Dwight Peck's personal Web site

Sèche des Amburnex in the late afternoon, 2008

The winter that began with good snow and then lost its concentration


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.

The snow's been crap since New Year's, and we blame Mr Bush for that.

It's a warm and sunny Sunday, a lovely Sunday afternoon in June, but it's the 10th of February 2008, and all of Geneva and France voisin is up here to get in some unseasonal sunbathing with 40+ suncream on. This carpark at the forest of Grande Rolat between the Col du Marchairuz and Le Brassus in the Vallée du Joux has normally been, over the years, either 1) empty or 2) almost empty. These days we're lucky to snug Dieeter the VW into a tiny berth on the far end of it.

Even the trail out into the forest looks like it's been well trod by Hannibal and the Elephants. Snowshoes clumping along on this boulevard are pretty much, well, supererogatory.

Farther into the forest along the 'road more traveled'.

This is where the track bursts forth out of the forest of Grande Rolat onto the meadows of the Sèche des Amburnex.

Just up to the right, that's the Couvert de la Sèche de Gimel. I used to live in Gimel for a few years, so this was probably partially my meadow at one time.

We're striding briskly down the Sèche des Amburnex, with the super-multiple-protected nature area down in the depression on the right.

That's a quick look back, whilst catching one's breath, at the Couvert de la Sèche de Gimel across the protected area.

The farm at Sèche des Amburnex. The chief reason we're here today, quite apart from working on our tan, is to improve our lame and rainy old photos of this farm on our Farms of the Jura series, and if the weather holds, this should be an easy game.

A vigorous leap forward to the farm!
Not really, just a press on the zoom button, but we'll be there soon anyway.

The snow today, old crust, warm sun, no new snow in the past three weeks, is absolute crap, and we've been reduced to trying to stay in other people's tracks just to find consistency. Winters were never meant to be like this, anywhere, let alone in Switzerland.

There's the farm. It's putatively a "P5".

As dedicated Jura farm photo collectors, we're circling round the building now, looking for just the right angles and sunlight.

Is that it? There's a P5 on the end of the building.

So this really is a P5, after all.

We have not the slightest notion what "P5" on a farm building might mean, but we'll file this one under "P5" anyway, to be safe.

Enough P5s for the moment, it's still mid-afternoon, so we'll wander up into the hole country for a while.
That's the Grand Cunay on the right horizon.

Wherever we may wander today . . . we won't be the first.

The far end of the Sèche des Amburnex, as we take a breath and dart up into the holey forest.

Limestone seams threading through the forest -- we'll stay on the path for now.

Snowshoeing gingerly

Old snow formations in the forest

Ample holes everywhere

And erratics with trees on

Back into the forest

Now we're circling back round out of the forest again to traverse the Sèche des Amburnex back to the northeast, as shadows lengthen, and we do, too.

A very beautiful part of the forest, where paths converge

The farm at Sèche des Amburnex again, from the other side

The farm again, with a trail like the Elks, Rotarians, and Kiwanis held their annual conventions here just the other day.

We're passing the farm, hurrying a bit now, since one of the necessary knees seems to be ready to quit for the day before we are.

A well-trod track through the protected area

An elongated photographer recording his progress along his own track from earlier in the day.

As a brilliant day draws towards an end

Last sunlight as we plod up the forest track back to the carpark

Back to the car -- the sunbathers are long gone.

But they'll be back.


Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 26 February 2008, revised 27 September 2014.


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