Dwight Peck's personal Web site

Holes of the Jura

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



A few more holes in Spring 2002

Walking casually home from the Crêt de la Neuve in the Swiss Jura, 6 April 2002, the narrator almost went southward in a hurry.

Dr Pirri, descending from Mont Tendre directly down the centre of the Creux d'Enfer of Druchaux, 30 March 2002 {don't ask why}, comes across a barbed wire fence surrounding a Jura-hole bigger than Albania and deftly slips under it for a closer look.

A couple of hundred meters further on, here's another! Our search for big holes is beginning to pay off. This one has a jury-rigged rappel-anchor across it, a helping-hand so to speak for those who want to get a much closer look.


Here's a 31 March 2002 photo of the snowfree forest just below the Perroude du Vaud. One strolls along casually, reflecting in a desultory fashion on the depths to which civilization, and WAIT! What's that in front of us?

Well, there's a Swiss Jura limestone hole and a half. In fact, this forest glade has got one of the finest assemblages of heart-chilling holes into deep nowhere to be seen anywhere in the local forests. [see map]

Good grief, if they're going to keep making their leaf-covered forest floors like that, we ought to vote the other party in, whatever it is. Where, for Bog's sake, could you safely picnic? That's not an idle question. You could reach round behind you for your tomato and mozarella sandwich with virgin olive oil and find that it's NOT THERE! Nor are the kids!


But not all Jura limestone holes are vertical. Here's a horizontal one, not far from the "Bassine turndown", the top of the paved road leading up from the village of Bassins towards the communal farm at Le Bassine (1265m).

This looks so cosy!! . . . it almost makes you wish you were one of those Neolithic chappies, with the game hunting and cave-dwelling and all, never even having heard of Microsoft or Ashcroft!! until you look about you and . . .

calculate that this large bit of limestone ceiling would have whacked you on your Neolithic head even harder than Ashcroft and Rumsfeld ever could in their most colorful dreams.


Hors de série holes, 2002

The search for limestone holes in winter 2001-2002 was over, but Dr Pirri could not be got to stop. So here are just a few more snowless entries in the Grand Catalogue of Holes.

Anybody down there? If you can hear me, throw up your wallet.

Whenever Dr Pirri discovers new very deep limestone holes and chimneys, his photographer prays that he'll throw those USA suspenders right on down there amongst the rumsfeldian trolls and ashcroftian gnomes where they belong.

Eureka, Prof Pirri has found a big one.

Near the farm of Petit Cunay


Jura holes in 2003

Yep, they're still there, and here are some new ones

The serious preliminary cataloging of Jura holes took place in 2001 and 2002, but bad habits linger on and there's no shortage of new limestone holes and chimneys in the Jura to keep folks on their toes.

Marching stoutly up from Grand Fuëy towards Mont-de-Bière Devant through the forest, 16 February 2003, Dr Pirri comes across a nice big limestone hole typical of this part of the Jura.

And he scampers round to have a closer look into its tenebrous depths. It strikes a chord with him and leads him to contemplate the fragility of things, and their meaning, and their costs, and their molecular structure, until his head begins to hurt, and he decides to continue his hike in the forest.

Dr Pirri turns away from profundity (left), again, and then encounters a new and unsuspected profundity of his own not far away.

Professor Pirri, struggling to become more shallow, nonetheless becomes more and more profound.

And nearly disappears into his profundity.

But wait . . . Dr Pirri succeeds in re-establishing shallowness and joins his hiking companion for the rest of the hike, bantering about in a lively manner about movies and statesmen and other happily less profound subjects.

A lovely forest glade, 23 February 2003, not far from the hut at Pierre d'Ecusson above Le Brassus, with an ominous shadow in the middle of it.

More than an ominous shadow, it's a great whacking chimney into the bowels of the earth.

Dr Peck peers into a big hole near Cunay, 2 March 2003.

As Dr Pirri wields the camera in anticipation of some humorous catastrophe, Dr Peck peers into a gigantic fissure in the forest . . .

. . . and departs, disappointed.

15 March 2003

One reason why Jura holes can be problematic in winter -- here's one between Cunay and the SAC Cabane in May 2003, neatly covered with just enough brush to support the snow but not you.


Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 10 May 2002, revised 18 July 2008, 18 September 2014.


Holes of the Jura


Very large holes