Peck's personal Web site
Jura's answer to the Alps
Leysin, Switzerland, in the Swiss Alps, for whatever good or necessary reasons,
and going to anywhere else in the world, is traumatic and debilitating. If you have had to move to Secaucus, New
Jersey, you will probably be searching about for a non-splashy way to kill yourself
within two to three months. But if you've had to move to the Canton of Vaud,
to a village near the Jura Mountains, you will quickly develop an affection for Mont Tendre.
It gets cold up here
(not cold by North American standards, but cold enough). This is the summit ridge
near sundown in December 1997.
that's France, looking towards the Mediterranean, if you can believe it, under
all that fog.
over the other way, that's the city of Geneva in late afternoon. Similarly under
This is looking north
towards Bern, Basle, Freiburg, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Trondheim, and
the North Pole, similarly under the fog. The artifice on the right is the
though chilly, early evening.
down towards Lake Geneva (Lac Leman), under the fog, and the three-sided cowshed
just under Mont Tendre's summit rocks.
as the sun set over the foggy lake, and over foggy France in the west, we set
off at a gentle snowshoey trot down, down, down into the fog . . .
Passing the higher
farms in our headlong rush for our car before the nighttime gelled in upon us.
Mont Tendre so valued by former Alpine-dwellers in this corner of the world? Answer:
Trees. That is to say, NO Trees. Mont
Tendre and La Dôle are the only peaks on the southwestern end of the Swiss Jura
Mountains that stick out of the tree line! And La Dôle has got Geneva's Cointrin
Aeroport radar installations stuck all over the top of it, so there we are, back
up on top of Mont Tendre. Like La Chasseral and the Weissenberg in the northeastern
Jura, it's a little mountain that -- in the right light, in the right weather
-- often feels like a mountain.
and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, .
All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 24 December 1999, revised 28 June 2012.