Dwight Peck's personal Web site

Winter 2002-2003

Very eventful, but in a quiet way

As round the world some of them were trying in vain to convince the rest of us that it would be a fun idea to go bomb a lot of the folks down in Iraq, D. Peck and friends spent the fall and winter hiding out in the safest place they could think of.

More snowshoe magic in the Jura

What a very nice winter it's been, though way too short. (Have you noticed that they're getting shorter every year? Is that climate change? Age?)

You may not find this terribly rewarding 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.

Pierre à Ecusson, 23 February 2003

Profs Durham and Peck set out from Lande Dessus farm above Le Brassus in the Vallée du Joux, bound for the Ecusson refuge in the limestone forests along the Jura ridgeline.

Lesson for snowshoers: When posing for photos near snowcovered trees and shrubs, don't stand too close -- they're likely hollow underneath.

Lunchtime in trackless forests of the Bois des Citernes, with Lisa's prepackaged prawn-and-pasta salads and lebanese bread, tomato and mozzarela sandwiches, and non-sparkling mineral water.

Whilst wandering in the trackless forests, an ominous shadow -- in fact, a great hole in the forest floor.

Don't look into it.

Thoroughly lost in the trackless forest for an hour or two, the hikers stumble upon the refuge at Pierre à Ecusson as if by snowshoe magic.

"A choice of life, to safeguard the Nature". That's the legend on that 30-year-old shirt.

How not to trip over your snowshoes -- 30 meters from the car at the end of a fine day.

Grand Cunay in the fog, 2 March 2003

The trailhead, the Hotel at the Col du Marchairuz (1449m), on the road from Nyon to the Vallée du Joux, only kept open in winter since the early 1990s.

(Mr Peck was a member of the 'Friends of Marchairuz', whose annual dues helped make the recent renovation of the ancient building possible.)

Which way now?

Dr Pirri plunges out through the trackless forest, avoiding bottomless limestone holes and chimneys where possible.

-- Up?

-- Up!

The second Grand Cunay on a stormy day

Dr Pirri exulting on the second Grand Cunay summit, 2 March 2003

Dr Pirri (left) is already seeking new summits to conquer, as the narrator comes along to the top in his own good time (right).


He decides to head on over to Mont de Bière, but gets stuck in a thicket and has to give it up.

Wandering through the forest, with a careful eye out for anomalies

A brief excursion to check out a big hole in the forest

A little disappointment that it was not all that we'd hoped

Pointe de Fin de Château, 16 March 2003

Dr Pirri blasts off up into the trackless forests above St Cergue, headed for the saddle between Poële Chaud and the Pointe de Fin de Château.

Obstacles along the way

At the saddle, Dr Pirri breathes deeply and gazes out towards the Swisscom radio-TV towers on the next hill.

And after mere seconds to catch his breath, Dr Pirri sprints up towards the top of the Pointe de Fin de Château.


A chilly and very windy 16 March 2003, Dr Pirri on the Pointe de Fin de Château

The narrator being buffeted all about by the wind on Pointe de Fin de Château, 16 March 2003, with La Dôle visible behind.

The view towards La Dôle


Winter 2002-3

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 26 May 2003, revised 12 October 2008, 8 September 2014.

Jura snowshoeing

Snow camping