Dwight Peck's personal website

Neighbors of Ollon

Panex, Switzerland, 2014

Ollon, Switzerland. We've just moved in, and it's time to get out and scope out the neighborhood.

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 walk up to Panex, 21 March 2014

We have recollections of passing through Panex on running routes back in the day, so we're scurrying up out of Ollon (480m) to pay the place a visit.

Escaping the Rhône valley fog, or whatever it is

It's more or less straight up for a while.

The little hamlet of Plan-d'Essert (655m), crossing the road up the hill. We're relying entirely upon a Swiss topographical map of the region upon which, in 1988, we wrote in the route we used to take through here on running routes. The map is dated 1980.

And this looks like the path farther upward.

But it's not.

After 20 mintues thrashing through brambles, we discover our mistake. We'll send off for a new map.

We all have days like this.

The path above Crêt-à-Tavez, about 780m, looking down into the ravine of Le Bondet

Approaching Panex, at about 900m

The path tops out at the village school (920m). "Panex", according to R-H Bugnon, comes from an old French word for a place suitable for cultivating cereal crops (the plain of the Rhône below, before it was channeled, was a vast marsh unsuitable for sensible farming).

The place is attested in the records of the abbey of St-Maurice from 1232. From 1554 onward the site was developed with water works to exploit the salt content of the wells, part of the famous salt industry of Bex and particularly a source for the saline of Aigle, and the 7km conduit constructed in 1801 survives in the present "Sentier du Sel" walking path.

The post office of the left

The mountains on the horizon are part of the massif of Le Chamoissaire (2112m), known for its agile little chamois all over the place.

The local pinte or pub, featuring Boxer Beer

Street scenes

The edge of town on this side

Back down through town, from about 950m

Back to the school

And back down the path

We'll get it right this time

Ancient trackways up and down the mountain

A reassuring trail marker

This is perfectly murderous on old knees.

Back down to Plan-d'Essert

The meadows above Ollon, with the Dents de Morcle

The Dents du Midi


A tree


Panex seen from Solacyre above Leysin, a few days later

More views of Panex, May 2014

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 10 April 2014.

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