Wonderful photos, thanks so much.
A friend and I made the climb in March 2000 and ran into the 'brume'--misty-fog also.
Except in our case it was so thick we saw a widening in the road with a place to park and what appeared to be a path leading up with people already on the trail.
My friend made the comment: Where are the cars? So we drove further down the road and found the actual parking area and access.
We stumbled (the dampness made the ground slippery) up to the hut...then up the trail. I wasn't physically fit but felt driven (actually pulled was more like it) to climb all the way.
I hadn't seen photos of the place (we were staying nearby by chance) so had no idea how far the climb was.
The brume continued until we were at the top and had explored most of the chateau. There had been two other people but they left, so we were alone--were I to go back, I would want to find a time when I could be alone there again.
Finally, the fog lifted and we saw how far we'd climbed---and realized what we had thought were a group of hikers on the hill across the way (other side of the road) was actually a herd of cattle. Well, I suppose some of the groups that come to climb might well be cattle...
My friend (very fit) rambled around and found some of the old stones used by the catapults, and if you really look at the chateau walls, and then at the surrounding areas, you'd come to the decision that we did: The old chateau may have been torn down but the stones were reused to build the newer version.
You don't throw good building stones away (the house I've rented in Mirepoix is built with some of the stones from the old city wall), and given privacy, time and an empathic approach I think you'll find some of the stones used in the old chateau. I would not be suprised if the walls had not been torn down but the foundation left, and reused. It has that feel.
I was the last person to leave Peyrepertuse one late afternoon and the sense of the place changed as it emptied. My friend and I were going to go to Puilaurens but there were so many people there and all chattering as if it were a theme park--we didn't waste our time.
On another note, I see that there is semi-new management at what used to be 'Chez Costes'..it is now named (unfortunately, many locals feel) Auberge de Montsegur. And for those who may have good memories of the somewhat haphazard way things were arranged and the old but comfortable decor...well, there are now posters of PreRaphael Brotherhood knights and fair maidens on the walls...and said walls are quite changed...
you can have your own preview http://aubergemontsegur.com/restaurant.htm
I'm sure it will prove popular with many people, but the chef is the same one that lost Costes listing in the Guide Routard (after having been listed there for many, many years).
The rooms look more comfortable, are still quite affordable (I used to rent a gite in the village so the rooms weren't important to me) but...on va voir.
They have been filming the Labyrinth (Kate Mosse's book) in and around the area, and Philip Coppens [and others] are going to be having a Writers Grail workshop Chez Costes (yes, I AM going be difficult about the name change) the week of the Montsegur commemoration (17 March)...good for tourism I suppose....
Should anyone decide to visit Montsegur (pog and chateau) and decide to visit the village (the ticket for the chateau visit is also good for the library and small museum) there are a couple other places to eat.
Interestingly, the website does not provide links...here's one for the offical one:http://www.montsegur.fr/
but its links aren't up to date. Better site is http://www.montsegur.org/