Dwight Peck's personal website

Mont Sâla

Another pretty big bump on the Jura ridgeline

Mont Sâla sits smugly on top of the Swiss Jura ridgeline between Marchairuz and Givrine, barely 1500m above sea level but nonetheless, at least in bad weather, with a certain "attitude".

There's a decorative cross on the summit, visible in the TIFF version of this photo but lost in the JPG alas.

This is seen from the Swiss side, near Le Bassine at 1250m, at the top of the road up from the village of Bassins. The normal hiking trail wanders up through a break in the cliffs off to the right into the Combe de Begnines, past the farm of Le Couchant, and up the back side of the ridge. It's also possible, with suitable care, to go up the front.

Late in the day on a blustery 21 January 2007, that looks like snow but it's not really, just a frosty sort of excrescence all around the decorative cross -- it's been springtime here in Switzerland so far, that's all down to Mr Bush's Global Warming.

Mont Sala (not so much a "Mont" as a high point on the ridge) towers proudly at 1511m and frowns down upon Lake Geneva when the sky lowers like this.

That's the view southwestward from Mont Sâla, over the bare unnamed knob at 1515m to Mont Pelé with trees on top.

From Mont Sâla looking northeastward up the Combe des Begnines, one of the almost-undiscovered wonders of the world, a hidden valley at about 1450m accessible only at three or four points. That's the farm of Le Couchant down on the left.

Looking SE towards Lake Geneva, that's the farm of Les Pralets, 1271m. Les Pralets lies about halfway along the cross-country ski-du-fond trail from Marchairuz to Givrine, and hearty souls often pause along the 18km track to sample the bonne fondue or big ham sandwich before continuing on their way, or going back. Not yet, though -- no snow so far this year.

Gazing farther out from Mont Sâla, we're looking past Les Pralets at the Mondion farm (1270m) and Lake Geneva (Lac Léman, 380m) in the background.

Mere moments later, 21 January 2007, we've popped up on the 1515m unnamed knob and we're viewing Mont Sâla right through the tree, and wondering how we're going to get down out of here before dark.

Mont Sâla from the 1515m knob just to the southwest. 21 January 2007.

Mont Sâla from the 1515m knob just to the southwest. 1 January 2007 on a grey day.

Mont Sâla autrefois

That's the decorative cross (right), and Dr Alison (left) eating snow, in April 2001.

And here's the decorative cross again, with Marlowe Peck in the foreground, late September 1999.

And here are Marlowe and Kristin on Mont Sâla in October 1995. [Camping on Mont Sâla.]

Kristin on Mont Sâla, October 1995, La Dôle on the horizon.

Marlowe Tyson Peck crawling round near the Mont Sâla summit, September 1999.

Mr D. Peck, not too far from the decorative cross, September 1999.

Dr. Pirri striving towards the decorative cross of Mont Sâla, not surprisingly approaching it from the worst possible direction, straight up through the cliffs on the southeast side.

Dr Pirri, about 3/4 of the way up, wonders why it should be so hard to find a decorative cross in this age of robust, resurgent christianity, but Dr Pirri is not easily discouraged, especially when . . .

his hiking companion signifies that the decorative cross is in sight (November 2001).

Dr Pirri, encouraged by this news, wraps up against the chill and perseveres.

Surmounting the shrubberly rockbands on the front side of Mont Sâla, Dr Pirri is blessed with a vision of the decorative cross, which, like many other things, affects him deeply.

Here's the view from Mr Pirri's stance in the photo above: the wonderful hidden valley of the Combe des Begnines on the left, the Grand Cunay on the horizon in the center, and the least recommended route to the top, just completed by Dr Pirri and unwitting hiking companion, dipping precipitously away to the right.

from SwitzerlandMobility (http://map.schweizmobil.ch/?lang=en)
(Some views of Le Couchant farm here.)
(Some views of Marlowe T. Peck camping on Mont Sâla, 1995 and 1999, here.)

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 1 September 2002, revised 28 August 2014.

Some of our favorites (recommended)