OverviewIn my opinion, this route can be considered as the normal route to the summit of Plomb du Cantal. It's not the most beautiful one, nor the most interesting one, but it's easy. Just an uphill walk from the ski resort of Super Lioran, following the ski runs. That makes for an almost non-existent risk of losing your way, as the building of the upper station of the cable car is always within sight and marks the direction to be taken.
Getting ThereIf 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.
Route Description[img:584290:alignleft:medium:The route]
Describing this route is a fairly easy question. You must start from the central area of the ski resort (where all ski lifts and the cable car start). From that point on, take the leftmost ski run and start hiking along it. In about 40 minutes you will leave the forest area behind and the upper station of the cable car will be already in sight. Always walking uphill on open terrain, you will reach a dirt road and from that point on the only thing to worry about will be to follow it. It will soon take you to the col known as Pas des Alpins, where the route turns right in search of the cable car station. The summit is in fact placed about two hundred meters further, on a small hill. Expect no problem losing your way, there are even wooden steps for the final climb!
Essential GearAs it happens so many times, it's up to you: in summer time, without any snow on the ground, a light hiking equipment can be more than enough. Winter climbs, though, can become a much more serious matter and should not be attempted without the proper equipment (warm clothes, ice axe, crampons, sun glasses, gloves and so on) and the knowledge of its proper use.
Anyway, I advice to carry always some warm clothing, good boots, food and water for the estimated time to complete the hike. And walking poles are also handy in most sorties, we all know that.