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.
And good weather for it
At the little rail crossing at the Col de la Givrine, Switzerland, 6 March 2016, the Norwegians have preceded us. A number of families have gathered at the flag and gone off for sledding fun on the far side of the road.
Our guide today, Joe, leads off energetically in snow that unfortunately hasn't had much time to settle.
Our guide, exceptionally, has forgotten his skipoles today but will strive to stay upright without them.
We've been bushwhacking up the forest for 20 minutes now and are already irremediably lost.
A pause to take our bearings, but there are none.
We're breaking a convenient trail for future snowshoers to follow, except that we have no idea where it's going, nor will they.
-- Wait up!
Keeping an eye out for familiar landmarks
We're in a big tangle of trees and snowdrifts, what now?
A very good time to have brought one's skipoles along.
Against all expectations, and without skipoles
A fine trail for our successors to follow, to nowhere
Big downhills on every side; after all that uphill effort
An excellent time to have had skipoles along
The sun would be in the southwest, but where is it?
-- Don't leave me.
Out onto the flats. If memory is any use at all, there should be a lovely farm building just up that hill.
Yes, that hill there
Our guide attacks the little hill, with a borrowed skipole.
Memory served after all: the farm of Le Sollier
A peek around the northwest side, whence come the prevailing winds
Time to go back down
-- Don't jump.
A look to the southwest, where the sun would be if there were one
Memorials of our visit to the Sollier farm
A pisted ski track up the centre of the meadow, from which . . .
. . . we will profiter for a little ways.
--You're welcome to borrow a skipole again, if it will help.
Our guide elects for more deep snow in the spirit of a challenge. The uncharted forest.
But surprise! that looks like our track from an hour ago.
We've agreed to take the easy way out of here.
Blessed with some new snowfall
A fitting end to a fine walk in the snowy woods (but, you know, 'promises to keep', &c.)
The rail crossing at the Col de la Givrine
We're getting sorted out just as the Norwegians are preparing to leave as well, and texting.
Crawling down towards Nyon behind Geneva cars with summer tires