Col d'Aspin and Hourquette d'Ancizan


General characteristics (click for gradient profiles or photo).

St Lary-Soulan [800m] - 13 km semi-flat - Arreau [705m] - 13 km uphill - Col d'Aspin [1489m] -
5 km downhill - Espiadet [1106m] - 10 km mainly uphill - Hourquette d'Ancizan [1550m] - 10 km downhill - Ancizan/Guchen [780m] - 5 km semi-flat - St Lary-Soulan [800m].

To avoid the busy N929 take the parallel D19 to Arreau. Shortly after passing Arreau turn left and start climbing the Col d'Aspin. After reaching the col descent for 5 kilometers to the little village Espiadet and turn left to the Hourquette d'Ancizan (D113). The descent ends in Guchen. Take the N929 for less than a kilometer, then turn right and follow the D19 to St Lary-Soulan.

1: Col des Peyresourde; 2: Col d'Azet, also known as Col de Val-Louron-Azet. See notes below.

The east slope of the Col d'Aspin is quite irregular, but on average only moderately steep (Tour de France grade 1). The col itself is not very impressive and there is nothing to eat or drink. For refreshments you have to descent to Espiadet. Here starts the small, but good quality road to the Hourquette* d'Ancizan. Both the ascent and descend are most attractive In particular the descend to Ancizan/Guchen offers splendid views of the Vallée d'Aure. The combination of Aspin and Ancizan, clockwise or anti-clockwise is recommended.

Alternative loop including the Col d'Aspin (not done by us): descent the Aspin westward and take after approximately 2 km a small forestry road to the right and climb to the Col de Beyrède (1417 m; ca. 5 km) . The descent eastwards, which is very irregular and partly steep ('cruel' to some), ends after 11 km at the N929, 7 km north of Arreau. A description of the Col de Beyrède on the British OCD website warns for 'perilous unlidded drainage channels'. See CyclingCols for gradient profiles.

Other climbs in the St Lary - Arreau area include:
1. Col des Peyresourde (1469 m; D618 from Arreau to Bagnères-de-Luchon), and
2. Col d'Azet (1578 m; D225 from St Lary-Soulan eastward to Génos). See CyclingCols for gradient profiles.

* Hourquette is a Gascon word derived from Hourque / Fourche, which means fork. In the Pyrenees it is locally used instead of Col.





Col d'Aspin.