Le Tunnel par la Tête de Courmes

Technical Sheet

This descent is listed V-Red

Municipality: Courmes
Valley: Gorges of the Wolf
IGN map: 3643.ET
Departure altitude: 760m
Length: 750m with Tunnel
Elevation: 400m with Tunnel
Cascade Max: 90m for the Tunnel (68m for the "Head of Courmes")
Approach: 45mn
Duration: 3H
Return: 15mn to Tunnel Valley or 35mn to Village de Courmes
Shuttle service: 6.6 km
Roche: Limestone

Legend Quotation

Route accessible to the greatest number with abseils not exceeding sixty meters.

Descent very vertical with abseils that can approach 100 meters.

Reserved for lovers of verticals, relays full wall and large commuters.

Descent very impressive. DO NOT engage in it without being certain of its technical capabilities and perfect vacuum control.

Warning !

Beware of the falls of Stones. Thoroughly purge the starting surfaces before installing the ropes and make sure to take cover as soon as you get down.


Open the 29 October 2017 by Dany (Le Lion), Christophe (Cactus) and Dominique (Dom).

Origin of name

Drom the road, coming from "Saut du Loup" and going towards the "Pont du Loup", we can see this characteristic rocky outcrop overlooking the RG of the "Vallon du Tunnel" and whose shape evokes the profile of an Indian head ... at least after a few aperos.


(See "The MOV Access")

Downstream : We go upstream the "Gorges du Loup" on the D6 from "La Colle-sur-Loup". We leave "Pont-du-Loup" on the left and we continue on the D6 towards "Gréolières". We park on a small car park on the left, at the exit of the first tunnel (Photo 00). This is the arrival point of the "Canyon du Tunnel".

Upstream: With the second vehicle, continue on the D6, still towards "Gréolières". We leave, on the left, the D3 which leads to "Gourdon" and, just after, to the hamlet of Bramafan, we take, on the right, the D503 which leads to the village of "Courmes". We park on a good parking located on the left at the entrance of the village (Photos 01 et 02). On foot, we cross the small meadow which adjoins the parking lot towards the houses of the village and we take the paved road on the left in front of the houses (Photos 03 et 04).
At the end of 300m, we arrive at the start of the GR which we take on the right, at the 82 waymark (Photo 05). We follow the GR for a few minutes (Photo 06) and we get to the 83 waymark (Photo 07). There, we continue the GR on the right (Photo 08) during 300m and we leave it to take a well-marked path on the right (Photos 09 et 10). We will soon pass what we suppose to be a water tank (Photo 11) and, after a short climb (Photo 12), the path goes into a sharp "S" turn. In this bend, we leave the path on the right to take a small, little-marked path marked with red paint (Photos 13 et 14).
From there, we will follow the red marks all the way to the start of the Barring. 100m after leaving the path, the small path joins a trail that we take on the right (Photo 15). We follow this track during 7-8mn (16 and 17 photos). At the end of the track, we arrive in front of a large rocky mound which we will go around on the right (18 to 22 photos). Just behind us, we can see the village of Courmes (Photo 23).
We follow the red marks by going up a little (24 to 26 photos)then we go to the other side of the rocky mound and we go down a little in the undergrowth (Photos 27 et 28). After a few minutes, we arrive at the exit of the undergrowth and we go a little bit on the left (29 and 30 photos). We immediately see a big rock with a beautiful red mark at its top (Photo 31). The starting anchorage is located on the ground, just behind this rock, towards the "Gorges du Cians" unfolding at our feet (32, 33, 36 and 37 photos).
This is definitely a magical apero area (34 and 35 photos).

Return: At the bottom of the 68m pendular, we walk along the foot of the cliff in RD (Photo 58) following the red paint marks that make us descend into a beautiful undergrowth (59 to 61 photos). At the end of 15mn, we cross a first very-little-marked Canyon (It's a small tributary of the "Canyon du Tunnel" and we can follow it directly if we want to reach the "Canyon du Tunnel").
200m after, we cross the upstream part of the "Canyon du Tunnel", much more marked, and indicated by a red cross on tree (Photo 62).

There, we have 2 options:
1-We want to return to the upstream parking: We continue going down in the undergrowth in the same direction, so to the right, and we find the access path to the "Canyon du Tunnel" which soon crosses the "Canyon de Bès Courmes" and joins the village. Count 20mn more. Be careful not to go too far to the left so as not to get below the village.
2-We want to descend the "Canyon du Tunnel": We go down into it (63 and 64 photos). After 5mn of small de-escalations, the undergrowth clears (Photo 65) (Note that this is where we would also arrive if we had previously gone down into the small tributary of the "Canyon du "Tunnel"). We find immediately a strap at the foot of a small tree, in RG (Photos 66 et 67) to abseil down a few meters and just after, we join the classic start of the "Canyon du Tunnel" (Photo 68).

MOV - Access

The Play Ground

Access in Pictures


(See "The Photo Gallery")

After the apero, we equip a rope on the anchorage on the ground and we head, not in the direction of the "Gorges du loup", but parallel to these, downstream way (Photos 38 et 39). So to the south.
A C12 (most of which is flat) (38 and 39 photos) allows to get to the anchorage, starting point of the C68 (40 to 44 photos). This anchorage place can accommodate 2 teammates comfortably and there is no need for the use of a pedal before starting the abseil. Do not be surprised to see 4 anchor points. The reason is that, at this place, the rock is tormented by the elements and it is very cracked. We therefore decided to double the anchorage points.
When you leave (Stupidly) the anchorage, you will probably live a great moment of pure happiness (45 to 48 photos) because you then find yourself on a complete spider thread all the way down to the bottom (49 to 57 photos).
Caution : There are 2 important friction points at -2m and -4m that require the imperative use of a rope guard ... unless you want to knock out the speed record of the descent.
Unfortunately, once down, you will realize that what is now left to you is to descend ... the "Canyon du Tunnel" ... Bôôôaaaahhhhh! (or run away cowardly to the upstream parking).
For this descent, please refer to the topo of the "Canyon du Tunnel".

MOV - Presentation

The Photo Gallery

The Synopsis

Aquatic character

C It is a pure Barring which, as such, is dry all year long, but the "Canyon du Tunnel" flows regularly under heavy rains.


E Once down the Barring of 68m, you can either join the "Canyon du Tunnel" or go back down to the village of Courmes (see paragraph "Return").

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