Author Topic: caving in Ariege region of France (nr. Foix, Tarasconne)  (Read 4190 times)

Offline JB

  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 906
  • Eldon Pothole Club
caving in Ariege region of France (nr. Foix, Tarasconne)
« on: April 19, 2005, 10:21:38 am »
Does anyone know what the caving is like in the Ariege region of France? It's in the Pyrenees just North of Andorra and I've got an offer of accommodation in an empty farmhouse just south of Foix. Only found general info on the internet and am keen to find out more. Hoping to go in late August/September if there's some good stuff to do.

Very grateful for any info.

JB

Offline graham

  • Retired
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 10943
  • UBSS, Speleo-Club de Perigueux, GSG, SUI
    • UBSS
caving in Ariege region of France (nr. Foix, Tarasconne)
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2005, 08:12:36 pm »
Just got back from there, funnily enough! There are a number of excellent Palaeolithic decorated caves, but these have typical French Fuck Off stainless steel gates and very limited access. Some are open to the public, Niaux, Bedheillac, and are worth a visit.

There are other show caves in the area and I know there are some wild caves. When the wife finds the relevant reference I'll post it.
Caving is for Life not just for Christmas

Offline AndyF

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2892
    • http://www.keyhole.org.uk
caving in Ariege region of France (nr. Foix, Tarasconne)
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2005, 03:57:48 pm »
Ariege has impressive karst, but I don't know much about the caves.

An hour to the West of Foix in Haute Garonne is Coume Houynerde (spelling!) which has fantastic caving. Immediatly to the East is Aude and the Plateau de Sault which has some deep SRT stuff.

http://perso.wanadoo.fr/speleaude/ukcadreaccueil.htm

While there you MUST drive to Andorra and buy spirits from about £1 a bottle. I bought 1 litre of Absinythe for £2.75  :crazy:
"Life's a pitch, then you fall down one..."

Offline AndyF

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2892
    • http://www.keyhole.org.uk
caving in Ariege region of France (nr. Foix, Tarasconne)
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2005, 04:00:55 pm »
"Life's a pitch, then you fall down one..."

Offline JB

  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 906
  • Eldon Pothole Club
caving in Ariege region of France (nr. Foix, Tarasconne)
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2005, 08:35:02 am »
Thanks very much for that. The websites were really useful and this page has nicely produced topos for the major caves in the area:

http://www.explos.org/topoguide/cavites.html

Looks like there's some quality sporting trips in areas 3 and 4 on the map down to 350m. Bit like Yorkshire but fair bit bigger. I'm pretty sure I've ordered the definitive guidebook from a French caving shop (although my French isn't great) so if anyone wants any more details get in touch.

The accomodation I have is right near Tarasconne (equal distance from Areas 3 and 4 on the map). However, it's still about 120 miles from the caves so not sure how that would work. Might not be hugely useful but I fancy a look anyway. Flights with Ryanair Stansted->Carcasonne are only £20.00.

I'm looking to go sometime late August (prob for a week) and haven't sorted anyone to go with yet so if you fancy it get in touch.

JB.

Offline AndyF

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2892
    • http://www.keyhole.org.uk
caving in Ariege region of France (nr. Foix, Tarasconne)
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2005, 10:56:25 am »
If you are planning to go Ryanair, then I would book now, as prices in August will go up rapidly as time goes by. You can also fly to Perpignan on Ryanair, or get regular cheap flights to Toulouse....

I'm not sure about 120 miles to the caves... I really think there are caves a lot closer than that...  Tarasconne itself is in a huge deep limestone valley. Makes Britain look a bit sad....


PS While you are there, you should have an above ground day at the ferrata near Llo:

http://viaferratafr.free.fr/liste.php?via=34

We did it last year, its a scream... :shock:
"Life's a pitch, then you fall down one..."