An unusual course just a stone's throw from the centre of Laruns.
A via cordata in the heart of the Hourat gorges
After passing through Laruns, a typical pastoral village in the Ossau valley, if you continue on the road towards Spain via the Pourtalet Passyou will not fail to see the Hourat gorgeswhere the via cordata is located. The limestone cliffs of more than 80 meters which overhang the Gave d'Ossau make it a remarkable place not to be missed if you wish to discover the valley d'Ossau from all angles! The zip line course in Laruns Aventure marks the start of these gorges.
This cliff is well known to local climbers houses climbing routes of one to three pitches, from 5b to 8a+. The rock, compact and adherent, evokes the climbing sites of Aragon or Catalonia. But this is not the subject of this article as the via cordaAlthough it is similar to a climbing route, it is still very affordable and does not require no special skillsBut what the heck! Your climbing guide will equip you with a helmet, a harness, carabiners and double lanyards. Listening carefully
at safety regulations allows you to embark on this adventure with peace of mind!
A cliffside traverse in the manner of a mountaineering rope party
The beginning of the route is the access to this climbing site. A fixed rope allows you to progress more easily to the first climbing routes. The itinerary follows the rocky areas with easy holds as well as the small ledges known in the jargon as "virettes". No need to put on your shoes as the difficulty does not exceed 4b.... However, you will rope up in the manner of a mountaineering ropeway to ensure the safety of all. Your guide will be able to help you or advise you to progress more easily. And yes, from the start we are more than 40 metres above the ground! After about 45 minutes of traversing the cliff face and a short abseiling descent, we arrive in what is called the first conch. It is a sort of cave that invites you to take a break. A large suspended terrace allows you to relax for a few moments and contemplate the overhanging climbing routes just above you!
The Hourat via corda: a privileged opportunity to observe Pyrenean nature
The via corda continues along a narrow path to the monkey bridges. The cables stretched between the two sides of this gorge allow you to crossing the Gave and its tumultuous waters. Some trout
fario have taken up residence in these little-frequented pools.... We then arrive in the second conch for a second break to take time to observe the very special vegetation of this garden
suspended. The carnivorous plants such as the small sow-thistle alongside the large Epipactis (left), rare orchids (wild orchids on the right) which show off their purplish colours to anyone who wants to see them!
The highlight of the show: a very easy 80m climb
We arrive at the last part of this route and it is the nail of the show the vertical ascent of the 80 metres Don't worry, the climbing, although aerial, is still very easy.
Assisted by your guide, you will pass through the three stages of this vertical wall to reach the top of the cliff. The view is splendid and you can enjoy the feeling of having climbed a climbing route. The return to the vehicles is done in fifteen minutes by an easy path.
...A sensational, playful and varied itinerary, to be discovered absolutely!
Written on 16/10/2021 by Johan Fontvieille, ArkeA climbing and canyoning instructor at Aventure Chlorophylle.