This route is basically a variation of the one that uses the ski runs of Super Lioran. It also starts from the ski resort, but soon takes a small forest path to reach the Pas des Alpins via the summit of the Puy du Rocher. Easy enough, its only difficulty is a small (say about 3 meters high) rocky cliff to be climbed by means of a metal ladder. All the rest is just a hike and the final part (between the Pas des Alpins and the summit) is common with the ski runs route.
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.
Start walking at the central area of the ski resort, where all ski lifts start, and take the leftmost ski run placed to your left (heading straightly east). Keep your eyes open, for in a maximum of ten minutes you will find a signpost to your left
(north) marking the path to the "Rocher du Cerf" (french for Stag Rock
). Take that path, entering the forest. It will take you at first to the small summit of the Rocher du Cerf, placed directly over the buildings of the ski resort. At that point the path turns right
(east) to face the slopes of the Puy du Rocher. It's always well marked, no chances of getting lost if you keep your eyes open and the weather is good. Once you reach the upper part of the slope
, continue to your right (south) just following the trail. You will have to surmount a couple of rocky steps (without any need to scramble) and a short final step (equipped with a metal ladder) before you reach the summit of the Puy du Rocher (1813 m). The wide col known as Pas des Alpins shall be under your feet. To reach the summit of the Plomb du Cantal will be just a matter of going down towards it and go ahead towards the upper station of the cable car and the rounded summit.
All considerations made in the "ski runs" route are valid here. Remember, though, that there are no skiers around this route. Easy or not, this is real mountain (untouched by human hands) and this route should not be attempted without warm clothes, food and water at the very least. I assume you will be wearing proper mountain boots, of course. Walking poles are always a nice help and winter equipment (ice axe, crampons...) should be compulsory if the mountain is covered by snow. If you have any kind of doubts about your equipment or your ability to cope with this route, you'd better take the ski runs for better safety.