Dwight Peck's personal website

La Berneuse

near Leysin, Switzerland

The lovely village of Leysin, in the Swiss Alps, sprawls at 1250m-1450m on the flank of a range of six small limestone peaks. These little peaks are wonderful in all seasons.

The Leysin Six, from left, La Riondaz, La Berneuse (behind the tree), the Tour d'Aï and Tour de Mayen in the center, the long hump of the Truex, and the Tour de Famelon on the right.

The very most fabulous collection of local mountains anywhere, 7km across from left to right.

Every Leysin downhill skier's entry destination, La Berneuse -- now with its fancy revolving restaurant, but ca. 1979 with its homey chalet style ski station.

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There it is, the present lift station and the old restaurant, shot from Les Fers, 1981.

La Berneuse, from La Riondaz, with Tour d'Aï and Tour de Mayen behind. The old chalet restaurant (directly below the Mayen summit), before the fire.

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A little harder to make out in this autumn shot from the side of La Riondaz, across the Combe de Luisset, but there it is, the doomed restaurant, shrouded in mist just under Tour d'Ai, with the lift station to the right under Tour de Mayen.

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And in winter again, getting closer -- the old chalet restaurant and the lift station just after sundown, about 1980.

A less benign side of the Berneuse, a number of avalanches in the gulley below the télécabine station a short time after ACS staff members L. Ware and D. Peck had exited at the top and exulted in their good fortune.

The snow was waist-deep last evening, but it's not now. May 1983.

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Here's the old Berneuse restaurant in June 1984. The present narrator was there at 9 p.m. on an afterdinner run on the evening of the fire, and even looked inside the locked doors and didn't notice a thing -- at midnight the soldiers in the Hongrin valley saw the flames, supposedly caused by cooking gear left on by the day staff. This photo was taken the next evening, when it was manifestly too late to be of much assistance.

So now we've got an all-glass turning restaurant!

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Descended straight out of Star Wars. Our wonderful pre-1984 chalet was replaced by a post-modern . . . event! As a Swiss chalet restaurant for a convivial fondue, the Kuklos is of course a complete bust. But as performance art, as the New Switzerland, the Snowboarding Event of the Tourist Year, the Kuklos does have a certain kind of cold charm. (And if they could get the turning restaurant to turn about 100 times faster, they could transform the Berneuse into a theme park.)

Leysin's beloved Allan Rankin with Marlowe Peck (left) and Dwight (right) and the turning restaurant Kuklos, June 1997

The Kuklos turning restaurant from the Bois de Prafandaz, January 2005

The Kuklos on Berneuse, with the Tours d'Aï and Mayen behind, from near the top of La Riondaz, January 2005

Index of Leysin local mountain photos

from SwitzerlandMobility (http://map.schweizmobil.ch/?lang=en)

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 24 January 2004, revised 9 May 2008, 14 March 2014.

Leysin mountains

Leysin scenery

Leysin village

American College of Switzerland