Filip H.A. Claeys

Trekking in Mountainous and Subarctic Regions


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Packrafting Lac de Nisramont

Last Sunday on the Nisramont lake, in the heart of the Belgian Ardennes…

I start paddling at 9:30 am, temperature just below freezing, cold mist rising from the water and common cormorants flying overhead. During the course of the day temperature rises to a pleasant 15°C thanks to abundant sunshine. The lake looks as scenic as ever and warm autumn colors make the package complete.

After 13 km or so of relaxed paddling I head over to the rocks at Le Hérou for a classic hike above and along the Ourthe river.

In 2016 I first witnessed autumn foliage in September in Quebec, and late October experienced the same phenomenon a second time in Belgium. This year the situation is similar: in September I enjoyed the peak of autumn foliage in the Norwegian fjells, and one month later we are now heading towards the (less intense) peak in Belgium.

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Packrafting Lac de Nisramont

After witnessing the build up to the fall foliage peak in Quebec last month, I am now back in Belgium, experiencing the same process for a second time this year.

What better way to enjoy the best of the colors than to make a tour of the lovely Nisramont Lake by packraft, on a beautiful mid-October Sunday?

Pictures > Belgium 2016-10-16: Ardennes


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Packrafting Lac de Nisramont

Video footage of an exploration of the Nisramont lake by packraft. The Nisramont lake is beautifully situated in the heart of the Belgian Ardennes, at the confluence of the eastern and western branches of the Ourthe river. There’s a scenic but strenuous 13 km hiking trail around the lake (which I did last September), but also canoeing is popular…


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Where Semois becomes Semoy

A short 2.5 day – 45 km solo trek through the French Ardennes early May, along GR16 from Monthermé (F) to Bohan (B) and back.

Weather was splendid and the Semois river (spelled “Semoy” in France) was a sight for sore eyes. For the first time in my life I had the pleasure of spotting a wildcat, which shows how surprisingly quiet and unspoiled this area is.

Monthermé – Longue Roche – Roche à 7 Heures – Roc La Tour – Roche aux Corpias – Naux – Robertsart – Failloué – Bois Jean – Bohan – Bois Jean – Failloué – Robertsart – Naux – La Gire – La Lyre – Monthermé

Pictures > France 2016-05: Ardennes

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