Dwight Peck's personal website

Winter 2001-2002 in a corner of the Jura

All of life's victims who've entered into their second half-century doubtless have noticed that life gathers speed and passes us by much more quickly than once it did.

So, too, the winter of 2001-2002 has zipped right on by, pell-mell. Pretty much a good thing, too. But here are a few photos of whatever can still be salvaged from all that havoc.

You may not find this interesting 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.

As autumn begins stealthily to become winter, Profs. Pirri and Durham join the narrator on one of many outings to Mont Tendre in the Jura and nearby peaks. We're anxiously awaiting the onset of winter.

Dr Pirri, not content simply to wait for good snow, accompanies us for several weekends of scrambling up the fronts of Mont Sala and Mont Pelé -- better than playing canasta with the menfolk over cigars after large Sunday family lunches at the auberge down the street. But we're still awaiting some decent snow.

"Fear not, Prof. Pirri, snow is coming soon."

Soon -- soon -- we will be back upon our snowshoes once again. Buy a few magazines about celebrities to occupy your idle hours and don't fret anymore. Soon the snow will come.

The narrator surmounts Mont Pelé and scans the horizon for snow. Nada so far.

Ah, winter finally arrives. Ice all over the shop on the lakeside park in Nyon, Switzerland, where the narrator takes his lunch every day, on the over-sunny benches in the summers, in his auto with the heater and radio on throughout the winters.

Nyon's wintry vegetation

Good snow for the Christmas season, as Ms Marlowe Peck makes her annual Yuletide visit to the old country.

Stone wall hopping in the new snow

And thus commences the snowshoeing season in the Jura, roundabout Christmas 2001, with lots and lots of good fun to be had, including . . .

a Grand Search for Angels on Grand Cunay in the Jura and . . .

. . . a follow-up in appalling weather. [More here.]

And in February 2002, our old friend Carmen (center), from Chalet Pollux in Leysin circa 1991, brings along the family for a splendid visit.

With a full complement of little guys, namely Sam and Alexander, fresh from three years in Norway, both already accomplished in-line skaters and one of them pretty hot with the ice axe . . .

Carmen being useful

Once the snow came, everyone was happy again. (Crêt de la Neuve.)

In the Jura, at least for as long as the US-led Global Warming lasts, we've abandoned skis and have all taken up snowshoes instead. Many of the former ski stations of the region have become "centres des raquettes" with rental snowshoes, maps, and hot chocolate afterward. In this photo, Dr Pirri demonstrates flawed snowshoe technique near the Crêt de Mondise.

The Big Sport for Winter 2001-2002 was searching all about the Jura for holes, limestone holes, like this one . . .

and a brief and occasionally humorous catalogue of "Holes of the Jura in Winter" is available here.

A frequent companion in the search for big limestone holes was Prof J. J. Pirri (above), newly wintering in Switzerland these days rather than Lebanon, which is welcome to most of us.

Not all of the intense snowshoeing was entirely without mishap (below) . . .

L. Durham (above) and J. Pirri (below) tangle up their snowshoes and hit the snowpack. (See antecedents.)

But we're all agreed that winter 2001-2002, despite global warming, was not the worst year we've ever seen in terms of winter fun for the semi-privileged leisure-oriented working classes of the developed world in the last years of its decline and dissolution.

Meanwhile, the narrator seized the occasion of a pause in snowfall to lay on a cheap LinkSys network in order to keep his contributions to the health of the world's wetlands squishing along smoothly.

Someone in the Jura, near the farm of Mont de Bière Derrière, takes a more direct and heartfelt approach to nature conservation.

The farms and the holes of the Jura already pretty well catalogued by spring, there was some talk of a photographic record of Giant Anthills of the Jura, but luckily wiser heads prevailed.

As a welcome result of US-led global climate change, winter 2001-2 gave Lisa the opportunity to parade around the mountains in less clothing than is normally recommended.

And then, in March 2002, Mme Durham became a genuine Swissie, a citizen of the greatest country in the world ('greatest' in moral, aesthetic, cultural, and defensive military terms -- prizes for brute offensive military force still go to a handful of crude, less enlightened nations, and that's okay).

Wait, here's another entrant in the Search for Winter Holes . . .

. . . another excellent Jura hole, BUT now well past the winter and into late spring. Thanks for finding this one for us, Prof. Pirri, but it doesn't count.

WINTER'S OVER. Time to move on, recover what we can from all of this, and face the somewhat shrouded future with as much hardihood as we can muster in these fallen Republican-dominated times.

Well, not so bad so far! In July 2002, Prof. Berman of the Greater Boston Area popped over for a month and short-roped us over from Switzerland into the Italian side of the Alps, and up and down there for a while, and then back again near Zermatt into Switzerland, and that's the subject of the next instalment of this lengthy chronicle of human folly.

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 1 August 2002, revised 11 January 2014.

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