Dwight Peck's personal website

April in the Jura mountains

Our winters are nothing like what they once were.

The winter of 2010-2011 was crap for snow in our region, and we must try to learn to adapt.

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.

Lurking in the Creux d'Enfer de Druchaux

A Creux d'Enfer is an expansive jumbly limestone hollow with holes in it, and the Creux d'Enfer de Druchaux runs crookedly up northwestward between the headland pastures of Druchaux and the massif of Mont Tendre.

It's 16 April 2011 and we're checking out some nice walks to suggest for Kristin when she gets here next week. This is much as we remember it -- moss-covered, and dank.

Any Creux d'Enfer can be magic in daylight, hopeless at night.

Once topping out at the end of this, we'll travel on to Mont Tendre,

but the end of it isn't anywhere round here.

It's good to see that, even with Mr Bush's Global Warming, there's still a little snow to be seen in mid-April.

We're out of the combe and approaching Mont Tendre up the southeastern front of it (where all the Dead Trees congregate), called Les Rochettes.

Dead trees everywhere, and new flowers

A testimony to deadness, on the one hand, and to new life, on the other, in flowers that should last about a week.

Only a few dead trees left, and we're up under the open sky at last.

The summit pylon of Mont Tendre

The last eager steps to the summit pylon (1679m)

Carpets of spring flowers on the way back down

The Mont Tendre ridge, south of the summit

The last of the snow for 2010-11

We're stopping off for a look at the little cabin that's tucked in under some of the cliffs.

It's called the Cabane du Rocher, which makes sense, but we don't know why it's there.

Back up onto the pastures again

Now we're down the Creux d'Enfer again, and here's another big limestone hole in the ground.

And the famous one that's got the fixed ropes hanging down into it from the logs across the top

They're new logs, by the way -- compare these old things a few years ago.

The 'protected area' signs are gone as well. What's that about?

Retracing our steps with Kristin leading

That's Kristin leading, 24 April 2011.

That's me, following

Those are the moss-covered rocks.

And the little bit of fugitive snow, still persevering

Kristin in the Creux d'Enfer

On our way -- there's a summit to visit.

Kristin on Mont Tendre

Kristin peeking down at the Cabane du Rocher as we pass along the ridge

Kristin confronting limestone . . .

. . . vast floors of washed-out limestone

Following instincts, no need for a map

More big holes in the forest floor

Always curious

Kristin in the Creux d'Enfer

More limestone obstacles in our path

Back to the hole with the fixed ropes

Always curious!

More big holes in the forest floor

The Glacier of the Creux d'Enfer du Petit Cunay -- called a glacier because it's got permanent ice down there.

Teny and Joe staring into the abyss

Kristin staring at the photographer

Another hole in the forest floor -- debating whether or not to scramble into it for a look about

Kristin on Lake Geneva at Buchillon

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 5 September 2011, revised 6 September 2014.

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