Dwight Peck's personal Web site

Mont Pelé's companion peak, New Year's Day 2007

Winter 2006-2007 spent waiting around for winter



New Year's Day. There was a time when horrible hangovers would have kept us in-at-doors on this special day, but nowadays we just seek out a New Year's venue to get lost and wander in until nightfall.

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.

From Les Pralets (1271m) near the top of the Bassins Route de Montagne, already rather late in the day (it is, after all, the day after New Year's Eve), we're planning to walk up onto that fog-enshrouded lump in the middle, but by an unconventional means.

That's our destination, the unnamed snowy lump in the middle at 1515m, seen three weeks later from Mont Sâla, with Mont Pelé in the background. We're coming up from the left today.

This time, we're trying to claw our way straight up from the southeasts. It might not be the best choice of routes, but it's another way to pass a grey afternoon. As we haven't been invited to any New Year's Day parties this year.

There's rumored to be a break in the cliffs round here, so we're peeking left and right and all-about looking for it.
(In fact, that's it, but we only found it on a later trip.)

This may be a break in the cliffs -- if we can get up in there without getting our trousers muddy, we'll go for the summit!

There's no use agonizing about muddy trousers anymore today.

Muddy, but promising. Allons-y!

Now we're above the cliffs and loping towards the summit, such as it is.

We're topping out on the little 1515m thing between Monts Sâla and Pelé, unfortunately too late in the day to get home before dark.

Near the top

That's Mont Sâla, in the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland, on New Year's Day 2007. We've snuck up here from the lower right, in this photo.

Here's a hiker searching for a way down into the Cimetière-aux-Bourguignons on the far side of the mountain, the "Cemetery of the Burgundians", where presumably Charles the Bold's mercenaries perished miserably trying to flee from the stalwart Swissies through the 'orrible limestone holes and cliffs in 1476.

The top of the 15l5m summit between Monts Sâla and Pelé, late in the day

Down into the Cimetière-aux-Bourguignons it is -- pathetically lost and wandering in limestone circles for another hour, until . . .

. . . we emerge at Gouille-du-Cerf into sight of the meadows of Les Begnines, 17:00 on the dot.

Creux Devant, at the little hut at the top of the road

The hidden valley of Les Begnines at nightfall on New Year's Day 2007. Wet snow and huge puddles of water on the frozen ground, all the way across it. Le Couchant farm is about halfway along there, and after that, a little path down through the cliffs and back to Les Pralets and our Volkswagen named Dieter.

Passing Le Couchant farm (1445m) as night closes in on the Jura mountains of Switzerland.


Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 9 February 2007, revised 26 September 2008, revised 3 September 2014.


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