Dwight Peck's personal Web site

Winter 2005-2006

Short breaks from poring over the newspapers as the Bushies implode



A round-up of refuge pix, 25 and 26 February 2006

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.

Bois Carré and the refuge Intercommunale

Some weeks ago we got some poignant photos of forestry refuges in the Marchairuz region, so today we're out to get another one, and tomorrow we'll go back to some of the earlier ones. Here we're heading out past the farm at Pré de Bière north of the Marchairuz road, trotting along about three times faster than in the horrific new snow last week.

Our guide is spending more time shooting off holiday snaps than getting us to our objective.

jura-crosets4.jpg (15348 bytes)

We're passing by Pré de Bière now and the weather's still holding.

And now we're passing La Perrause. Weather's still holding. We're still following last week's track, more or less, past Grandes Chaumilles, and then we'll launch up into the forest of Bois Carré.

And there's our objective, the forestry refuge of Bois Carré (1380m), owned by the commune of Chenit in the Vallée du Joux, which covers the towns of Le Brassus, Le Sentier, and L'Orient at the southwest end of the lake.

A welcoming sight in the dark forest.

But looking a little stranded and alone with all that snow on it. The ornament to the right of the front windows is a fake chamois' skull made of bits of wood and Heineken beer bottlecaps.

The ladder leads up to a sleeping loft above the single room. Our guide leads mostly at random.

A cozy sort of place, with its Toulouse-Lautrec, map of the area, regulations on the wall, and most of all its place mats.

Most and probably all of the forestry refuges in the area have the same set of rules, varying only by the name and logo of the commune that owns that part of the forest.

Forestry refuge
Commune of Chenit

Dear visitors,

You find yourself in the forests of the Commune of Chenit. The refuge in which you install yourself is the private property of the Commune. It was constructed as a shelter for the people who work in the forest. Therefore, they have the priority in the use of this refuge.

If the forestry personnel don't need it, the Commune willingly puts it at the disposition of hikers, as long as they respect the following conditions:

1. The length of occupation is limited to one day.
2. Except in cases of distress, it's prohibited to stay overnight.
3. When needed, the use of the refuge must be shared with other people.
4. No reservations are permitted.
5. Fires can only be lit in the stove and with all of the precautions of such use. The wood used should be replaced by fallen wood found in the forest roundabout.
6. When you leave the refuge, you should leave it clean and carry out with you all your refuse and empty bottles.
7. The Municipality reserves the right to supervise the present rules and take suitable measures if necessary to prevent any abuse.

The Municipality of the Commune of Chenit.

Thereafter, Dr Pirri leads us in a circle, unfortunately a very uphill circle.

The Chalet des Combes at 1488m.

Dr Pirri exulting in the weather, scenery, and ambiance, 25 February 2006.

Passing by the farm of Pré de Denens on the way back to the car


The Refuge "Intercommunale" in the forest of Grande Rolat

Over the wall

The long way round through the forest from the scarcely penetrable east side. 26 February 2006.

No good in trying to hurry, patience and focus are best. No daydreaming either.

The refuge (1346m) peers back at us. The place looks forlorn enough, but a popular hiking trail passes just behind the cabin from the main road to the Sèche de Gimel and is usually beaten down by battalions of snowshoers nearly to tarmac, as hard on the knees as the floor of a hotel lobby or convention centre.

There's a wooden name sign on the front wall, just under the two little dortoir windows, which is almost perfectly unreadable. I finally came up with something like "I . t . erc . om . ua".

In fact, it appears that (see the blue sign at the very top of this page) we're now in the forest owned by the commune or town of Le Lieu in the Vallée du Joux, but the refuge was built in collaboration with the nearby commune of L'Abbaye. Thus it's the refuge "Intercommunale".

Very snug and cozy. Very like all of the other refuges.

The guest book and some kids' drawings of the place in springtime.

Rescue Group, Jura Vaudois

Hikers, you who pass through our magnificent region, thank you for respecting this refuge.
For us, it is a valuable reference point in the search when someone has become lost.
If during a hike one of your companions has got lost, make this known immediately by telephoning 117.
We will come, if needed, to make a search, 24/24.
This box contains what you need to inform yourself and get help.
We wish you pleasant moments in nature.
Rescue Group, Jura Vaudois.

The guest book's filled with lots of enthusiastic families who had marched out here for a barbecue in "the nature" and seemed moved by the experience. (For someone who grew up in northern New Jersey, where litter is frequently an improvement, this is a wonderful thing to see.)

The willfully circuitous way home, uphill to the north, is frequently blocked by missing pieces of the ground.

Oh well, back to work tomorrow.


Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 3 March 2006, revised 2 September 2007, 3 January 2014.


Jura snowshoeing

Snow camping