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.
More scenic views of god-knows-what-we'll-find in the forest near the Col du Marchairuz, 30 March 2013
We've left Dieter VW lurking in a little lay-by as near to our trailhead as we're likely to get today; someone's left his car in our chosen parking spot.
The Jura forests are always beautiful but can often look disconcertingly the same -- having explored a new unmarked path a few days ago, we're burning it into memory today by retracing it backwards. And simultaneously having another nice hike, and also embellishing our retirement with wholesome exercise.
This is the farm of Pré de Rolle, so it's time to turn up into the forest.
Someone's taken advantage of our Thursday track, no more than an hour or two ago; so much the easier for us.
In fact, today's predecessor is out here somewhere right now -- it was his car that we found in our chosen lay-by and forced us to improvise. We won't overtake him; he was walking this way and has already turned up the hill bound for somewhere.
This is such a long, flat stretch of forestry road that it's easy to turn your head off, dream idly of former dreams, and just stump along without paying attention to how beautiful it is, even in this light.
Passing through the TSA checkpoint again
This is reported to have been the coldest March on Swiss record, and it's so encouraging to see a metre and a half of good snow still awaiting us as we get April underway.
In fact, Britain seems still to be crippled and brought to its collective knees by more and more snow and serious cold -- but we, who worship snow, can only pretend to be sympathetic and exult.
Our predecessor tried to abandon the track we'd laid down for him and go up through the forest willy-nilly. Luckily, he thought better of it and tumbled back down in an inelegant slide onto our track.
Bingo! An intersection of the trails. We came down the hill the other day -- the worthy gentleman has come in from the left (unknown territory for us).
Tormented by curiosity, we followed his trail to where it drops down precipitously. Inquiring minds demand to know -- is there a trail there? Where did he come from? We vow to come back and find out.
It doesn't look all that promising, but yes, we'll be back. On Monday, and we'll bring Joe.
Still deliberating those semi-solemn vows and good intentions, we've gone back and tried out a short-cut up to today's route of preference.
Bingo! Last Thursday's track, up we go.
When following your very own track in the opposite direction, you are relieved of the subtle anxiety of wondering where it's going to take you.
When we came down this thing the other day, we were half expecting to draw a blank and have to drag ourselves back up it. It's better this way. Except that it's uphill instead of downhill.
We think that there's easily enough snow here to get us through another month at least.
Downhill snowshoe tracks are not always as helpful as we'd hoped, because we all take much much longer steps when we're relaxing and letting gravity do all the work. It's human nature.
A landmark of sorts -- there's a line of short cliffs that runs along at that altitude for hundreds of metres and limits one's realistic possibilities.
Today's high point (probably) and now we go down.
All very familiar now
Quiet forest glade
A self-timer photo to commemorate our last self-timer photo on this spot.
This may be another intersection of paths, with another leading downhill to the right, but for today, we'll stick with what we know.
We're still uphilling a bit and going northeastward in the direction of the Col du Marchairuz; almost to the top now, ooof.
Our other high point, and now it's down to the "known knowns"
Bingo! The meeting of marked trails, and surprise . . .
. . . our predecessor for today has come up that side trail and is now preceding us down to the cars somewhere up ahead. It's strange how interesting this sort of cat-and-mouse tracking people around can seem when you've got nothing else to do anyway except keep walking.
The forestry road back down out of the heart of the forest to the Marchairuz road
Fifteen minutes away, at most
The Col du Marchairuz road from the Vallée du Joux over to Lake Geneva is just below, and that's Lake Geneva down the hill and the Pays de Gavot in the Haute-Savoie of France on the farther side.
Once again, thanks ever so much for waiting
Now it's time for a head count to make sure all our passengers on board -- we've driven off and left valued items alongside the car for the very last time this year.