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Ascent to Pierre de Laitre-Viewpoint on 2013-01-06

Climber: Lee Newton

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, January 6, 2013
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Point Reached:Pierre de Laitre - Viewpoint
    Location:France
    Elevation:626 m / 2054 ft
    Remaining Elevation:0 m / 3 ft (1% left to go)

Ascent Trip Report

I found the village of Taintrux near St Die des Vosges. Driving east from the junction at the center of the village I turned left (straight on) as the road turned right over a small bridge. Taking the left fork and following the road up to the col of Censes de Grandrupt was narrow but hard surfaced. Parking was available by a little building with something to do with water treatment.

The trail marked with little white signs with red crosses was easy to follow through the woods to the top of the hill, where a major surprise awaited. I found a jumble of substantial sandstone tors with large overhangs, and a cave or two. The trail led to the top of one where the big drop was fenced off, and presumably the view would have been good on a day with views.. However, my best guess is that the adjacent tor is about half a metre higher, and although the gap was no more than 2 or 3 metres, the drop below was a definite death fall. Thinking no further of jumping the gap (would anyway be impossible to jump back), I circled the tor looking for a way up. The shortest side left a climb of no more than 3 or 4 metres but stepping over a gap from an adjacent boulder onto a vertical face with few handholds. It was clear we are talking about a couple of reasonably hard moves probably requiring climbing slippers and strong fingers (and for me I´d like to protect it with a couple of friends to take away the possibility of falling down the gap beside the boulder if falling off... The top is heavily vegetated and not attractive, and it would be very difficult to reverse. Several old bits of rope tied around trees showed how that was accomplished by past climbers..

Very surprising to find one of the lowest of all the P150m summits in the Vosges prevents a simple completion by an average hiker, unless I was possibly hallucinating and in fact the top I climbed was higher (but I seriously doubt it). I figure I have to either limit my ambitions there to finest 50 (P180m) or rope in (boom boom) a competent friend..
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:156 m / 512 ft
    Distance:2 km / 1.2 mi
    Route:Trail red plus
    Trailhead:Censes du Grandrupt  470 m / 1542 ft
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Drizzle, Cold, Calm, White-out
Minging
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:10 Minutes



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