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Creux de Van

Sunday 29 th June 2014 - 13:51

Dificultat: Mitjana
Temps: 5h 30m
Desnivell Positiu: 750m
At the Vall de Travers, in the canton of Neuchâtel, we find a singular circ formation called the 'Creux de Van'.

We started the ascencion at the town of Noiraigue, after having left the car in the parking lot where there is the station of the 'service de feu'. We could have followed to road until the 'Ferme Robert' which is a refuge/restaurant and that would have saved us part of the climb, but then we wouldnt have been able to return on the other side, or we would have to climb to get to our car.

The path starts with a strong vertical slope that barely curves. It goes through the forest, the shade for which we were very thankful for. In arriving at the Robert farm, the path becomes flatter, in order to find the centre of the circ.

Once we arrive at the 'Font Froide', the path begins to climb strongly once again, and this time it curves much more. From here we can begin to se ethe circ, and in our case, we saw a family of 7 mountain goats.

The forest is so thick it is difficult to see the rock formation. I think that before the font-froide we simply had an intuition, and then when we climbed, we began to see the outline in between the trees...

Having overcome this climb, we arrive at a clearing and we begin to see the hole. The views are impressive. After a deserved break, we walk around the circ to descend on the other side.

Just after starting to descend, we see the restaurant/farm 'Le Soliat'. The descent is much stronger than the climb. Careful with your knees, they get rather tired...

When we arrive at 1.000 m altitude, we find another restaurant, Oeillons, and there are horses, geese and chicken...

With so many restaurant/refuges, this excursion seems more like a gastronomic route than anything else, but its part of the swiss culture - here the people like to go grazing and then have a good meal in a mountain refuge.
More about: moderate , hiking , europe

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