Our winters are nothing like what they once were.
December's early snows got our hopes up, only to have them cruelly dashed in January. February didn't help at all. (We blame ex-President Bush.)
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 fine trip up Mont Sâla, 19 March 2011
At the top of the Route des Montagnes above Bassins, it looks like May.
That's Mont Sâla with the Lumix zoom, somewhere up there.
Up the windy path through the cliffs
Out on the pastures of the Combe des Begnines, in a blustery wet snowfall
The farm of Le Couchant (1445m)
As long as the snowshoes are on, we have to keep looking for patches of snow.
A length of soggy pasture with sinkholes, with the Cabane des Electriciens (1474m) at the end of it
We, like the cows in summer, thread our way amongst the sinkholes.
The cabane, with Mont Sâla up on our left
Very wet snow, but it's lovely.
From the electricians' cabin, we're going up the marked hiking path to Mont Sâla.
And we're not the first.
After such a disappointing winter, it's good just to be here.
Mont Sâla appears, exactly where it's meant to be.
Mont Sâla (1511m)
The splendid views from the summit. Our old VW is down there somewhere.
A commemorative self-timed photograph
And then we vacate the premises.
Yoops. Give that thing a wide berth.
And don't look down it.
The "notch path" back down through the cliffs
The "notch path" notch
Only half an hour from the car, on a beautiful day
With the Jura forests in their winter finery of 2010/11
Grand Croset Dessous, 20 March 2011
What a fool. Encouraged by yesterday's little bit of snowfall, we're up here behind the Col du Marchairuz, with our snowshoes, mocked by the bare alpage.
We'll leave the snowshoes in the car.
Looks like we're being followed.
Still being followed. Eerie.
The farm of Grandes Chaumilles, with Grand Cunay on the horizon
A stretch of snow through the forest
The farm of Grands Crosets Dessous (the lower; the upper one, Grands Crosets Dessus, is up in the forest near Mont Tendre)
Mont Tendre -- the summit pylon in the centre
We've been out a kilometre farther in the forest and had a nice lunch in the sun, and now we're passing back past Grands Crosets.
And back through the woods
And just time for a short nap in the sun. Our CIA tail has lost us, again.