Dwight Peck's personal website

Winter 2003-2004

US politics continue as before. No use crying over spilt milk. Let's snowshoe.

Le Noirmont

Le Noirmont ('black mountain') is a cute ridge lying just north of the Col de la Givrine in Switzerland, hovering over the border with France on its northwest side. There are many entertaining routes up the SE side of it, and even more fun to be had by proceeding off the long ridge running to the NE towards Mont Pelé, where limestone holes begin to become a tantalizing issue.

The southern side of Le Noirmont, with Les Coppettes farm (1323m), 30 December 2003.

But today, 8 February 2004, former Academic Deans Pirri and Peck are out for a bracing sprint for the top and back again, in order to get a little welcome exercise and then get back to grading student papers and washing up the dishes, etc.

Former Dean Pirri takes advantage of the cross-country ski piste called the Boucle de Sollier, between Givrine and La Cure in France, to gain some time in getting to the foot of the Noirmont in declining weather. Here he's pressing ahead and refusing to talk about the US Democratic primaries.

Here, as the weather begins to cut up rough, Former Dean Pirri surveys the farm Les Coppettes and prepares himself to lumber up to Noirmont on the right.

Passing Les Coppettes farm in a significant wind, Ex-Dean Pirri is summit-bound, intensely focused and still refusing to discuss the Democratic primaries.

Leaving Les Coppettes behind in the wind . . .

. . . Dean Pirri wonders where next. The steep and exposed SE side of Noirmont is probably not pleasant in such a vigorous wind, so Sly Dean Pirri chooses instead to sneak up onto the ridge through the trees and get the wind behind him for the assault on the summit.

On a beautiful little wooded plateauey sort of ledge on the way up to the ridge, Former Dean Pirri searches for his Snickers Bars or any other restorative substances. He's probably a little bit depressed because he was supporting General Wes.

Mr Chamois comes out to greet the ascending hikers and has a good laugh at them before sauntering off to visit some of his friends nearby. They're all going for Kerry.

Dean Pirri loves spying on chamois, as we all do.

"Anybody But Bush" is the word out here on the windswept slopes of Le Noirmont in a strong northern wind.

The French village of La Cure, seen from the Swiss ridge on the Noirmont.

Once onto the ridge, Dean Pirri seeks the way to the summit. (It's up to the right.)

Dean Peck arrives at the abandoned ski installations on the first of Noirmont's two summity things (1547m) and celebrates their abandonment.

Whilst Dean Pirri plunges on, in somewhat declining weather, towards the higher Noirmont summit.

Former Dean Pirri reaches the top (1567m) in a somewhat mortifying sleety sort of weather spasm, and turns to . .

. . . gaze out upon France. Not presently visible, however.

Dean Peck is seen faking his own crucifixion again. It's a hobby.

Whereupon former academic deans desert the summit and, in their rush for the ground floor, make the stupid choice of trying to come down the SE side directly. Very bad news for the old knees.

Former Dean and Former President Pirri pauses on a flattish area on the SE side of Noirmont to admire an icy tree.

Dean Pirri, briefly lost in the storm at the bottom of the SE side of Noirmont, re-emerges from obscurity.


The farm of L'Arzière looms, but it's time to head for home now.

As the storm begins to get really invigorating, Dean Pirri pulls on some more gear and, unfortunately, the Fuji camera freezes up, so there'll be no more pix of this particular hike. But there's less and less to be seen anyway. (The Fuji A303 later unfroze, luckily, and emerged as good as new.)

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

Le Noirmont pix
Whiteout, 8 February 2004
Beau soleil, 15 January 2005
Chasing chamois, 26 March 2006
A scramble up the front, New Year's Eve 2006

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 11 February 2004, revised 28 September 2008, 27 November 2013.

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