Signal de Botrange

Page Type
Area/Range
Location:
Parc Naturel de Haut Fagnes, Belgium, Europe
Elevation:
2276 ft / 694 m
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Page By:
Signal de Botrange
Created On: May 28, 2002
Last Edited On: Mar 30, 2004

Overview


Once again, certainly not a major mountain but in Belgium terms it is - i.e. it is the countries highest point. The lowly remains of a once mighty volcanic area, this particular peak once called de Hoge Venen. Located in the pleasant, forested Parc Naturel de Haut Fagnes in eastern Belgium, the ascent of Signal de Botrange can provide a good if not spectacular introduction to Belgium nature.

Unfortunately (or for some the opposite) a road runs across it's tree covered summit between Eupen and Malmady. It is a round hill like summit rising in the Belgium Ardennes and adorned by a tower or the 'Signal of Botrange'.

A day long route purely to ascend the mountain would be hard to come by unless you began well away from the summit itself, but there is pleasant walking in the forest. One pleasant (if not short) route would be to start at the nature centre a couple of miles south and walk through the forest tracks to the tower area. An easy walk for old and young!

If thats not enough, go explore the lovely Hautes Fagnes area (meaning high marsh) but remember - bring a rain coat! Don't despair on a rainy day - the Fagnes gain a delightful quality when mist covered and rain dashed.

The Belgium government has built a tower 6 metres high next to the summit that places whoever climbs it at exactly 700 metres above see level.

Getting There


One alternative would be to drive, or take the bus from Eupen (they leave every hour from the bus station) southbound over the N6 towards Malmedy. There are plenty of train connections with Eupen from Aachen in Germany or Liege in Belgium. The road will pass over the summit (easily spotted with the tower). Two miles south is the Nature Centre where bags can be left if need be and a cup of coffee obtained. It has one or two interesting artefacts on the local nature but the screaming school parties may hurry you on. Then walk to the summit on the road or better on forest tracks. Other alternatives would be using the N672 from Verviers or the N6 north from Malmady. Buses will pick you up on the road next to the nature centre when leaving - hitching is difficult because the traffic really shifts along this road and probably won't see you!

Red Tape


Not a sausage required in terms of permits. An all year round peak but summer is probably the best choice - a sunny winters day would be good. Plenty of wildlife in the area including deer and foxes but unlikely to see much unless you go into the woods themselves. The nature centre has a lot more information than me.

For up to date information on public access and closing of some of the areas in the park call the Natuur Centrum 00 32 (0) 80 44 03 00. It is open from 10:00 to 18:00 hours every day.

When To Climb


All year round and summer is best, although don't expect good weather all the time as slightly less that 1.5m of rain is said to fall on this spot during the year.

Camping and Lodging


Best to stay in Eupen or Malmady or any other town in the area and there are several camping sites in the region.

A good option is to stay in Robertville (a few kms south of the summit). From here you can plan a whole day walk all the way up to Signal de Botrange - going trough some of the nicest parts of the park.

Mountain Conditions


The weather can change quickly in the Ardennes, so it pays to call ahead to the local tourist office for the daily ski bulletin. For information in the Eastern Cantons call 080/22.76.64. For conditions in Liege province call 041/22.42.10. For Namur province, contact 081/40.80.10. Or watch the weather reports on Belgian television.

Average temperatures:
All year round: 6.1 °C
In January: -1.0 °C
In July: 16.0 °C

Annual average precipitation: 1400 mm

Average number of rainy days per year 172
Average number of days with snow per year: 43
Average number of foggy days per year 175

Geological Beginnings


According to geological studies the Hoge Venen region (which is Dutch for Hautes-Fanges – not the name of the mountain), and in fact most of the Ardennes, originated from a relatively fast geological uplift in the Miocene period. So, even though there is still some volcanic activity in the area, the origin of the uplifting is not volcanic.

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Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

Viewing: 1-20 of 24
12

Antony Walker

Antony Walker - Nov 4, 2002 6:46 pm - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

This has now been included in the overview chapter.



Thanks for the information

gatogringo

gatogringo - May 27, 2003 2:13 am - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

I will have to disagree on this observation. According to geological studies the Hoge Venen region (which is Dutch for Hautes-Fanges – not the name of the mountain), and in fact most of the Ardennes, originated from an relatively fast geological uplift in the Miocene period. So, even as there is still some volcanic activity in the area, the origin of the uplifting is not volcanic.

lutjebroek

lutjebroek - Jun 7, 2003 5:38 am - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

Ik zie dat je nederlands bent, da's iets makkelijker. De hoge Venen is inderdaad het gebied van de halve ardennen. De venen zelf zijn kraters opgevuld met, je raad het nooit, veen. Het is wel degelijk oud vulkanisch gebied (60 miljoen jaar geleden). Toen waren de bergen daar alleen een stukkie hoger.

Antony Walker

Antony Walker - Mar 30, 2004 2:11 pm - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

This has now been added. Thanks



Antony Walker

Antony Walker - Mar 30, 2004 2:14 pm - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

This has now been added. Thanks.

Antony Walker

Antony Walker - Mar 30, 2004 2:15 pm - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

This info has been updated. Thanks.

Antony Walker

Antony Walker - Mar 30, 2004 2:16 pm - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

This has been updated. Thanks for the info.

Antony Walker

Antony Walker - Mar 30, 2004 2:17 pm - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

I have added your opinions to the site. Thanks.

lutjebroek

lutjebroek - Oct 24, 2002 6:04 am - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

It is an old vulcano, like Baraque Fraiture and Baraque michel. It is called de Hoge Venen.

Antony Walker

Antony Walker - Nov 4, 2002 6:46 pm - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

This has now been included in the overview chapter.



Thanks for the information

gatogringo

gatogringo - May 23, 2003 5:07 am - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

Average temperatures:

Al year round: 6.1 °C

In January: -1.0 °C

In July: 16.0 °C



Annual average precipitation: 1400 mm



Average number of rainy days per year 172

Average number of days with snow per year: 43

Average number of foggy days per year 175



gatogringo

gatogringo - May 26, 2003 5:44 am - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

The Belgium government has built a tower 6 metres high next to the summit that places whoever climbs it at exactly 700 metres above see level.

gatogringo

gatogringo - May 27, 2003 2:13 am - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

I will have to disagree on this observation. According to geological studies the Hoge Venen region (which is Dutch for Hautes-Fanges – not the name of the mountain), and in fact most of the Ardennes, originated from an relatively fast geological uplift in the Miocene period. So, even as there is still some volcanic activity in the area, the origin of the uplifting is not volcanic.

Proterra

Proterra - Aug 11, 2008 4:36 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Untitled Comment

You're mixing facts. The Ardennes/Eifel were first uplifted in the Devonian when (I believe the Caledonian and Avalonian plates collided with the proto-European plate) It rose to fairly lofty peaks, probably comparable to the Pyrenees nowadays, and then got eroded out to close to sea level during the Cretaceous. In the Miocene volcanic uplifting started again creating all these wonderful craters in mostly the Eifel region, and which continues even today. (around 0.4 mm/year) Centre of volcanic activity has shifted eastward from the Miocene though, from the Belgian-German border to the eastern Eifel, with the last major eruption (VEI 5-6, comparable with Pinatubo) at Laachersee, NW of Koblenz, Germany. This was in 10.930 BCE. Because the Eastern Ardennes haven't seen any volcanic activity in the last 5-6 million years, the craters there are filled up with peat, creating high marshland.

gatogringo

gatogringo - May 27, 2003 2:57 am - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

For up to date information on public access and closing of some of the areas in the park call the Natuur Centrum 00 32 (0) 80 44 03 00. It is open from 10:00 to 18:00 hours every day.

gatogringo

gatogringo - May 27, 2003 3:02 am - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

A good option is to stay in Robertville (a few kms south of the summit). From here you can plan a whole day walk all the way up to Signal de Botrange - going trough some of the nicest parts of the park.

lutjebroek

lutjebroek - Jun 7, 2003 5:38 am - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

Ik zie dat je nederlands bent, da's iets makkelijker. De hoge Venen is inderdaad het gebied van de halve ardennen. De venen zelf zijn kraters opgevuld met, je raad het nooit, veen. Het is wel degelijk oud vulkanisch gebied (60 miljoen jaar geleden). Toen waren de bergen daar alleen een stukkie hoger.

Antony Walker

Antony Walker - Mar 30, 2004 2:11 pm - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

This has now been added. Thanks



Antony Walker

Antony Walker - Mar 30, 2004 2:14 pm - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

This has now been added. Thanks.

Antony Walker

Antony Walker - Mar 30, 2004 2:15 pm - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

This info has been updated. Thanks.

Viewing: 1-20 of 24
12








Signal de Botrange

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