Dwight Peck's nostalgia gallery

Leysin, Switzerland, and its wonderful mountains (1)

Here's a wheelbarrowload of pix of the mountain scenery all round Leysin.  Verbier had the skiers, Gstaad had the movie stars, but Leysin has always had the cutest mountains.


The Leysin Six, from left, La Riondaz, La Berneuse (behind the tree), the Tour d'Aï and Tour de Mayen in the center, the long hump of the Truex, and the Tour de Famelon on the right.

The Tours d'Aï and Mayen, from the village of Vers l'Eglise (July 2005)

The Leysin Tours from the far side, atop Rochers de Naye, in September 2003: Famelon on the left, the ridge of Truex in the middle, the Tours de Mayen and d'Aï toward the right. The ridge of Aveneyre is in the foreground.

Seen from near the Pierre d'Aveneyre, July 2006

The Leysin Tours from above the Lac de Tanay to the west, November 2006

La Berneuse

First, every Leysin downhill skier's entry destination, La Berneuse -- now with its fancy revolving restaurant, but ca. 1979 with its homey chalet style ski station.

La Berneuse, from La Riondaz, with Tour d'Aï and Tour de Mayen behind. The old chalet restaurant (directly below the Mayen summit), before the fire.

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There it is, the present lift station and the old restaurant, seen from near Les Fers.

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There it is again, the doomed restaurant, shrouded in mist just under Tour d'Ai, with the lift station to the right under Tour de Mayen.

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And in winter again, getting closer -- the old chalet restaurant and the lift station just near sundown, about 1979.

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And here's the old Berneuse restaurant in June 1984. The present narrator was there at 9 p.m. on an afterdinner run on the evening of the fire, and even looked inside the locked doors and didn't notice a thing -- at midnight the soldiers in the Hongrin valley saw the flames, supposedly caused by cooking gear left on by the day staff. This photo was taken the next evening, when it was manifestly too late to be of much assistance.

So now we've got an all-glass turning restaurant!

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Descended straight out of Star Wars. Our wonderful pre-1984 chalet was replaced by a post-modern . . . event! As a Swiss chalet restaurant for a convivial fondue, the Kuklos is of course a bust. But as performance art, as the New Switzerland, the Snowboarding Event of the Tourist Year, the Kuklos does have a certain kind of cold charm. (And if they could get the turning restaurant to turn about 100 times faster, they could transform the Berneuse into a theme park.)

A less benign side of the Berneuse, a number of avalanches in the gulley below the télécabine station a short time after ACS staff members L. Ware and D. Peck had exited at the top late on a May 1983 evening and exulted in their good fortune.

The Tours d'Aï and Mayen on the left, the Truex in the middle, and the Famelon on the right.

La Tour du Famelon

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Here's many people's favorite Leysin mountain, the Tour de Famelon, 2137 meters high, sitting there like a goofy ship with its prow facing towards Les Fers down to the right. (Mont d'Or is in the background on the right.)

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And here's the Ship of Famelon from the prow end, from the Chalet des Fers, back before the skilifts were extended out that way in the early-mid '80s.

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And the same, with the Chalet des Fers (before the skilifts), at dusk, with a nice avalanche scar running down from the left. The present narrator has been caught in three avalanches in that same place (some people never learn), in one of which (in 1987) we almost lost ACS Prof. Larry Ware, and in another of which (in 1992) we almost put away the narrator.

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Another summery shot of superb Famelon, to lighten the mood.

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And a fine winter picture of Famelon from the back, above Pierre du Moll, bound for that long route up the ridge on the right, the Rochers de la Latte.

Skier (D. Peck) going up the Rochers de la Latte towards the back of Famelon, late '80s or early '90s.

La Riondaz

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La Riondaz (1980m), the small mountain right next to the Berneuse and directly behind Mr Peck's former residence at the bottom of the Solacyre skilift. There's the summit at dusk.

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A little closer to the summit, at the end of a long day toiling away in the ACS Library.

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And from the summit of Riondaz, with the village of Veyges down below and downtown Leysin out of the frame toward the left.

Tour de Mayen (center)

The Tour d'Aï on the left, and the Truex and Tour de Famelon on the right

But from the far side (the north), the Tour de Mayen is on the left, the Tour d'Aï on the right (July 2006)

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The Tour de Mayen (2326m) in summer, 1979, with the yellow-trail road contouring across the bottom and the red trail from the Berneuse snaking down from the upper left.

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The Tour de Mayen in autumn, gone all brown.

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And the same mountain, from the other side, Dessus Corbex above the Combe de Bryon, a stormy early evening in 1980.

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The Tour de Mayen looking pretty inhospitable, on another rather stormy evening, 1984. (Mr Peck and Mr Ware went up there on crosscountry skis one blustery day in 1985 and had more fun going up than coming down. In the absence of a real rope, Mr Peck belayed Mr Ware on an avalanche cord.)

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And the Tour de Mayen in better weather, from behind the Tour d'A.

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The farm and buvette near Lac de Mayen, 1979.

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Truex

Sur les Truex (2194m), the summit sign anyway, after some digging out. (The Truex is that kind of summit, a big long pile of rocks with a summit that only surveyors and geologists can be sure about. Mr Peck once spent the better part of an evening in a blindy snowstorm trying to find it, digging about in all the lumpy snowy humps looking for the summit sign, and succeeded, and then made a mistake getting back off the top part, descending rapidly and ungracefully and doing something terrible to his knee, and had to crawl home to the village all through a very snowy night.)

Tour de Mayen to the left, the Truex to the right, and a nice ski-line put in just as nighttime closes in. (Care to see who created this splendid ski-line, headed for a camp-out in the Col de Famelon in 1982 - click here.)

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Chaux de Mont and the Tour d'A (2331m) on a winter evening (Tour de Mayen behind on the right), before all the ski installations were put in.

La Tour d'Aï from near La Riondaz, with the Berneuse turning restaurant on the right and the Tour de Mayen in the background, January 2005.


Index of Leysin local mountain photos


Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 1997, revised 9 May 2008, 11 March 2014.


Leysin mountains

Leysin scenery


Leysin village

American College of Switzerland