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CANYON OF THE WEEK: Estat Canyon, France


Numerous rappels in the canyon
Many rappels in sequence are present in Estat Canyon. Photo by: Gus Schiavon (gus-schiavon.com)

This week’s feature canyon comes from the central part of the French Pyrenees, in the Ariege department!

Location: Vallee du Vicdessos, Ariege, Midi-Pyrenees, France

Rating: V4.A3.IV

Type of rock: schist

Best time of the year to visit: August to October


Located at the foothills of the famous Montcalm Peak of Ariege, (3077m) and providing spectacular views of other classics in the region, this lengthy descent is perfectly exposed to the sun, providing mainly vertical obstacles with some nice, clear pools where to slide until reaching the main 50m waterfall. This is the most interesting canyon in the Ariege, completely rebolted by ICOpro Instructors.

Walking towards Estat Canyon
A group of ICOpro Canyoneers approach the Estat Canyon. Photo by: Gus Schiavon (gus-schiavon.com)
Advanced rappel in Estat Canyon
Rappel in the flow while descending Estat Canyon. Photo by: Gus Schiavon (gus-schiavon.com)

It provides a total of 40 rappels, most of them back-to-back, the perfect place for those who like to practice their technical ropework and be more efficient on both vertical and horizontal progression.

Big rappel in Estat Canyon
30m rappel in Estat Canyon. Photo by: Gus Schiavon (gus-schiavon.com)
Happy customers at Estat canyon
SCA is the only company providing experiences in Estat canyon. Photo by: Gus Schiavon (gus-schiavon.com)

To reach the upper part you must hike to 2230m (approx. 3hrs of approach); alternatively you can start at 1700m for the lower part (+/- 3.5hrs descent).

The canyon topography can be downloaded FOR FREE by clicking here and registering.

Practical Information:

Canyon descent : +/- 5.30hrs

Gradient loss: 760m

Access : steep approach of 3hrs, return 40min

Speleo-Canyon-Ariege, an ICOpro Instructors Training Center, is the only center in the Ariege offering trips at Estat Canyon. You must be certified Canyoneer Initiation (CAI) to take part on this trip.

For more information:

Website : www.speleo-canyon-ariege.com

Email : contact@speleo-canyon-ariege.com

Phone : +33630312452

Office : Acca de Niaux, Route de la Vexane 09400 Niaux

Social media

Facebook : facebook.com/speleo.canyon.ariege

Trip advisor : Speleo-Canyon-Ariege

Instagram : @speleo_canyon_ariege


Become a complete canyoneer with
ICOpro’s CA1-2-3 Manuals

170 A4 pages full color

The Manual Canyoneer Level 3, includes methods and techniques of horizontal progression, set-up and rigging, and basic rescue techniques. This manual allowing you to progress autonomously through a moderate risk canyon.