Ascent of Crêt de la Neige on 2015-10-01

Climber: Ed Wandall

Date:Thursday, October 1, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Crêt de la Neige
    Elevation:5643 ft / 1719 m

Ascent Trip Report

Having stayed in Divonne Le Bans, France, a few years ago, the Jura intrigued me. So when I stayed in St. Genis-Pouilly for business, I hoped I would get a few hours to hike there. The opportunity came after working the morning on Thursday. After noon I drove up to Sergy and through to Thoiry and up the Rue de Reculet, where you can park at a small restaurant/refuge to start the hike. However, the road to the Reculet was closed in Thoiry, which necessitated a very confusing roundabout on tiny, narrow roads, but I prevailed and found myself at the Centra Reve du Dragon, the restaurant, which appeared closed.

The hike starts on a gravelly trail just south on the road approaching the restaurant. It was fairly steep, and I was more out of shape than I expected. Finally the trail meets the cement road, which, while in fairly good condition, seemed pretty darn steep for a road. As I got higher and higher, different areas of the upper mountain became visible. Great limestone walls, gorgeous views east to the Alps, a small Chamois herd eating on a green slope. Very pretty area!

There are occasional signs detailing the route, usually showing le Reculet (the most popular, and oft mistaken 'highpoint' of the Jura, and Cret de la Niege via Curso, which I later found out was a refuge. For Peakbaggers new to the area, it is probably better to make le Reculet the goal. It is very prominent and popular, so the trail to the top is easy to follow, and from there, you can easily see the ridge trails to the Cret. I kept to the now gravel roads that headed to the Cret. After passing some very happy cows, I saw the refuge Curson. I believe it closes at the end of September, and the sign was down. I found a faint trail behind Curson and followed that up through several outcrops, gaining the summit after about 2 hours. Unfortunately, it was pretty hazy and the views weren't as good as usual.

Le Reculet has a large metal cross built on it, and is visible from everywhere. The hike over to that is a very pretty walk though pastures. Up here the trail is well marked with low posts with a red and white strip.

The descent, it is worth noting, can be tough on your knees and legs. It is fairly steep, and some sections of the concrete road are very slippery. I would prefer just gravel, as you can almost plunge step through it. With the small gravel on top of the concrete, it is like marbles on a sliding board. Bring your trekking poles to make it easier.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3055 ft / 931 m
    Total Elevation Loss:250 ft / 76 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Open Country
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3055 ft / 931 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2805 ft / 854 m; Extra: 250 ft / 76m
    Loss on way in:250 ft / 76 m
    Distance:3.1 mi / 5 km
    Start Trailhead:2838 ft / 865 m
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: Jura

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Crêt de la Neige2015-10-013055 ft / 931 m
2Le Reculet2015-10-01131 ft / 40 m
Total Trip Gain: 3186 ft / 971 m    Total Trip Loss: 388 ft / 118 m

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