Ascent of Le Neron on 2021-09-11

Climber: Alfred E Neuman

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, September 11, 2021
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Le Neron
    Elevation:4259 ft / 1298 m

Ascent Trip Report

After an annoying road hike up to Clémencières, I took the track that peels off the main road, just to the south of the village. This crosses another track before beginning a plumb-line-direct ascent straight up the east side of the mountain. The path is unrelentingly steep and loose. I met a group of three runners coming down about halfway up, slipping and sliding in chaotic fashion. We wished each other bonne chance and I continued up. Eventually the route becomes an easy scramble over rocks (blue paint markers). There is one section involving a traverse above a rock band where a slip could be fatal, but otherwise exposure is minimal. The route passes through a deep groove in the rocks before emerging out onto the crest of the ridge. Le Neron has multiple summits, and it's not clear which is the highest. The Northern summit (also called Croix Rouge) is easily reached via a path just below the ridge line. The second summit is clearly a few meters higher, but reaching it requires some dicey scrambling (more blue paint markers). First you need to downclimb a few meters onto a wide ledge up above the cliffs of the East face (nice handholds and some tree branches). A path then leads over a rock step and down to the low point between the two summits. Then there is an awkward rising traverse up a groove in the rock. There used to be a fixed rope here but it has gone now. After the traverse, there is a steep exposed scramble up to the summit. Another photo of this section can be found on the Altitude Rando website: (photo 33). The climbing is not especially difficult but there is no room for error. The route would be lethal when wet. There is a belay point bolted into the rock at the top (the only fixed protection of the route). I downclimbed as carefully as I could, then returned to the North summit where I'd left my bag. There is another summit further South, but I believe this is slightly lower. I descended more or less the way I'd come up, but returned to Grenoble via the Bastille fort. Overall, a superb mountain but it requires steady nerves and dry conditions.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
View from below the cime principal of le Neron. Note the blue waymarker. The route follows the groove in the rock, before an exposed scramble to the top (2021-09-11). Photo by Alfred E Neuman.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3557 ft / 1084 m
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3557 ft / 1084 m
    Route:Couloir de Clémencières
    Start Trailhead:Grenoble  702 ft / 213 m
Descent Statistics

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