Thursday, May 14, 2015

Montagne de Lure – the western ridge by Sommet de Larran (4h)


View of Montagne de Ventoux
This is a short and easy high altitude walk for all seasons. Large open spaces with an open landscape that includes great views in all directions. Most impressive is perhaps the Ventoux Mountain in the west, but you have the Alpes in the north and the Luberon Mountain in the south. Most of the walk is well exposed to the sun, but there are no problems finding shade for eating or resting.


Jas de la Bouscarle
Drive up to Banon (city center) and follow signs for le Contadour. You are now in one of the favourit villages of the famous Provencal writer, Jean Giono.

At Contadour, you have public WC and a large parking, but I suggest you drive on for another 1.7 km to avoid the extra hours walk along this road. Here you see a yellow signpost for “La Bouscale” taking you off this road on the right, on to a yellow marked dirt road. Park here and take this dirt road into the woods.

You soon get out into the open and will follow the Ravin du Fond-Brune for a bit. After about 25 min., another dirt road crosses your road (by a large green steel tank). Take right here and climb up to the hill on your right, still following yellow markings. You reach the 1322-meter point in just about 10 min. Now you turn left and after only some 60 meters, you see a yellow signpost. Here you turn left again, following the yellow markers for Le Crete. After about 35 minutes along the yellow markers, you see some large cairns and a ruin on the left. Nice place for a rest. Just 40 meter after the ruins, the yellow markers turn left and you will now be taken over the 1431 meter point (with a large massive cairn) and down again to the ridge of Mountain de Lure at 1413 meters. Including a few short stops, you reach the ridge in 1,5 hour from the car.

If you want to expand on this walk a bit, you could now explore the ridge going eastwards,
where you have a narrow plateau going south at the 1429 meter point. This walk, however, will now follow the yellow and red marked “Tour de la montagne de Lure” in western direction. After about 30 minutes, the path leaves the ridge, going slightly off to the left, marked for “Jas des Terres Roux”. After only some 15 minutes, you take the signposted left turning and follow on southwards to the old Bergerie (another 30 minutes). This has been classified as a historical monument because of the fine quality of the work done by restoring these buildings using only the traditional method of “dry stones”. Well worth a good look.

You leave the old Bergerie, still on the yellow and red marked path signposted for “Tinette”. You reach Tinette in about 25 minutes and here you continue the main road to where the car is parked (another 10 minutes).






Le Crete de Montagne de Lure
Basic information:

Duration:       4h (including 45 min. lunch)
Distance:       12 km.
Ascent:          400 m
Difficulty:        Easy
Start/finish:    1.7 km north of le Contadour or 10 km. north of Banon.
Map:               IGN 3240 OT Banon Sault







Cultural Options

With spare time on your hands, why not visit the abandoned village of Redortiers. It had 500 inhabitants in the 19th century, situated 950 meters above sea level with a magnificant panoramic view of the Haut-Provence Plateau. You see it on your IGN 3240 OT map, half way between Banon and Le Contadour, and you can drive there from the D5 road you followed to Le Contadour.

If you are more serious about visiting abondoned villages, check out this 17,5 km. walk from Banon, visiting among others, Redortiers.

You must not miss a stop in Banon, where perhaps the main attraction today is the famous bookshop called "Les Bluets". In addition Banon is world famous for its particular goat cheese, wrapped in chestnut leaves and tied with raffia.

Jas des Terres du Roux



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