Dwight Peck's personal website

Two Lisa walks in January 2008

Bringing in the New Year

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 couple of exhilirating walks in the Swiss Jura, 13 and 20 January 2008

We're parked illegally at the French end of the Col de la Givrine, 13 January 2008, with perhaps 100,000 cars up out of Geneva for sledding, eating croûtes and fondues, crosscountry skiing, pacing back and forth in the parking lot, yelling at the kids, etc. -- we've battled the crowds and the traffic jams up from St Cergue, and now we're off into the forest.

There's a family having a nice cheese fondue on the picnic table by the rail crossing.

Lisa in the grim chill before the sun breaks out for a while.

Passing Le Sollier farm

Lisa near the Sollier farm, in the sun now and happy to get the hat off.

We're marching up one of the beautiful combes running northeastward. Snowshoeing is an excellent way to get around in these Jura forests and meadows and we've been doing it for many years, but recently, for perfectly understandable reasons, the entrepreneurs of St Cergue have been developing the idea further, basically, for the masses. There are now machined tracks throughout the area, with "snowshoe trail" signs (which should have been oxymoronic), a lively business in rental gear, and guides-accompaniers for hire for the afternoon.

Time for lunch. When Lisa comes along, lunch is inevitable and usually almost ceremonial.

Just digging out a few bags of all the gourmet treats can take five minutes (even when you're sitting on the snowshoe trail and have to keep letting hikers get over you).

Pré du Four

The farm at Pré du Four (1394m) on a ridge line overlooking the Les Coppettes farm, with Le Noirmont mountain directly to the north (not seen here).

Pré du Four, a new one for our Farms of the Jura series.

A sheltered spot, out of the wind, for another gourmet lunch?

Pré du Four on its outcrop, 13 January 2008

La Dôle from the Pré du Four

Pré du Four

Pré du Four, looking towards the south, La Dôle on the horizon

Marked snowshoeing tracks all over the place. And we've just been passed by a long line of lurching snowshoers with a guide reading out from some sort of printed guidebook. It's a wonderful thing that city folks can get out and experience this kind of beautiful nature, with a guide to point out the best features, but it does tend to make things somewhat cluttered.

Like much of the Swiss Jura in the Geneva area, as the population burgeons, this is becoming another of those places that you really only want to visit when the weather is appallingly bad.

L'Arzière farm (1445m) and time to start back down again.

Back along the well-trod path at the end of the day

And back to the trailhead in the long shadows.

The Refuge of Joratte

A week later, a teeny bit of new snow, and we're off into the forest of Grande Rolat near Marchairuz, 20 January 2008.

Lisa, after at least a decade hiking all in red, now hikes all in blue.

In the sun, the heat is overwhelming, and everybody's overdressed.

We'll take care of that right now!

-- Stop there! It's January!

Now put something on, we're going back into the forest.

The réfuge of Joratte and just time for another gourmet lunch.

And a short repose

And just time for another little sit-down before we try to find our way out of the forest again.

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 4 February 2008, revised 10 September 2014.

Recent Events