A suspended glacial valley... with a magnificent barrel-shaped profile...
The Ruisseau du Rat springs from the foot of Puy Violent (1592 m). It is framed by the valleys of the Aspre and the Maronne, into which it flows.
Seen from the Barrouze esplanade (Salers), the Rat valley gives the impression of a suspended glacial valley with a confluence step on the Vielmur plateau and a wooded river connection gorge.
From the ridgeline between the Puy Violent and the Roc des Ombres, this valley offers a magnificent barrel-shaped profile with low-lying escarpments that contrast with the neighbouring valleys with their pronounced trough-shaped profiles.
To get a closer look, go to the village of St-Paul-de-Salers and take the road towards Puy Violent as far as Vielmur, where you can park near the communal oven. A walk along a narrow, little-travelled road that ends in a cul de sac at Malrieu.
This is the 'end of the world', a place of peace and quiet, unspoilt nature, an impetuous stream rushing through deep, narrow passages, the Chaumeil waterfall with its 25 m drop, a mineral spring, the forest of the Ubac (sheltered slopes) and the pastures of the adret (exposed slopes), as well as the gigantic Lesboulières scree. Four small villages and the remains of a school remind us of the time when this isolated valley was populated and renowned in Salers for its donkeys and firewood.