Freesteel Blog » Soussoueou and Tourmoun

Soussoueou and Tourmoun

Saturday, July 16th, 2011 at 8:57 pm Written by:

Somehow this pair of numpties got themselves into, through, and out of two canyons today.

It was a sunny Saturday in July and Canyon du Soussoueou touts le monde was there: spaniards, french, plenty of children in guided groups.

We were probably the only persons to bother to check out the sign printed out and pinned up daily on the notice board of the hydro-electric power station. Hey, ever heard of a web-page?

Well, at least the numbers forced us to stop wibbling and try to look competent. This included pretending to know which were the toboggans and where you were supposed to jump. Nothing looks so stupid as spending 5 minutes setting up an abseil rope down a waterfall as 30 kids streaming up behind you and jumping over the ledge into the pool. Except, maybe, jumping off and breaking your legs on a rock that you couldn’t see because of the white foam.

We stopped for lunch up the Col de Portet road, close to the Spain-France border, parking up by the Garganta de Tourmoun. For a while it looked as though we were all alone. Then another van showed up and people started getting changed into wetsuits. So we went for it.

Tourmoun is a fairly sedate and open canyon with a few good jumps, quite slippery in much of the place. We climbed out just in time, after an unnecessary 15metre pitch, before the road peeled off where it would have left us stranded in a boring river valley going on for miles.

At the end of the day I guess we were relieved to have gotten all the fear, uncertainty and doubt over with for the walk back to the car.

[We had done many of these canyons on a CUCC trip back in about 1994 when a French guy was in Cambridge for a year who invited the club to his summer shack somewhere in the valley. There was no plumbing or electricity, but there were a lot of shrieking squirrels in the roof which came down to raid our food at six in the morning. My memory of that holiday is rich, but it produces very little information of any use today.]

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