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.

Phase 5 for Chalet Neuf (the last one)

19 February 2014: For the past month we've been progressing our project to find a way direttissima through the forest of Grande Rolat to the farm of Chalet Neuf -- we got through Phases 1 and 2 and Phase 3 okay, Phase 4 unfortunately came up short, and in a few days we're moving house, away from the Jura and back to the Préalps. There's no time for any more fooling around.

No more uncharted forest rambles -- today we're going straight up the public road from the start (1218m) on the Marchairuz road. That's the farm of La Cerniat (1277m), this time with sunlight on it.

Photos of La Cerniat

A not to be missed opportunity to get some better photos of it than we could get the other day.

A snowshoer has been here only a few days ago, but our track from ten days ago is long gone now.

We're coming up from the east.

End on, into the sun

Views of La Cerniat in sunlight

We can probably reach our next landmark, Le Cerney farm, straight up this pasture, without having to retrace back out to the road. On verra.

It's time to get a move on.

Down the driveway

Our last views of La Cerniat; possibly forever

Our next stop should be up ahead somewhere.

Our next landmark: Le Cerney farm

Photos of Le Cerney

This is the Le Cerney farm from the north, the back side of it; the road up to the Combe des Begnines is over on the far side of the ridge.

How picturesque

A popular luncheon spot for skiers and snowshoers

We cannot tarry, and we haven't brought lunch anyway.

Next step: back to the road, and onward. Not so sunny over that way.

Back to the dogsled track along the road up the mountain

A roadside attraction

We expect this sort of thing deep in the limestone forests, but it's rude to leave it out here where anyone can stumble across it.

The road towards the Combe des Begnines and the dogsled track along it. We need to find a little road up to the left. If memory serves.

We'll doublecheck that. Chalet Neuf. Right.

That must be it.

Bingo

Photos of Chalet Neuf

The name may not be very informative. There seem to be "The New Chalet" farms spread across every local map like confetti, but who knows when it was new?

Brilliant

Chalet Neuf on its little hilltop (1338m)

The signs on the front door are just the now-standard 1414 - whom to call for rescue, if required -- and a poster for the Parc Jurassien Vaudois and its flora and fauna.

What to make of the newly-ubiquitous 1414 signs? We've been trying for years to learn to carry a cellphone with us, in case of emergencies, but we've never found any cellphone reception anywhere up here in the Jura.

A fine little doline, or sinkhole, right outside the front door

Majestic

A slightly different angle

End on, from the southwest (the sunny side)

The classic design of the 18th century Jura mountain farm buildings

More views

Unfortunately, it's time to leave.

This is the last leg of our direttissima project through the forest, which according to the topo map will not be without its own sinkholes along the way.

If we persist in a straight line, and stay above ground, we should reach our farthest point of progress through the forest over the past month -- then we can cheat and call the whole thing a slo-mo success.

A few obstacles to be got over first.

It's much more fun on a sunny day.

A very jumbly forest: Sun at our back, we walk in a straight line and keep an eye out for coming up on our own tracks from 10 minutes ago.

And avoid depressions

We will soon cross a forest track from Pierre à Ecusson and then it's just a long plod home.

Out of the forest to Le Cerney again

Past La Cerniat

A very useful dogsled track (but no sign of the dogsledder today)

And down the hill to home, with photos of Chalet Neuf, after some years of frustrated curiosity

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Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 6 April 2014.


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