Dwight Peck's personal Web site

Winter 2013-2014

Dispatches from way, way behind the lines in Switzerland


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.

Some late January expeditions

The Réfuge de la Joratte

The forest of Grande Rolat. We're prepared to spend any amount of time discovering an in-forest route to the Chalet Neuf -- no good reason, it's just an idea -- and this is our first foray. Dieter will await us on the Marchairuz road at 1354m, 21 January 2014.

We're aware of the general direction (southwest), but the rest is improvisation.

So far so good

The terrain makes its own decisions about our route.

We continue . . .

. . . and improvise some more.

Bingo. The Réfuge de la Joratte, 1330m. We know where we are now.

The Réfuge de la Joratte, and a selfie photo in the window

Improvising again

Time-consuming, and disorientating

And mined by holes in the limestone forest floor

Finally, a recognizable forest road, with an old ski track on it. We know where we are, and will return.

Back past the Réfuge de la Joratte

An old ski track, and still older footprints

Some idiot postholed through here with no skis or snowshoes on -- poor sod. Oh. That was me.

Nearly done for the day.

A good start for Chalet Neuf, but our project needs work.


The Réfuge of Pierre à Ecusson

A few days later, 24 January 2014, we're back for another go at our Chalet Neuf project.

The road up to the Col du Marchairuz

With, finally, some sunlight from time to time

We begin from the Marchairuz road at 1313m, across from the farm of Meylande Dessus.

Meylande Dessus, with Mont Tendre in the distance

Off we go. To the southwest again. Where the dark clouds are rolling in.

The cistern, where if memory serves we are to turn left

Into the forest

We're not the first along this path. In fact, we were here with Kristin and Joe not too long ago.

This time we're operating on a Plan, and it's time to leave the signposted trail, and improvise.

Off we go.

Someone, sometime ago, had the same idea.

An unreliable limestone forest floor

Like a welcoming alley through the trees

A very beautiful sunny, silent forest

With a helpful vestigial track to follow along on

Out to a recognizable road. Now comes Phase 2.

An unsignposted trail, still going southwest, with a helpful trail on it already

Memorializing the moment

The helpful track is still before us, but we're otherwise pretty lost.

Bingo. A trail sign of sorts.

Soon confirmed, back onto a balisé or signposted trail. We turn left here.

The refuge of Pierre à Ecusson at 1346m

Now what?

Another promising old track

Checkpoint

Past the Réfuge de la Joratte again

A helpful trail marker on the tree

We're joining our track from earlier today, so the rest is just plodding it home.

The cisterne

In glorious late afternoon sunlight

The final stretch

Our track back to the car

Phase 3 of our project is still to come.

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Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 31 March 2014.


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