Le Reculet is the second highest peak summit in the Jura mountain range and in the French department of Ain. For many years, it was considered to be the highest but subsequent surveying proved it to be 3 metres shorter than the nearby Crêt de la Neige.
This modest mountain overlooks lake Geneva and provides spectacular views of the Mont Blanc massif on a clear day.
Though an easy hike in summer, winter ascents may require crampons, snowshoes, or skis. In winter there are various ski routes possible around the mountain.
Most of the routes start at Le Tiocan. From here you hike through the forest to La Croisée (1190 m). at La Croisée the routes split and it is possible to summit via the "Narderans" route, a steeper and rockier path which passes by the Narderans hut, or the "Thoiry Devant", a route which goes up a car accessible road and passes by Thoiry Devant (1510 m) before continuing to the summit.
The most common access point is the Tiocan overlook. To reach the Tiocan follow the signs pointing toward "le Tiocan" which are visible from the road D89 which passes through Thoiry. After following the signage, you will find yourself on a "route forestière" which will lead you to a Hotel Restaurant, the parking, and the Tiocan overlook.
From the Tiocan parking, follow the path (mostly dirt interspersed with stones) to the left of the Hotel-Restaurant. This dirt path is somewhat steep and will cross the forest road twice. Eventually, after crossing the forest road for the second time, the path turns into more of a road and there are patches of concrete visible. Following this will lead to a branching with a sign saying La Croisée (1190 m). To the the right is Curson, Thoiry Devant, and Reculet. To the left is Narderans and Le Reculet. Turn off toward the left following a small stone path.
Follow the path until it again splits (with one fork going toward the Narderans Chalet and the other pointing toward Le Reculet). After passing the sign to Narderans, you will go through a valley.
After about 15-30 min turn right toward the limestone cliffs.
The path goes under these cliffs (be wary of rockfall) before turning right and heading directly to the summit.
The whole trip to the summit can take anywhere between one and three hours depending on fitness and number of stops.
Par Thoiry Devant
Follow the directions for the Narderans route until La Croisée. From here follow the signs to Thoiry Devant.
From here follow the sign and the path to the summit.
Though camping is illegal, it is possible to bivouac.
Furthermore there is a hut called "Chalet du Narderan" though it is only possible to use it if you are a resident of Thoiry.
External LinksLINKS REGARDING THE NARDERAN CHALET
- Marie Thoiry Site about the History of the Narderan Chalet
- Refuges.info Site about the Narderan Chalet
When To ClimbIt is possible to climb Le Reculet throughout the year.
In summer, it is a good idea to bring water, food, and an extra layer, as the summit can be surprisingly cold and windy.
In fall, the weather will be colder, but the route should be just as straightforward as in summer.
In winter, it is usually best to use crampons, skis, and/or snowshoes. The Narderans route is not amenable to snowshoes due to its steepness, but if the snow is packed, crampons can prove useful. There is some chance of avalanche if there has been recent snow or if the weather is warming. In the right conditions is even possible for small crevasses to form but these are usually no more than 3 ft deep. On the summit it can be bitterly cold and windy.
Depending on the conditions, rockfall risk can be increased, and if there is still snow it may be necessary to plan accordingly.