Dwight Peck's personal Web site

Holes of the Jura

The Winter Sport for all members of the family
(except the small ones)



The search for more holes, spring 2002

Still recovering from having spent the winter of 2000-2001 seeking out all the Jura farms in their isolated winter finery, obsessive friend of snowy forests D. C. Peck, strangely attracted by the simple but profound joys of stalking through forest hollows of the Jura mountains of Switzerland, on the constant lookout for limestone holes for not falling into, gathered friends about him and went off in search of still more holes.

A photographic catalogue of all or most of the holes of at least sofa size was envisaged, but as it turned out 93% of the photographs looked (allowing for shadows) identical, so here are only a few of them.

Well, for starters, here's a honker, which Drs Pirri and Peck stumbled across -- no, that's the wrong phrase -- 'noticed timely', in the Creux d'Enfer du Petit Cunay on 16 February 2002. What's that down there in the hole?

Oh, it's just a bedspring that someone has thrown down there to help keep folks from investigating the bottom of the hole involuntarily. "Creux d'Enfer" means something like "Hell Hollow", and there are a sizable number of them to be found all about the Swiss Jura in the Mont Tendre region, all looking, in any season, like something out of Tolkien's nightmares.

"Good work, Dr Pirri!" Here's another one for the catalogue. Likewise in the Creux d'Enfer du Petit Cunay, between the buttress of Petit Cunay and the headland of Druchaux, not far from Mont Tendre. Let's nudge closer and peek in.

The Jura-hole-cataloguer {i.e., Mr Peck} with the point-and-shoot camera, on 16 February 2002, was unable to persuade Dr Pirri, who is normally quite suggestible, to clamber down a ways and see where this went, or whether there was a bedspring down in there somewhere to keep the cows out.

Nonetheless, this find is a significant one and earns a prominent place for Dr Pirri in the Catalogue of Holes.

[Actually, the Glacier de Druchaux, a few hundred meters away, is ranked about 100-something for deepest holes in the world. Look it up on your Google.]

Another one! Many thanks again, Dr Pirri. Pausing in his march up out of the Creux d'Enfer towards the ridgeline at Perce-Neige, Joe glances backward in horror.

Here's a little boy, scarcely worth reporting here. It might gobble up a couple of kids, but would likely leave us "larger folks" only with an embarrassed grin and perhaps a broken leg.

Dr Pirri. Dr Pirri! There are massive great Jura limestone holes on either side of you. Mind your step.

and don't look down to your right. What an unwelcome thing to come upon unwitting whilst off for a quiet postprandial stroll through the forest glades of an evening.

"Prof. Durham bestrides the narrow limestone forest floor like a colossus" . . . Well, that's one literary allusion that she won't like. 9 March 2002, Monsieur Pirri leads Profs L. Durham and D. Peck, in the Grand Croset forest on the far side of Mont Tendre, into a maze of disguised holes and underground limestone cavities.

They seem to be everywhere - Watch your step!


The search for still more holes, spring 2002

Cinema enthusasiast Dr Pirri was amiably ambling in the greater Geneva area, 23 February 2002, in search of art films with Slovak subtitles in any one of a hundred tiny high-brow theatres that cater to bearded intellectuals, but somehow, in his reverie, got off course, and . . .

he wandered into a forest glade, with the triangular Swiss warning sign on it.

Dr Pirri, recalling his unsuccessful search for angels earlier in the year in almost exactly this part of the world, soon became curious, and began to muse deeply but speedily upon subtle connections between art films and warning signs, of which it turns out there are many.

And so Dr Pirri, like so many artsy types, approached too close and -- whoops! -- almost fell in.

A long ways down. Seeking art films in that basement theatre would cure many cinema critics of their vice.

One of the classic Jura limestone come-hithers, this one lies just behind the massif of the Grand Cunay, on the French side.

Dr. Pirri, once picked up and sorted out, concludes that this artistic warning sign is just an ordinary warning sign, and so he plunges on elsewhere through the snow in search of funky fine art . . .

. . . with uplifted gaze, as if art were coming from the sky.


Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 10 May 2002, revised 22 November 2013.


Holes of the Jura


Very large holes