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.
The Sèche de Gimel
A beautiful day, 20 March 2012; we've slipped out from work early not to miss it.
We're starting from the semi-submerged carpark on the Vallée de Joux side of the Col du Marchairuz, 20 March. Back in a while, Üli.
Walking along a stone wall to find a suitable place to get off it
Another stone wall in the forest of Grande Rolat
Fairly uncharted wilderness for a while
Another stone wall
Half an hour spent thrashing aimlessly about in a piney maze . . .
. . . that seems to go on forever.
And then we're in the clear.
The ski du fond track, and the farm of . . . of . . .
. . . ah, there you are: Sèche de Gimel.
Our photographer is circumambulating the building for good shots for our Farms of the Jura series.
Looking southwest. There's a spur of the cross-country (ski du fond) track on the right that leads out to the Sèche des Amburnex.
And down on the left, a ski track leading back out to the main Combe des Amburnex.
All of these pastures and wooded ridges run parallel to one another, northeast to southwest. For geological reasons. Folding, or something. That meadow looks, snow-wise, like a virgin.
A zoom of the farm, the Grand Cunay on the horizon
We've crossed the ridge, out of the forest, and started back to the northeast. New boots, nursing a blister; it makes the return journey seem longer.
Off the Sèche de Gimel meadows and back into the forest
We're walking (limping) up a couple of kilometres of a little track through the Grande Rolat.
Passing the réfuge Intercommunal, about one kilometre to go.
The final stretch, with some good farm pictures for the Web.
The Sèche des Amburnex
We're back, 25 March, and we've brought Prof. Pirri along to make fun of us.
Today we're after photos of the next farm down the ridge, and the first part of our journey looks familiar.
Dr Pirri is sinking deeper into the springtime mush than he ought to be in March, and of course I'm sinking much deeper than that.
Another stone wall to be got over
We're passing right by the farm of Sèche de Gimel. In a region where a lot of the pastures are really swampy, the Sèche pastures are the dry ones.
We're ambling along the ridge of the Bois du Milieu, the 'Woods in the Middle', running parallel between the Combe des Amburnex and the pastures of the Sèche des Amburnex.
Out of the forest, our Lumix-zoom locks onto today's target, the farm of the Sèche des Amburnex.
Down out of the forest we stampede like the Huns upon Viminacium.
The farm of Sèche des Amburnex. Not long ago we were passing by and were gobsmacked to find that most of the building was gone, and we are so pleased to find that it's been put back again, and much improved.
It almost looks new, and mostly is.
New roof, that's good, a nice new wooden rain-capture system, and renovated walls, it looks like.
And a whole new end of the building
The facilities; it's comforting to know they're there, even when they're not needed.
We're debating rather earnestly where to go next, and northeast wins.
The farm zoomed from the northeast
Prof Pirri has only one working shoulder at the moment, and it's painful for his acquaintances to have to watch him struggle up a hill when one of his snowshoes slips a little back downhill.
We're passing by the Couvert de la Sèche de Gimel.
Off into the trackless forest in hopes of finding a track
More forest mayhem
Most of the serious obstacles have now been got past.
And this long shelf in the slopey forest should take us back northeastwards a few kilometres, where we will pause to do some "forward planning" for getting back to the car.