Winter is a good season to discover the mountain in a different light. The snowpack makes some places less accessible without equipment, so you have to put on snowshoes to go on an adventure in wild places. The rock of Scaramus is a known summit of the Ariège Pyrenees, it is possible to go on an outing accompanied by a guide during a weekend in order to deviate from the beaten track. I suggest you an immersive account of my two days totally isolated from civilization, with a night under the stars in a pastoral hut. 

Raquettes au roc de Scaramus ©Wildroad
Snowshoeing at Scaramus Rock ©Wildroad – Ariège Pyrénées

Departure from the Col de Marmare 

It is here, at the level of the Marmare pass car park, which is the start of the popular Pla de Sept Cases hike. After joining Loïc my guide for these two days, we distribute the weight of our food for the night in our cabin in our bags. It's certain, we won't starve tonight with the planned fondue. From the pass, we begin the ascent on the forest road to the left which leads to the Pla de Sept Cases. When we arrived on the plateau, the snow was much more present, which forced us to put on snowshoes. so as not to sink too much, especially with our big bags for the night. 

The tour of Pic Geral in the footsteps of forest animals 

After dropping off our belongings at the pastoral hut, we continue our journey towards Pic Geral. The weather at the beginning of February is rather capricious, snow showers follow one another interspersed with sunny spells. Like a photo negative, animal tracks reveal their invisible presence to us: hares, foxes, wild boars... We go around the Pic Geral, which we will not climb, preferring to go and see the old royal milestones on the side of the Col de la Gardie. 

The terminals of Lys, vestiges of the protection of forests in the Middle Ages in Ariège 

In medieval times, there were many forges in the valley that ran on coal. In order to produce this charcoal, the workers cut the trees of the beautiful Ariège forests. However, the negative impact on the fauna and flora led the king to delimit a part of the forest, by the royal seal, to protect it. Around the rock of Scaramus, one can observe certain terminals of Lys still well preserved. Fortunately my guide knew exactly where to find them, because it can quickly become a treasure hunt when you don't know the area. 

Evening in a pastoral hut with Ariège fondue 

After our little tour of Pic Geral, we decided to reserve the ascent of the rock of Scaramus for the next day at sunrise, the weather should improve overnight. 

The pastoral cabin awaited us for the evening. First of all, we had to fetch wood to feed the fire which allowed us to maintain a correct temperature while outside, the degrees plummeted. We then prepared a small aperitif with local beers and then the local cheese fondue, much appreciated after a day of walking in the snow. As the evening drew to a close, I went out to see if the weather was improving as expected and I fell under a shower of stars, which was promising for the sunrise?

Starry sky ©Wildroad – Ariège Pyrénées

A magical sunrise at the Rock of Scaramus 

After spending a very warm night, the alarm clock rang at 4:30 a.m. to be in time at the top of the Scaramus rock to admire the sunrise over the Ariège Pyrenees. We put on our snowshoes and left with breakfast in our bags. In the light of our headlamps, we could see fresh fox tracks. I felt like we were on their territory.

Ciel étoilé au Roc de Scaramus ©Wildroad
Starry sky at Roc de Scaramus ©Wildroad – Ariège Pyrénées

Halfway up the ascent, we turned off our headlamps, as the rising daylight allowed us to see quite clearly. The sun began to peek out, illuminating the highest peaks with bright red first, such as Mount Valier. 

Then the Pic Fourcat and its surroundings took on the air of polar landscapes, reinforced by the wind which came to destabilize us and bite our skin. 

We were alone on the rock of Scaramus, facing the raw beauty of the snowy peaks. Then we had to take the road back to return to civilization. A frail and furtive silhouette has sketched itself in the distance. Finally we saw a chamois fleeing the first humans of the day. The higher the sun was in the sky, the more hikers we saw. Our little wild parenthesis ended where it had started, at the Col de Marmare. 

If you want to do this micro-adventure around the rock of Scaramus, do not hesitate to contact the guide office in Ax-les-Thermes. The guides offer hiking circuits adapted to your level. 




I regularly travel the globe in search of unknown places. To take spectacular photos, I don't hesitate to walk for long hours. My way of traveling: a car, a tent and good walking shoes. You have understood that there are very few lazy holidays for me!

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