Dwight Peck's personal Web site

Winter 2004-2005

as life's hectic non-stop party threatens to get out of control and really exhausting


Intersessional hikes in early 2005

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.

Between Kristin's visit in January and her visit in February, the narrator struggled along hiking-wise as best he could. In Kristin's absence, Dr Joe Pirri had to carry the lunch and wine basket.

The forest of Grande Rolat

Here's Prof. J. J. Pirri preparing to stride out into the forest of Grande Rolat behind Marchairuz, 29 January 2005, on the coldest day of the winter, i.e. about -10C (=14F).

Passing through limestone hole country in the forest, Dr Pirri leads tentatively, testing all about for nasty little ankle-breakers under the new snow.

Lovely new snow, lots of it, and as it's such a cold day, it's not all avalanching down upon our heads. And we've got more raw sunlight than we've seen in many weekends.

Thoroughly lost in the forest by this time, as usual, Dr Pirri insists upon leading anyway.

Pausing for celebratory photos at some still undetermined place in the vast forest of Grande Rolat, Drs Pirri and Peck enjoy the sun and work on their tans.

With no more idea of where we are than he had two hours ago, Dr Pirri leads off confidently . . . this way.

Our sport, in winter, is to strike off into the Jura forests and get completely lost as quickly as possible, which is easy to do in the Jura, and then wander about taxing our declining intellectual powers and map-reading skills until lo! we find a landmark and get out again. Successfully, so far. In this photo, Dr Pirri demonstrates just how lost one can become in the Jura, even on a brightly sunlit day.

The refuge of Joratte

The downside of wandering in the limestone forests of the Jura is that sometimes we fall down into big holes. Here, Dr Pirri went only halfway down an unforeseen hole in the forest floor and luckily for him could still be hauled out again with a great deal of reluctant effort and some petulant comments.

Petulant comments

But, moments after having been winched out of a pretty dangerous hole, Dr Pirri bravely leads on, still completely lost in the forest of Grande Rolat, 29 January 2005.


Grand Cunay

Our second sunny day of the year, 6 February 2005, and we're bound out around Grand Cunay and straight through the Creux d'Enfer there.

And at the end of a day of wandering about and falling into little holes in the forest floor, Dr Pirri leads us back out again.

That's only the declining sun, but it looks as if a UFO teleportation kidnapping were about to begin. No such luck!

J. J. Pirri leads us back out to the car, halfway down the hill on the back side of the Col du Marchairuz, 6 February 2005 . . .

. . . precisely at Happy Hour.

Failed attempt at Mont Tendre

As if only moments had passed, Dr Pirri leads off in the parking lot behind the Col du Marchairuz, 20 February 2005, bound on cross-country skis for Mont Tendre in rather a discouraging dump of new snow.

Dr Pirri greets intermittent sunlight, 20 February, at the top of the long hill up from Grande Rolat, near the Chalet des Combes. The red sign points up towards the Club Alpin Suisse cabane of Petit Cunay.

Passing by the Chalet des Combes in variable weather.

The back of Grand Cunay's second summit.

Lovely peaceful scenery

Now passing the snowy farm of La Racine, halfway along the 20km ski run from Marchairuz to Mollendruz and directly below the summit area of Mont Tendre.

Having passed the farm of La Racine on the snowed-over cross-country track, Dr Pirri despairs of getting up through the deep new snow to Mont Tendre in anything less than a fortnight, and so we go home and vow to come back again.

Dr Pirri is happiest when it's snowing out, and blowing with a good brisk wind.

We're all getting a little tired now, and making mistakes.

The end of a glorious day, 20 February 2005, as good or better than many 20 Februarys in the past.


Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 2 April 2005, revised 3 July 2008, 5 October 2013.


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