Dwight Peck's personal website

Winter 2005-2006

Short breaks from poring over the newspapers as the Bushies implode

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.

A round-up of still more farm pix, 6 March 2006

Grand Cunay, and Mont de Bière Derrière along the way

This is the Chemin des Crêtes from Marchairuz, fairly well-traveled as far as the farm at Mont de Bière Derrière, chiefly by Geneva's Diplomatic Corps in moonboots and fur coats. After that, the hiking population thins down markedly.

Our guide for today, Dr Pirri, approaches the farm at Mont de Bière Derrière, steadfastly refusing to walk on the Chemin des Crêtes per se (left) and breaking his own trail, as he has always done.

The farm at Mont de Bière Derrière, 5 March 2006

Most winters, folks walk on out here and have a little "pique-nique" lunch at the picnic table under the eaves (right of center) . . .

Like this (late December 2003), but not this year.

The picnic table is about eight feet down and pretty inaccessible for the moment.

Even the hiking-trail sign, which normally we gaze up at with our pencils and notepads at the ready, could almost go unnoticed as we pass by it towards Cunay.

A look back, as other hikers approach the farm. The elderly gentleman at the back of the group is wearing an expensive trench coat, and probably has a tie on.

The sign that the nearer couple is trying to read is faded out and completely unreadable now. (Poor sods.)

This is what they would have read in 2002: "The richness of life - that's the difference. Nature is the future of mankind."

The front part of Grand Cunay (1574m), the farm building at left center, under the cloud, and the second part (1603m), right center, nice and sunny, and inviting.

Our guide, Dr Pirri, sets a superb example for energy and enthusiasm and might as well be hiking with an especially light pack on today.

Looking back amid labored breathing, we find a short-term history of human activity in the area laid out before us. The nice clean track leading down and up again to us was made by snowshoers headed for Grand Cunay. The wayward track crossing over and wandering off to the left was made by people with crosscountry skis headed for the Cabane du Grand Cunay, owned by the Ski Club of Le Brassus, probably to pass a convivial Saturday night with a lot of white wine and god knows what else. The building below is a three-sided cow shed which only cows care about very much.

The farm at Grand Cunay

Dr Pirri pauses for a moment with the Mont de Bière behind on the right, and Mont de Bière Devant about in the center, depending upon what you think counts as the top of it. Lake Geneva is off to the left.

The narrator

The farm at Grand Cunay, 5 March 2006. [More on the farm]

We're waiting for the clouds passing in and out to drop a little sunlight on us from time to time for a photo.

The Chemin des Crêtes passes right by here, at the trail signs at the corner of the building.

The top of the Grand Cunay is "wind-scoured" and easy to walk around on.

Our guide is heading back for the car now -- he's just discovered that he forgot his backpack on the top of the car. It's got the headlamp with dead batteries, the extra sweatshirt, the granola bars from 1999, and the guacamole dip for tonight's party. We'll join up again later probably.

For the moment, royal-we're headed for the second part of Grand Cunay (1603m), about ten minutes away.

A quick glance back at the farm at Grand Cunay as we pull the hood up and look forward to some semi-serious wind for the next twenty minutes or so.

Jura shrubbery. Grand Cunay is exposed on top and nearly always windy.

A hardy tree on a rock, overlooking the Swiss Lac du Joux and France in the distance to the north.

The Chalet des Combes flits by us about 120m below. The main Mollendruz-Marchairuz crosscountry (ski du fond) ski trail goes by just at the far side of the building, 18km in all.

The farm at Grand Cunay seen from near the summit of the second part of Grand Cunay. La Dôle is barely perceptible in the far distance.

Lake Geneva (Lac Léman) from Grand Cunay, with France to the south on the other side of it.

The near end of Mont Tendre on the horizon to the northeast. The building on the first hill has to do with the Geneva airport guidance signals poking up all round it.

We're tromping back down quickly, the wind is brutal.

Passing by the farm at Grand Cunay again

A three-sided hut at the bottom of Grand Cunay, with directions for the Club Alpin Suisse (CAS) hut to the right. We're going left.

The Snow-Squid of the Jura

Rejoined with Dr Pirri, who's rejoined with his backpack, we're coming back to the Col du Marchairuz, where the snowplow drivers have perfected their art.

A happy snowshoer

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 6 March 2006, revised 10 October 2008, 27 August 2014.

Jura snowshoeing

Snow camping