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.
Even more scenic views of god-knows-what-we'll-find in the forest near the Col du Marchairuz, 1 April 2013
It turns out that it was Easter yesterday, and today it's Poisson d'avril, April Fool's Day, which may not be coincidental, but anyway Dr Pirri's got Easter Monday off from work so here we go.
We're streaking rather boldly down the Pré de Rolle pastures at precisely 0°C, soon to be in broad sunlight that will have us down to T-shirts in about 10 minutes.
There is the farm of Pré de Rolle, with the tracks of a thousand Easter Sunday skiers across the front of it.
We've got a legacy of questions from recent hikes to investigate today, but we must put this long approach trail behind us first.
Meanwhile, we're trying to keep Dr Pirri amused with our crazy jokes about the US President, but it's not the same since Bush/Cheney tipped into the dustbin of history.
Bingo! Here, in unaccustomed sunlight, is our intersection of recent hikes -- our own path is coming down from above, and the track of last Saturday's mystery snowshoer comes in from the left.
Today we will find out how that Saturday snowshoer got here.
On Monday as last Saturday, it doesn't look straightforward.
A bit of downhill now: our guide is backtracking our predecessor wobblingly.
There are other options but our original purpose is immutable.
The forestry path, for that is what it must be, keeps going down, and then down.
Still pursuing our predecessor's track, we descend. More.
And we descend further . . . and then further (we'll have to make this up later).
Venues for future investigations are noted, but we persist.
There is a cheerful air of expectation.
The views roundabout -- more future possibilities.
We're still descending.
So, enfin: our Saturday predecessor came up from the Pré de Rolle off to the left and that question's out of the way now, with a prosaic answer.
But now, to the right, there's still another unmarked path for future larking about: viz., where does this go?
It goes under this inhospitable spectacle, for one thing.
Huge clearings in the Jura forests are frequently dêpots for piling up the harvested trees for future removal. Our guide has noticed that something looks familiar . . .
. . . something familiar up there. Back in December, horribly lost at dusk, we tried to dive down through the forest and found ourselves peeking out on the landscape next to that tallest tree on the skyline; nerves failed us, and we toiled back up to find something more promising.
This pleasant unmarked path isn't on the topographical maps, so we may be making history here.
It looks indisputably pathlike, and it's going down still further.
Down again; down again! Jump.
Clearly there were forestry works going on in the past, but none of these boulevards under the cliffs are on the modern maps.
It's like strolling in the park; now if we can locate the park entrance . . .
An expanse of sunlight below: the far southwestern end of the long Pré de Rolle -- very likely.
And the Easter Sunday hikers have been out celebrating this weekend.
Now we have only to plod again, an hour up the long pastures, muttering vows about coming back next week to discover what lies beyond our turning-round point. This could go on for years.
A glance in at the Protected Monument of the gouffre here in the Pré de Rolle. The hole goes down almost to China, it's been said.
The newly re-roofed three-sided cow shed; we're making progress up the meadow and putting finishing touches on today's tanning.
Nature is so wonderful. A bit of the meadow that never snowed over.
We're passing the farm of the Pré de Rolle (and all of a sudden, back in the north wind across the pastures, it's got bloody cold again).
A glance back at the cliffs we were passing under a while ago
The cliffs at the top of which we stood hopefully three months ago, stared down and felt despair creep in.
The farm of Pré de Rolle
There'd be room for three snowshoe adventurers' cars here if that guy hadn't abandoned his snowplow here.
from SwitzerlandMobility (http://map.schweizmobil.ch/?lang=en)