Dwight Peck's personal Web site

Winter 2008-2009

Alison's visit (2)


Alison and Mark have been in the greater Munich region for meetings, and now, just before dashing back to Santiago, Chile, here they are right on our doorstep for a few days.

The Sèche des Amburnex

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.

Yesterday, the Château de Chillon -- Today, we've just got time, 5 April 2009 on a two-day parachute visit, to get Alison back out on snowshoes like the old days, and to introduce Mark to the Sport of Winter Plodders. This is the refuge "intercommunal" in the forest of Grande Rolat on the far side of the Col du Marchairuz, in encouraging sunlight.

We're emerging from the forest out onto the Sèche de Gimel, some of the communal pastures of the village of Gimel down below (where I used to live).

That's the famous Couvert de la Sèche de Gimel observing our progress.

Alison in a bouyant mood, and toasty warm sunlight

Mark (right) and the Old Dad just as the preceding photo was being snapped

We're off southwestward across the long meadow and along the protected area in the vast depression in the middle of it.

Some tangled undergrowth in the protected area

On the far side of the protected area, we've reached the Sèche des Amburnex and we'll start circling round on a return track to the west. We don't want to tire the Old Dad with too much in one day.

Ali and Sony

The farm at Sèche des Amburnex. We still don't know what P5 means. Though we could speculate. But it wouldn't be pretty.

Time to start circling back on the far side of the meadows

Another photography break

The Couvert de la Sèche de Gimel from higher up the alpage

Hiking Gentlemen, with the protected area down in the hollow behind

The Road Just Taken, circumambulating the protected area down on the left, Sèche des Amburnex in the distance

The Couvert, or shelter, of the Sèche de Gimel. We're turning up off the paths into the forest to bushwhack our way home from here, a little more interestingly.

Lost friends of yesteryear

Plunging through the forest of Grande Rolat, watchful for irregularities in the forest floor. We've lost good friends to the limestone anomalies in this part of the forest, but luckily we've so far always got them back again, a little the worse for wear.

Leadership qualities in evidence again

Amusement at our leadership qualities. We'll try reasoning and persuasion.

In the meantime, we're casting all about in search of the Super Well, a perfectly cylindrical limestone hole in the forest that a few years ago turned up almost underfoot weekend after weekend, but no sign of it so far. This forest looks the same wherever you are in it.

But here it is -- we've almost stumbled upon it once again. Almost.

Alison peering down the Super Well, and Mark peering at the camera man

A last look up at the forest of Grande Rolat as we have to give it up for the day

Alison memorializing the occasion at the trailhead

Dad and Mark and Dieter the VW near the end of a good weekend. Mark and Alison are off to Chile in the morning, back to work on the ALMA.


Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 14 April 2009, revised 16 October 2014.


Alison Beth Peck