Dwight Peck's personal website
Peck and the walk across Switzerland
July 1982, Deirdre Joy Peck, age 14, was visiting
in Switzerland and joined her Dad and friend Jane on a walk across Switzerland,
west to east, which, however, proved unsuccessful in the end but lots of fun along
out from Leysin, Switzerland, 15 June 1982, a pause along the roadway above Les
Day 1 camp below the Col du Pillon, with a science fiction novel and the incomparable
International Herald Tribune.
2 camp above Gsteig, not far from the Krinnenpass (La Chrine) on a somewhat rainy
and the omnipresent science fiction novel
3 etc.: A pleasant camp in the Kuhtungel, high up between Gstaad and Lenk, which
however turned into a sejour of a few days in the teensy tent with a few carrots
and a bite of chocolate when the weather turned abruptly bad; day 3 passed into
day 4, in a teensy tent.
Deirdre supine with her science fiction novel, Jane with her book, before the weather turned awful
and her novel, or possibly another novel, before the weather turned really bad
and we tried to wait it out.
5: DeeDee backlit whilst crossing the Dungelpass with her Dad, 19 June 1982, having
spent long enough in a teensy tent in the Kuhtungel.
5 camp near Buhlberg above Lenk on the way to Adelboden over the Hahnenmosspass,
another rainy day
6, over the Hahnenmoospass to Adelboden -- up the waterfall path from Unter dem
Birg to Engstligenalp, 20 June 1982
up camp at Engstligenalp, as a storm threatens, and the kind lady at dinner in
the berghotel instructed us to knock on her door if it got really bad.
Jane sets up the teensy tent, as another storm sweeps in, in the high hanging
valley of Engstligenalp above Adelboden.
7, DeeDee trudging up from Engstligenalp towards the Tschingellochtighorn (2640m)
just a little too early in the hiking season for comfortable snowfree walking.
Jane leading up out of Engstligenalp, on Day 7 of the cross-Switzerland hike,
over the Tschingellochtig (2640m), high above Adelboden and Kandersteg.
near the Tschingellochtig pass, Jane helps young Deirdre with some equipment adjustments.
(Summertime views of this same spot fully a quarter of a century later can be
backing down the far side of the Tschingellochtig pass, with
Jane spotting from below. Not long after that, she took a fall and a long slide
down a creek gulley and gave her father a prolonged series of heart attacks, but
ended up, after breaking through into the creek, only with soggy trousers.
from the Tschingellochtig pass into the Inner Uschene valley towards Eggeschwand,
thinking about dinner, especially as it's been raining all day.
near Eggeschwand at the end of Day 7
8 camp, past Kandersteg, by Giesene. Still mostly raining.
9, hikers contemplating crossing the Giesegrat near the Sattelhorn, and down past
9 Deirdre descends from the Giesegrat (2310m) near the Sattelhorn.
10: Hikers, once over the Rengg Pass (1800m), lunching near the Obersuldbach (1262m),
and heading next for the Renggli Pass (1880m), like being on a self-propelled
up a nice stew with herbs
Deirdre's dad trying to shave in some fairly cold water, Obersuldbach.
another stormy day, Day 12 of the hike, in fact, Deirdre descends eastward from
the Sustenpass as clouds blow in and out, and all about.
were, in fact, way off course by this time, thanks to Dad's primitive map-reading,
but worse was to come.
wet and bedraggled near Sustenpass (2259m) on 26 June 1982, Deirdre Peck shows
courage and stamina for a 14-year-old from sea level in the USA. About
five minutes later, her Old Dad went for a different very fast long hike downward
and ended the party's cross-Switzerland hike only about 60% completed.
700 feet down, oops. A Swiss-German
guy heard him whizzing past upsidedown and pulled him out from under a waterfall and conveyed
him to some medical assistance. Oh, man! -- many broken bones (including
his head in two places, an elbow turned into paste, rocks in the kneecaps, and
several ribs practicing up for regular future breaks over the next couple of
decades), post-traumatic stress disorder (for a few days), oh well that's not
so bad, but he wasn't to go near alcohol for months and months. That's
Swiss-German guy, whose family Dr Peck had very nearly swept off the mountain
in his fall, marched stolidly up 200 metres in the fog and carried Deirdre down
at the end of August 1982, is the scene of the old Dad's vertical hike of evil
late summer 1982, Deirdre, Dad, and Jane visited Ballenberg,
the wonderful "open-air museum" of traditional Swiss architecture, near
Ballenberg, traditional old buildings are being brought along from all over the
country and reconstructed using old methods of joining, thatching, etc. -- farms,
barns, forges, town houses, granaries, you name it -- and laid out in a park modeled
on the map of Switzerland, so that characteristic architecture of all the regions
can be seen, and walked through, integrally, with people practicing all the old
crafts, from cheese-making, iron-mongering, lace-sewing, rug-weaving, ice-cream-selling,
and Dad in beautiful downtown Schwyz, August 1982, end of the summer. Then DeeDee
was off to the insalubrious USA once again, and in the end didn't make
it through. She was an astonishing person, in her own way, and her courage on
this hike proves that.
and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, .
All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 24 April 2002, revised 8 October 2008, 07 June 2013.