Ascent of Ballon de Servance on 2010-10-02

Climber: Lee Newton

Others in Party:Jai Newton
Date:Saturday, October 2, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Ballon de Servance
    Elevation:1216 m / 3990 ft

Ascent Trip Report

Due to the military summit installation I was not sure if the actual high point of the Department of Haute-Saône would be accessible. We parked at the high point of the pass between le Thillot and PLancher-les-Mines and started off along the GR59, hoping to cut left at some point to the summit. The road accessing the military site was clearly signed no access. Unfortunately there was no point to really leave this path in the direction of the summit without running into a lot of fencing and warning signs (some with a curious picture that looked a little like a warning against bear-traps!). With no way through we tried to go around on the East side but continued to be blocked, eventually by a much more serious fence. Having almost given up hope we went back almost to the beginning and picked up the tarmac access road, hoping for a sympathetic guard (and also that my schoolboy French would hold up). The road led to a locked gate with 3m fence but there were no personnel in evidence. Some older derelict buildings were mixed with some much newer ones. Our guess is an unmanned radar station. As we stood there we noticed a faint path leading upwards to the right. Following this to the crest we were delighted to discover it led straight to the high point which was outside the main fence. A few minutes later we were there. Swift handshakes and a swifter return to the car ended an excellent day of short hikes in the Vosges.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:138 m / 453 ft
    Elevation Loss:138 m / 453 ft
    Distance:3 km / 1.9 mi
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
A little hazy, otherwise fine
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:138 m / 453 ft
    Extra Loss:79 m / 262 ft
    Distance:2 km / 1.2 mi
    Trailhead:Car Park at high point of pass  1157 m / 3799 ft
    Time Up:1 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:59 m / 191 ft
    Distance:1 km / 0.6 mi
    Trailhead:Car Park at high point of pass  1157 m / 3799 ft
    Time Down:15 Minutes

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