Dwight Peck's personal Web site

Snowshoeing in the Jura

More fun than playing the numbers in New Jersey


In the Jura mountains, what with US-led global warming and the general lack of steep slopes, the population of southwestern Switzerland has been discovering, over the past 15 years, that neat little snowshoes are frequently more fun for roaming about our forests and mountains in winter than are great whacking touring skis.

It's a wonderful sport -- safe, healthful, and not terribly taxing -- rather like golf in that respect, except that for snowshoeing you don't need to rent a golf cart and plaid trousers.

You will not find this interesting unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.

The Chemin des Crêtes, southwest of the Col du Marchairuz, 25 January 2003.

Near La Dôle, March 2007

A pleased snowshoer getting from Point A to Point B, May 2002, in about the only way it can be done in the region of Crêt de Mondise in a snowstorm.

Some of us spend much of winter snowshoeing about in the nooks and crannies of the Jura seeking great dark holes in the limestone forest floor (you mustn't ask why).

Snowshoes can get you almost anywhere in the Jura in the winter -- like the Pointe de Poêle Chaud in February 2000, and in the summer as well though that's a good deal clumsier.

Alison and Marlowe Peck in some pretty deep and unsettled fluffy snow. Christmas 2000.


But, as Foreign Minister "Tzipi the Killer Clown" Livni would say, there's always a down side.

Extremely bad snowshoe technique, Tour de Mayen (Leysin, Switzerland), 1980

The risks of snowshoeing

Problems do occur from time to time, as here, when our French-made TSL snowshoe broke two hours out from the Col de la Givrine and had to be patched together with baling wire, which, just luckily, we happened to have with us.

And from time to time, accidents may happen.

As, for example, when two former professors of the American College of Switzerland landed in a heap descending from Mont de Bière Devant, January 2000.

And as, for example, when one of them goes for a sprawl near Petit Cunay for no sensible reason.

Stone walls in the forest can be a Big Problem.

So, good advice to novice snowshoers, "avoid tangling your snowshoes up. Otherwise, you'll be fine."

Above all, Mind The Step.

Demonstrating the preferred method of snowshoeing uphill when there's scarcely any snow on this windblown hill anyway. Note the adroit use of poles and the hardy trousers purchased in Zermatt in 1981. Maps are no use at times like this.

A snowshoer demonstrates snowshoeing techniques in the presence of angels, and invites readers to join him on his pathetic attempts to find that comforting vision once again, all through the year 2001-2002.

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Snowshoer gazing up at the flagpole near Mont de Bière Devant from the northeast, February 2003.

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Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 27 August 2002, revised 12 January 2014.


Jura snowshoeing

Snow camping