Dwight Peck's personal website
glaciers not long for this world
tiny twin glaciers of Plan Névé lie at about 2500m just to the east
of the mighty Grand Muveran, looking from the Rhône river valley like two
off-white little butterflies. Here are views of two trips up there to find out
what it's all about, one in 2002, the other, less successful, in 1993. Hang on
to your wool bonnets.
unsettled weather, September 2002, as Mr Dan Hinckley
then of IUCN-The World Conservation Union, intrigued by his hiking companion's long-winded
descriptions of the glories of the Plan Névé, sets out from the
Pont de Nant to see this alleged wonder for himself.
the Grand Muveran, seen from the Rhône valley floor. The glaciers of Plan-Névé
extend down to the left.
red dot shows the Cabane de Plan Névé from halfway up the trail,
in July 2005.
1: Vallon de Nant, a portentous occasion in November 1984
. . .
. . hiking in the Vallon de Nant on 11 November 1984, just three days before her
birth, with assistance from her mother (above).
Back to the present
Hinckley, ascending from the trailhead at Pont de Nant, which lies at 1253m up
a narrow road from Plans-sur-Bex, which lies up a narrow road from -- guess! --
Bex, near Aigle in the Rhône valley, confronts foggy, craggy things
that draw him upwards.
Hinckley stalks past the farm of Le Richard and
prepares to address some serious uphill.
farm of Le Richard (1535m), just before the hiking begins to require measured breathing.
front part of the Muveran looming nearby.
trail upward. Upward. Upward. And then . . . upward.
first glaciers appear, over on the side of the Grand Muveran.
way forward, upward, no sign of an end in sight yet.
Hinckley, en route for Plan Névé, takes a well-deserved break
for an orange, a banana, a mix of nuts and prunes, and a steak smothered in onions,
and then heads up towards the Cabane.
No worries! There's the Cabane of Plan-Névé smiling down upon us,
on the last day of the season, as the guardian staff
sells off all the unused kitchen stocks and prepare to go back to the ground floor
for another season.
sensing a good deal on the out-of-date groceries, Mr Dan jogs over to the hut
at Plan Névé (2262m) hoping to get in on the action, so question
one has been answered: Dan and the narrator did in fact make it to the hut in
The Cabane de Plan Névé in September 2002
from the cabane, is a view up to the Col des Chamois (2660m), looking fairly forbidding
from Mr Peck's point of view. Mr Peck has been up there his-own-self, but on cross-country
skis up the Glacier of Paneirosse on the far side -- he takes a dim view of this
side of the thing.
glacier near the cabane.
two glaciers of Plan-Névé, looking like a butterfly from the valley
below, but actually with a sizable impediment between them.
Peck anxious to get moving
declining, time to go home, September 2002.
the cabane's gulley bound earthward.
a view back towards the farm Le Richard that makes old knees ache.
Richard on the return route.
was not Mr Peck's first trip to the Cabane de Plan Névé.
run the route a few times in the early 1990s, he brought along a number of hiking
friends in July 1993.
as the weather begins to become unsettling, are hiking companions Lisa, Carmen,
Bill, and Bill's 11-yr-old niece Haley, July 1993.
displaying fortitude and improbable joie de vivre near imperfectly melted snowfields.
Mr Peck assisting Professor Durham in a photographic pose, 1993
declining, the hiking party pretty much lost in the fog . . .
as hiking companions begin to suggest their doubts, but insufficiently loudly.
we notice Ms Haley's blue face and conclude that it's time to vacate
the area speedily and go warm up somewhere.
for a restorative snack in the hut next to the farm of Le Richard, luckily open.
fortified by considerable quantities of crackers and cheese, Lisa, Carmen, Bill,
Haley, and the narrator clean up the premises and travel on their way to ground
from SwitzerlandMobility (http://map.schweizmobil.ch/?lang=en)
hiking route lies up from Pont de Nant (1253m), with its charming restaurant and
the world's first alpine botanical garden [really!], and the beautiful
little valley of Nant running southward (left, off the map) under the Muveran and
Dent de Morcles, where Marlowe Tyson Peck went hiking two days prior to her birth.
and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, All
rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 28 September 2002, revised 7 July
2007, 10 February 2014, 2 November 2015.