Altitude 1038m a.s.l
John Arran on Cafarnahum (6c) at Arbiech. © Anne Arran
This clean limestone face, tucked away in the forest, has excellent vertical climbs featuring big flakes, cracks, pockets and edges.
Facing northwest, the crag remains in the shade most of the day and can be impressively cool on hot summer days. The trees can make the place humid after rain, though the rock is clean and dries very quickly.
From Tarascon-sur-Ariège, drive south on the D8 to Niaux. Turn left, following signs to the show cave - Grotte de Niaux, before forking left again 100m later. After another 800m, turn sharply right onto a wide track and continue for 600m to a sharp left-hand bend. Park here as it is not permitted to drive any further up the track.
Walk easily up the main track for 25-30 minutes, passing 3 zigs and 2 zags. At the third zag there is a barrier across a smaller track straight ahead. Head past this barrier and continue up the smaller track, which soon turns sharply to the left. After a further 300m look for a small footpath leading back rightwards into the trees. If you arrive at a driveable track leading back rightwards you've gone too far. The small footpath leads up right past a smooth rock with a painted '5', and continues up right more steeply until immediately after a couple of small switchbacks the crag can be seen through the trees on the left.
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