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gem icon Piton des Neiges [Suggest Edits]

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Description

Piton des Neiges is an extinct shield volcano that dominates the tropical island of Reunion. A number of superlatives describe it: highest point in the Indian Ocean; ultra-prominent (82nd most prominent peak in the world); 17th highest island; and so on. It's so much higher than the rest of the island that temperatures a frequently below freezing and it (rarely) receives snow - hence the name "Neiges" meaning "white". The heavily eroded cirques that surround the peak offer fantastic scenery, as does the extremely active volcano Piton de la Fournaise to the east. Most runners will spend the night in the Refuge de la Caverne Dufour (a heated and staffed runners' hut) and summit predawn to watch the sunrise.

Overnight Trip: There are three non-technical routes that lead to the Refuge de la Caverne Dufour, and a single somewhat easy trail leading from the Refuge to the summit (Piton des Neiges Trail). Most runners begin from Cilaos for the shortest route to the Refuge. A longer but more scenic route is to take the GRR2 from La Plaine des Cafres (Piton des Neiges from La Plaine des Cafres). The third and longest route is to take the GRR1 from Hell-Bourg in the Cirque de Salazie. All of these are very long, have a lot of elevation gain, and cover rough terrain. Only the Cilaos route should be attempted for a long day-run, but because Reunion typically clouds up around 11:00-12:00am the best option is to spend the night in (nor camp next to) the Refuge - be sure to make reservations in advance. Also bring cold weather clothing.

Gem Type: Viewpoint

Shared by:
Karl W

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Shared by Karl W on Jul 12, 2018. All Page Views: 12. Last Month: 9.