|Puy de Sancy & Puy de
l'Angle from ski-centre to Mont Dore
Puy de Sancy Roc de Cuzeau Puy de l'Angle
|Estimated net time||5-6 hours|
|Drinking water||Access to drinking water at the start of the hike (valley Val de Courre), and down the gully towards the end of the hike.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage throughout the route except a short stretch around the saddle between Roc de Cuzeau and Puy de l'Angle (October 2009).|
|Parking||Room for many cars at car park at trail head.|
|Start height||1328 metres|
|Vertical metres||1060 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||15.9 km|
From Mont Dore drive south to the ski-slopes at the foot of Puy de Sancy. From the car park at the ski-centre walk west, and head south into the valley Val de Courre. Follow the well defined path through the valley and up the gully to the Puy de Sancy south ridge. Head east, still on good path, to Puy de Sancy summit.
From Puy de Sancy continue a little east, and then turn left and head north along the north-east ridge of the horse shoe. At the north end of the ridge you get to Roc de Cuzeau. From Roc de Cuzeau head directly north, aiming for the short stretch of road that runs perpendicular to road D36. Follow this road for a couple of hundred metres, cross road D36, and follow the path up to the summit of Puy de l'Angle.
From Puy de l'Angle head back down to road D36 and cross the road. Instead of following the short stretch of road heading south follow the path a little to the right (west) of this road. This path soon turns right, going north-west, and will take you towards the gully south-east of Mont Dore. At the top of the gully there is a water fall, Grande Cascade. Follow the good path as it zigzags down through the forest. When you get to a road, cross the road and continue on the path heading north. Approximately 600 metres after you crossed the road there is a path that goes down to your left. Follow this path, and you will soon find yourself in the centre of Mont Dore.
03. October 2009
The planning for this hike started several weeks earlier, as a result of me being asked to attend the PLM-Europe conference in Paris. Since the conference was to be held from Monday morning I saw the possibility to combine the Paris visit with a week-end somewhere in France. My first source in order to find out what area/mountain to visit was Petter Bjørstad's very informative map, and my eyes fell on Puy de Sancy almost immediately. Based on this I did some research both related to the mountain, and of course for transport and accommodation.
I left home on Friday, and after a long journey, involving car, plane, train and bus, I got to the village Mont Dore around 22:00. With some assistance from a local couple I found my hotel, the Grand Hotel, and went out for a meal. Getting food proved difficult, but after trawling the streets I eventually found a restaurant that was still open.
After waking up this Saturday morning I was very pleased to see a clear sky, making me very keen on starting the hike immediately. But there were a few things I first had to get sorted; food, water and a map. First move was to get breakfast at the hotel. I then headed to the village centre to buy sandwiches, a few bottles of water, and a hiking map of the area. This was all completed within 30 minutes. Then back to the hotel to get changed into hiking gear.
There are many routes that will take you to the summit of Puy de Sancy, and after having studied the map I decided to get a taxi to the ski-centre and then walk from there up to the ridge close to the summit. From the summit I would follow the north-east ridge, and then walk back down to Mont Dore. The helpful receptionist at the Grand Hotel got me a taxi, and soon after I was at the ski-centre at a cost of €10. From the ski-centre I headed up the valley Val de Courre. The temperature wasn't much above freezing here, and I was looking forward to get out of the valley and into the sun.
At the end of the valley I climbed up to the ridge on a good path, and was greeted with very nice views and a warming sun. From here it was a short walk up to the summit, including the wooden stairs that had been made for the last section to the summit. From the summit I headed along the north-east ridge, which ends with Roc de Cuzeau. From here I could see across to Puy de l'Angle, and I didn't take long to make up my mind to include this mountain in my morning hike. From Roc de Cuzeau I followed a more direct route down towards road D36 than the marked path, and I'm not sure this would have gone down terribly well with the locals since I believe they want hikers to follow the paths, but I'm not terribly fond of walking a long route when there is an obvious shorter route in good terrain.
Getting across to Puy de l'Angle from Roc de Cuzeau was done in just over 40 minutes, and this top was a little busy with other people; there were a number of other hikers, in addition to the three guys who were about to paraglide from the summit. I chatted a little with one of the paragliders, before heading back down to road D36. From here I followed the path back down to Mont Dore, where I treated myself with a well deserved Coke after a fantastic hike.