after year, Mont Tendre, unlike western civilization,
remains as much fun as ever.
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.
bound for Mont Tendre on 13 March 2005, on cross-country skis this time.
not Mont Tendre -- no, not yet, not by a long march. That's Grand Cunay, seen
from the road behind the Col du Marchairuz near the cross-country ski carpark
at the head of the Combe d'Amburnex and the forest of Grande Rolat. We're just
getting started, on the first brilliantly sunny weekend in months, and we're headed
across the flats to the farm of Pré de Denens in the center there, to pick
up the machined cross-country track and gain time.
Pirri powering along the crosscountry track past the Pré de Denens farm.
farm of La Racine, about 10 kilometres out. Snowshoeing
is fun, but slow. Our theory is that we'll gain time by skiing out the
cross-country track, and then, once we're in the vicinity, prance straight up
to Mont Tendre on snowshoes in a jaunty manner.
we're ready to leave the ski track and start up to Mont Tendre. Dr Joe
gazes up into the forest and focuses his mind, which is not hard anymore. We're
carrying the snowshoes along in case the top area is iced over, which is not unusual
for this side of Mont Tendre, where the wind comes in from Greenland. Many's the
time we've got this far after two or three ill-spent hours and had to go home
again, disconsolate, without getting to the top.
Joe is wisely following the track of a previous party of skiers, back and forth
up through the forest.
snow is fairly gooey down here, provoking floundering and profanity.
Emerging out of the forest
Joe gazes upon the summit.
the top of Mont Tendre on the left, somewhat featureless from this side. The far
side of the mountain is far more interesting.
snowshoers' track proceeds boldly straight up, but we cross-country skiers will
wander back and forth for a while instead, lest we ski back down involuntarily,
part of Mont Tendre as we glide briskly up towards the main summit.
shrubberies, with the effects of the Mont Tendre wind . . .
. . the wind that's come in from Greenland.
snow's not bad here but as we get higher, oooff, intermittently icy. Dr Joe
can just be discerned on the extreme right horizon.
(Dr Joe is considerably older than I am and has had many more years to perfect his physical conditioning.)
Dr Joe himself on the summit, awaiting us, with the summit pylon over to the
Joe on a well-trodden Mont Tendre summit. We're not the first ones here. (Mont
Blanc and Lac Léman/Geneva in the background.)
famous Mont Tendre fenceposts.
party prepares to descend as best they may.
The Chalet Mont Tendre below, Lake Neuchâtel in the background
narrator, with the Alps and Lake Geneva in the background
the summit behind, 13 March 2005.
a last look back up towards the top as we shuffle around the icy bits.
The long road home.