Wednesday, 14 August 2013

We need to talk about Cevennes national park


Mont Aigoual in the Parc National Des Cevennes appears to be a very popular destination for a drive. It is topped by a Meteo meteorological station (and exhibition centre) and an IGN trig hidden in a round circle of stones – and the large car park was full. 

The IGN trig hides the true summit behind

However, for the thousands who must visit daily in the summer – or ski there in the winter – I suspect that only a small handful bother to visit the true summit about 1.6km away.
1.20km, 105m ascent
For the true summit, even the marked path that starts at the roadside at (1521m) N44.12332 E3.57020 traverses rather than visits it – this is the only access from the west that does not involve getting over a barbed wire fence and ignoring signs about it being a tranquillity zone. 

However, there is a fainter path that follows the fence line to the summit marked by a small communications mast that looks a bit like a sailing boat. The view was far and wide, but there was not a lot to see, really.
2.31km, 160m total ascent

Overnight at Camping La Cascade, Meyrueis (743m – lowest I have slept for a long while)


Mont Lozere/Sommit de Finials is also in the Parc National des Cevennes – a Major, 1699m high and P649 at N44.42609 E3.73911.
There is a paved road up to the Col de Finiels which has plentiful parking space (1541m) N44.42428 E3.76858. 

There is a choice of walks from the col shown on a signboard – and they are all quite obvious on the ground. I ‘ascended’ the piste on the left which goes through pine trees before coming out on meadows/ski country  nearer the tops. 

The highest top is obvious and has a direct path to where it is marked by a cairn and stone shelter – there was a view all round of lesser hills.

For the descent, I wandered over some intervening tops before finding an alternative path back to the start.

5.95km, 388m total ascent

Overnight at Aire de Stationnement Camping cars, Pardines (486m – getting even lower)

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