unroll the first 5 pitches at a cruising pace. It’s now that the passages become tricky. I arrive under a big, impressive roof, and do exactly as Fred advised. I go around to the right, then climb to the left. A very smooth passage on this part of the slab rated 5c+, but I lose a lot of energy. I’m impressed by Tiphaine – she’s so at ease everywhere! My feet are starting to swell in my little “comfort” slippers! We continue on lengths with no technical difficulties, but fatigue is making me slow down. I have the feeling that all my gear is heavier than it was at the start… Fred and Tiphaine are cheering me on.

360° view

The effort we put in gives me an indescribable feeling of well-being when we reach the summit of the Dent. No need to talk, our smiles say it all! The 360° panorama amplifies the sensation of total oxygenation! What bliss! We look towardsAx 3 Domaines, where the guys must be having a blast on their descent.

Back down

Back to calm

It’s so good to put on my sneakers after 4 hours with my feet stuck in our slippers! One last photo and we’re off on the hiking trail to the “frying pan”…

Around the glass of friendship

Good memories and next adventure

At the town square inAx-les-Thermes, we meet up with all our friends, thanks to Ludovic’s advice, and buy our 2 instructors a drink while sharing our respective adventures. Guillaume gives us a good laugh as he tells us about his sun over the bike and his landing in the nettles. Ludovic had told him to lower his saddle and position himself well on the back! Finally, we realize that our days are a success because our guides are really pros! The next trip to Ariège will be on a mountain bike for me, that’s for sure!

Ariège's little extras
The Ariege Pyrenees, your oxygen bubble!

Looking for unspoilt nature, the great outdoors and white water? In winter, ski, snowboard, skating, snowshoeing, sledging, dog sledding, at Ax 3 Domaines, Beille, Ascou and le Chioula, Mijanés and Goulier... In summer, hiking, mountain biking, paragliding or canyoning... And all year round, enjoy the benefits of the thermal waters at Ax-les-Thermes, Ussat-les-Bains or the Bains du Couloubret. And don't miss the Grotte de Niaux and the Parc de la Préhistoire. Not forgetting the history of our mountains and their heritage, pastoralism and local produce! Book your next mountain vacation!