The Plomb du Cantal is placed in the french Massif Central, in the Cantal Department, scarcely 40 km northeast of the main city in the area (Aurillac). It represents the highest point of the Monts du Cantal, a range formed by the outer slopes of an ancient volcano said to have been the highest one in Europe in primitive times. Most of these Cantal mountains lie west of road N122 but Plomb du Cantal is placed east of it, and hosts the ski resort of Super Lioran on its slopes. Because of this, you can easily imagine that it's not a really difficult mountain. The easiest routes are -in fact- just a hike along the ski runs, either from Super Lioran or from the Prat de Bouc parking area. But other more interesting routes can also be found.
See bigger map In this map, the summit of the Plomb du Cantal is placed immediately to the right of the word "Blats" at "Saint-Jacques-des-Blats"
As previously stated, the most frequent trailheads are placed at Super Lioran or at Prat de Bouc. We shall use as references the biggest main towns around the area: Clermont Ferrand (capital of the Departement de Puy de Dôme) and Aurillac (capital of the Departement du Cantal).
If driving your own car:
Clermont Ferrand is placed 123 km away from Super Lioran. Leave the city following the signs for highway A75 (toll highway) towards the south (Montpellier). Leave the highway on exit 23 (signposted as Aurillac/Massiac) and keep driving along road N122. Follow the signs towards Murat (at first) and Aurillac (afterwards). After 50 km, just before the entrance of the Lioran Tunnel (Tunnel du Lioran) you will find yourself at the small village of Le Lioran. Turn left and keep going for an additional km to find yourself at the ski resort of Super Lioran.
From Aurillac the trip is much shorter, scarcely 40 km. Leave the city following the signs towards Murat and Massiac, and drive along roads D117 (at first) and N122 (secondly) to cross the Lioran Tunnel. When you exit the tunnel at Le Lioran, turn right and climb the 1 km long road to the ski resort.
Up to this moment, I'm not aware of any regular bus line stopping at Le Lioran or its immediate area. I'll be glad to include in this page any information you can provide on this subject.
The french railways SNCF can take you to Aurillac or Clermont Ferrand, but the closest station to Super Lioran is placed at Murat (12 km north, on the road towards Clermont Ferrand. Additional transport shall be required from that point on.
There are airports both at Aurillac and Clermont Ferrand. Aurillac only receives incoming flights from Paris-Orly. Clermont Ferrand (being bigger) also hosts flights from other french national airports, as well as a flight from Amsterdam.
Red TapeOf course, consider carefully what time of the year are you going to climb. Depending on the season (and the route!), mountain wear and equipment requirements do change. Better err on the safe side and ask yourself after coming down from the summit Why did I carry that warm jacket?
And remember also about the very existence of the Super Lioran ski resort. Never climb along the central line of the ski runs in winter time, but only on their edge. Yeah, I know, it sounds obvious, but... Apart from that, there are no red tape requirements that I'm aware of.
CampingI don't know of any significant problems about this subject. Any information you can provide shall be incorporated in the page as soon as possible. Thanks in advance
External LinksSNCF: French railways home page.
Cantal tourisme: Tourist information (in english) by the regional government of Cantal.
Super Lioran: Full (english language again) information on the ski resort.