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.
What with one thing and another, we haven't been out to romp in the snow at all this winter. So far.
There've been tons of snow recently in the Swiss Jura, evidently (whilst Kristin and I were luxuriating in southern France), and here, at the Tancouex carpark near St-Cergue, the rescue truck is just idling, waiting to help out all the distressed car parkers, if required. A chilly 1 February 2015.
Dr Joe has consented to guide us once again, and here he is checking out all his winter gear. Except for his backpack, which inadvertently he left in the car.
We're making a good start plowing through a couple of recent snowfalls adding up to about twelve metres deep, or nearly so.
Our energetic guide is wisely seeking out the paths of previous parties . . . or we'd be spending the first three hours wading about within sight of the car.
And (don't tell anyone) even with a discreet assist from a cross-country ski trail
We'd prefer to strike off entirely on our own, of course, but, well . . .
This is the road less traveled by, but it's still had a couple of parties ahead of us after earlier snowfalls.
We're wandering a bit, but sort of thinking about going up Mont Roux. We'll have to see what develops.
"I spy, with my little eye, something beginning with . . ."
Probably beginning with "L" (la) or "B" (Borsatte), a farm of which we only got very unsatisfactory photos on the Farms of the Jura series in the past. Let's find out.
The French-made TSL225 RANDO snowshoes are by far the best compromise choice for cost and overall utility in the Jura mountains . . .
. . . but some days, they're just a joke.
La Borsatte farm -- that's as close as we're going to get today -- we're basically pushing a bow wave up this little hill.
So we resume our progress towards Mont Roux, or somewhere . . .
. . . after the wind backs off a little bit.
Dr Joe is doing the hard work, breaking trail for us.
'Follow the Yellow Ribbon Road'
Through the stone wall and onto the top of Mont Roux
A ski club hut; now we know who's made this brilliant trail we've been following all day.
A school group of late pre-teens has been here for the weekend, and we passed them marching out in a noisy and boisterous manner a little while ago. But thanks for the trail anyway.
Le Mazot hut (the word signifies a small rural building and is now usually used for quaint, rusticky restaurants in ski resorts)
But we're not stopping here. We've been wading back and forth trying to find the wind-shear line along the ridge, where the snow should be a little more manageable, and Dr Joe thinks he's got one.
But he's wrong. The top of Mont Roux heaves into sight on the summit.
We're always very pleased when Dr Joe prefers to lead than to follow. We, on the other hand, normally prefer to follow.
It's a meaningful destination for me -- new photos for the Farms of the Jura series -- but poor Dr Joe is only here because I implored him to persevere with me.
It's especially good to be here after that storm and not during it.
That's my new winter hat, one of two handmade presents for Kristin and me from our friend Kim in Wisconsin. It's working out nicely today.
Mont Roux farm house
Now we just need to get a few poignant photos from the other side. Dr Joe will wait for us.
A picture of patience and forbearance
Looks like significant winds and snow this year (in southern France, I've been out of the loop)
The view from Mont Roux
Lake Geneva below, the medieval village of Yvoire off to the right and Thonon-les-Bains off to the left
That's probably a sufficiency of farm photos for today.
Inexhaustible patience and forbearance
Back down on the marked hiking trail
Back to La Borsatte, where, happily, a whole group of snowshoers have exalted our thrashings about into a proper track up to the farm.
Dr Joe -- his first good look at La Borsatte farm. For what that's worth.
A poignant moment. Of reflection, perhaps. Or something.
The Drapeau Suisse!
That's enough of that. Let's go home.
The short cut
La Borsatte zoomed from below
That's a farm called La Prangine, but we're just passing by.
Back onto the cross-country trail, an easy trot home, and snow sculpture along the way. It was desperately good to get out again at last.