Dwight Peck's personal website

Winter 2002-2003

Very eventful, but in a quiet way

As round the world some of them were trying in vain to convince the rest of us that it would be a fun idea to go bomb a lot of the folks down in Iraq, D. Peck and friends spent the fall and winter hiding out in the safest place they could think of.

Mont de Bière Devant direttissima

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.

16 February 2003: Prof. Pirri sets out from Grand Fuëy on the route principal and stalks straight up through the forest bound for Mont de Bière Devant by the most direct route possible, whatever awkwardnesses may lie between here and there. He drags his photographer along with him.

Dr Pirri appears to be sounding his trumpet to rally his followers, but in fact that's only his water bottle. The trumpet is still in his 1960s-era backpack and won't be brought out until later in the hike.

Our guide passes a very big karst hole in the forest floor and vows to be more careful where he steps.

Yikes! That's careful?

It's still early in our hike to Mont de Bière Devant on 16 February 2003, and Dr Pirri has already fallen into a hole in the forest floor and almost shortened the hike.

Relentless in his assault up the heights of Bois de la Sauge in front of Mont de Bière Devant, Prof. Pirri stumbles all over the forested slopes and thus shows his photographer where to step safely.

When hiking, Dr Pirri, for the most part, walks, but whenever a steep snowy slope appears just ahead, something happens to him, and he lets out a whoop and dashes upward in a snowy spring or leap, leaving his biographer way behind him.

With a forest cunning that James Fenimore Cooper could have filled seven pages with (all in one sentence), Mr Pirri blazes trail through the steep woods of the Bois de la Sauge, en route for Mont Bière, 16 February 2003.

Professor Pirri pauses at the top of the Bois de la Sauge, mainly to let his biographer catch his breath.

The farm at the top of Mont de Bière Devant, heavily tracked up by other funloving skiers and snowshoers since the last good snow (a month earlier), seen from the flagpole on the nominal summit, 16 February 2003.

From the flagpole, looking back down towards Lake Geneva in the mist.

Wandering semi-aimlessly off the far side, Mr Peck looks wistfully back towards the top and bids farewell, and then turns to pick his way carefully down the very steep slopes, determined not to lose his footing near the top of the cliffs and confident that Dr Pirri will do so.

We're ready to take the plunge.

Not a bad save near the bottom, and thirty meters has been got down more quickly than would have been possible upright.

Dr Pirri wanders down some icy snow daydreaming about god knows what.

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 19 May 2003, revised 2 July 2007, 11 January 2014, 21 January 2020.

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