CHAUDEFOUR VALLEY, PUY DE DÔME
Chosen by Florian Bompan
Why do you love this place?
“Chaudefour Valley, which has been a national natural reserve since 1991, is very important to me, and I go there often. It’s one of the three glacial valleys of the Sancy Massif, completely remote and perfect for lovers of the outdoors. There is extraordinary fauna and flora to discover there.”
What’s your favourite way to explore it?
“There is a long well-marked trail of about five or six hours that allows you to navigate the entire valley by nearby ridges. It’s quite difficult, but very impressive.”
What about for first-timers?
“After parking your car, head into the heart of the valley to see its two massive monoliths: la Crête du Coq (The Cockerel’s Comb) and la Dent de la Rancune (The Grudge Tooth), both very well-known climbing spots in the region. It is an unbelievable spot. It’s very accessible – you can do it with kids – and should only take you 90 minutes in total.”
What to pack for your adventure?
“Of course, I never forget my camera. Depending on the season, the landscapes change completely and there’s always something splendid to shoot. Binoculars are a must, too. They’re the best way to observe animals such as mouflons, chamois or marmots without disturbing them. Finally, if I’m out in winter, I take my snowshoes and poles because there can be a lot of snow. Finally, always take a headlamp. You’ll want to stay in the valley until sunset, I promise!”
Best photo opportunity?
“Valley, animals or landscapes - the choice is vast. If there was one shot to get though, it would have to be of la Crête du Coq and la Dent de la Rancune, both icons of this place. Find a different angle than the one we always see, so try taking it from height or lay down in the grass, for example.”
Favourite place for a bite to eat afterwards?
“On you way back, I advise you to stop in the village of Murol. There are some really nice restaurants to try.”