Dwight Peck's personal Web site

Winter 2008-2009

The best snow we've had in the Jura in a decade, and now it's going back to wherever it came from.


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.

Direttissima in the underbrush

It's Easter weekend in the Jura, and elsewhere too, and we're going out for a walk in the local forests. We'll see how far up the mountain roads we can coax old Dieter, our venerable VW (who's cursed with a low chassis), up the remaining snowy bits on the roadway.

Not very far, as it turns out. Though the forests here are snowfree on 10 April 2009, the road above the village of Marchissy is still blocked at this point for a timorous and delicate automobile like Dieter, so we'll leave him here, at about 1110m, and proceed without him. Our plan is to skip the snowshoes today and regret that later.

The ancient sport of "hiking direttissima" (picking a place at random and walking straight up the hill whatever might try to impede or delay us) was not invented with hillsides full of forestry débris in mind. Here, at about 1250m, we've been clambering up piles of underbrush most of the way and we're getting tired of it.

This clear-cut little knob offers a moment's respite, and then we plunge back up through the piles of brush. Once you've decided to play "hiking direttissima", any doubts about the wisdom of that would be like backing off from a challenge.

The humor of the situation is finally beginning to get through to us.

But the forestry débris isn't going away in the next half hour, so it's "up, up, and play the game", as the poet said so depressingly.

At about 1290m, we pause to look down at all this mess and doubt our wisdom.

Here's where we're beginning to wonder about not taking snowshoes along.

The meeting of the farm roads from Le Vaud and Marchissy to the Perroude du Vaud, about 1375m.

That's it. And we don't have to direttissima the way back down if we don't want to.

And we don't want to. So we're just plodding down the Marchissy farm road now.


Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 15 April 2009, revised 18 October 2014.


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