Dwight Peck's personal Web site

Winter 2008-2009

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


A brisk hike out to Mont Tendre

About half way out to Mont Tendre, as it turned out. But the weather was pleasant, and the views were excellent anyway.

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 trailhead at Fontaine Froide behind the Col du Marchairuz, 25 April 2009. We were determined to push our way all the way out to Mont Tendre today, but, what with one thing and another, it's 2:30 in the afternoon, how time flies.

We're trying to hurry, but rough calculations indicate that, if we make it all the way to Mont Tendre, we won't get back here till Wednesday week.

Still vacillating between snowshoes on or off (i.e., putting them on, taking them off, putting them on, etc.), we're about to pass by the Pré de Denens farm (1367m).

Monsieur doesn't like us to put up photos of his family's farm, because he feels that they might attract litterers, so we try to keep photos of Pré de Denens to a minimum. This farm, unlike most or all of the others up here, is privately and not communally owned.

A parting of the ways. Two cross-country ski tracks still unmelted off and diverging. We'll take the snowshoes off for a while.

Already a couple of kms out on the cross country ski track, we're coming up to the Chalet des Combes (1488m).

We've left the Mollendruz cross-country ski track and snuck up a little gulley behind the Chalet des Combes. Look at those crocuses like a blanket on the meadow.

A lovely scene on a fine spring day, with crocuses (or croci) coming out, though we're as weak as a baby today and would love just to lie down on the meadow for a long while and soak up Vitamin D.

Road access to the Chalet des Combes comes from over the far side of the Jura ridgeline, on this paved Route des Montagnes up from Bière and St-George.

We've joined the famous international hiking trail the Chemin des Crêtes now, on its way towards Mont Tendre, and the Club Alpin Suisse hut is just up to the right. We're at about 1588m, and (forsaking our dream of Mont Tendre) we're turning back through the holey forest to improvise homeward now.

Down into the Holey Forest, just called "Les Combes". We need to leave off making career plans and reviewing our stock positions for a while and pay attention to the footing underneath.

A beautiful forest, but all so up and down that it's hard to reach any firm conclusions, or footing.

We're trying to stay high and avoid all the deep depressions, some of which don't have bottoms on them.

Now we'll settle just for anything that looks familiar.

Now we're onto a known unmarked trail that will guide us safely through the jumbles.

A lot of improvisation

We walk along with a firm gaze forward, looking down neither to the right nor to the left.

Wonderful forests -- nothing and everything looks familiar.

That's the ski club of Les Brassus cabin of Grand Cunay (1543m), with by the sound of it a bunch of young lads staying over for the weekend.

You'd think we'd know this area well enough by now

A three-sided cow shed and cistern

A new way back to the car: straight down about 60m of toes-grindingly steep slope, past this little waterfall spring out of the mountainside.

And then back along a farm road carved out of the hillside back towards Marchairuz

Atop the old tracks of winter walkers, there's an intrepid skier's track from earlier today.

We didn't make it to Mont Tendre today, but it's okay.

And back to the trailhead, just minutes too late for the 6 o'clock BBC news. Life's like that. Probably no good news, anyway.


Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 27 April 2009, revised 4 January 2011, 20 October 2014.


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