Dwight Peck's personal website

Winter 2007-2008

Good Early Snow. Who would have believed it? Just as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's 13th conference of the parties is getting under way in Bali, and everyone is agreeing that we're never going to see snow again even in Greenland, we're finally getting some decent autumn snow here in the Jura.

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.

Splendid views of La Platforme, mid-December 2007

Dr Pirri leads us out for a restorative walk in nature, 16 December 2007

Until the early 1990s, the road over the Col du Marchairuz was not opened in winter and this whole region was isolated for several months. Since that time, and with the renovation of the hotel at the Col, the road has been kept clear and excellent cross-country ski (ski du fond) trails and sledding slopes are attracting big crowds. None of it is tawdry or commercial in the least, but . . . they are crowds, after all, and normally nowadays we only go there in very bad weather.

Here, for once, however, Dr Pirri is leading us out the machined walking trail past the farm of Pré de Bière, chiefly to luxuriate in the new snow and get some Vitamin D, so important for keeping us healthy and smart!

Tiring almost immediately of the prepared path, Dr Pirri leads us up into the untracked forest to get lost for a while and see the sights.

The woods are deep (but not dark) / and we have no promises to keep. And we may just take a little nap right here. To paraphrase Frost.

Cute little erectile dysfunction snow sculptures.


The Combe au Cerf, not far from the Chalet des Combes -- walking along side by side, doing our Cheney impersonations and arguing about the next USA elections.

The tracks tell the tale of where we agreed and disagreed about potential candidates.

The narrator on a lovely outing in the Jura. Dr Pirri is in this photo in two places, can you tell where?

We're making a great loop and passing by the farm of Grandes Chaumilles, heading towards the famous Platforme . . .

. . . as the sun, descending into cloud banks in the southwest, leaves us out on this rather windy flat in chilly circumstances.

However platformy this may look, La Platforme is just over the other side of the far tree line.

Jura scrub in late afternoon, in a considerable breeze

Dr Pirri trudging into the wind and . . .

. . . pausing from time to time to complain.

Finally, we're out onto La Platforme per se, a lovely flat with little hollows and lots of snowladen shrubberies. The car awaits us just over the forested hill on the horizon.

Back onto the machined walking path as evening falls, and matters become really cold!

A week later, 23 December 2007, in Dr Pirri's absence, the Royal We back-traces our tracks to catch some of the wonderful sights in good sunlight. That's the Grand Cunay in the center background.

Things must get really wild up here when we're all home snugly in our beds. This looks like marshmallow fluff has gooped all over everything.

A look back towards the little Petite Rolat forest we've just traversed, and the ski du fond track passing by just in front of the hillside.

More marshmallow fluff. I'm on our track from last week now, which makes ambling along a lot easier, with my little Fuji camera poised.

Last week's tracks, leading past some more marshmallows across the Platforme.

Heavy duty marshmallow fluff and someone who's become, over the years, the shadow of a man.

A very beautiful view of the Platforme with last week's and this week's snowshoe tracks on it. That's how cold it's been here recently -- last week's tracks look as fresh as yesterday's.

The northwestern side of the Platforme, with the Petites Chaumilles up there somewhere just above the trees.

A well-established ski track through the gate in the stone wall -- looking southwestward towards the Petite Rolat forest.

Our track today meandering somewhat as we enjoy the fresh air with no sense of purpose or responsibilities.

Our track continues to meander. Meandering is fun, but sometimes, at the end of the day, you're not sure that you've accomplished anything. That's "meandering" in a nutshell.

More of the Platforme, looking (obviously) southwestward into the declining sun.

The farm hut in the middle of La Platforme, with stacks of lumber all about it. What's that all about, then? A new WalMarts superstore?

Dwight is in this picture, too. Can you tell where?

The potential new WalMarts, with all its lumber stacked about it.

Grand Cunay, the first of the treeless summits, and leftward, the second (higher) part of Grand Cunay, and in the distance, Mont Tendre. The WalMarts in the foreground.

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 10 January 2008, revised 6 January 2013.

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