Dwight Peck's personal website

Scenic late February hikes, 2013

Another cold snap and lots of snow in Switzerland gets us off the sofa and out into
the plein air. Heaven only knows what we'll miss on the telly.

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.

First, the Bois des Ursins

Work, work, work. We're slipping out in the afternoon for a walk in the nearby forest just above Féchy.

The Bois des Ursins ('forest of the bears') is a small managed forest just above the village of Montherod. Kristin's marching down to the river that runs through it. 22 February 2013.

We hope they're leaving something for the next generation.

It's not easy to just stride out and make some time.

The mighty river La Sandoleyre, which rises in the Saugy Woods above Essertine and dumps into the Aubonne near the Arboretum

A foresters' hut in the Ursins Woods, owned by our very own village.

La Foirausaz

We're off from Grand Fuey (1181m), the intersection of the roads from St-George and Bière towards the Col du Marchairuz, mushing out a new trail of our own -- 23 February 2013.

Kristin and Christine, preceded by our intrepid guide for the day

We've already lost our way, but how far wrong could we go, anyway?

Wintry scenes

We'll come to some kind of recognizable landmark soon, and then we'll know where we are.

Like this ravine. Alley-Oop!

Errmm, if we go down into the combe, we'll have to come up the other side of it.

-- Told you!

A few wrong turns on the Route des Montagnes (we're meant to be going the other way on it)

Out onto the pastures of La Foirausaz, in sunlight briefly, but with a spirited headwind from the north

Whilst we've been squabbling about having to put gloves on, the distaff hikers are nearly out of zoom-lens range.

Approaching the cistern on the Foirausaz pastures


The gentlemen rejoining the party (two photos by Christine)

Christine and Kristin as the snow sprinkles start

The cistern, on pre-1980 maps called L'Eparçillon, but unnamed on more recent ones.

The citerne from the other side

Christine catching up

Then Dr Pirri catching up as well

Soon we're starting up into the woods again, and out of this sobering north wind, or bise.

Crossing the wall and looking for the way down the far side of the forest

There's a little headland at 1377m up on the right, and we're circling round in front of it.

Dr Pirri blazes (if that's the right word) our trail down into the combe, but it's a very shallow combe, and in fact, as it turns out, it's not the right combe at all.

Now we've found the correct combe.

We're circling round on the southeast side of the ridge.

The idea is that we'd like to find a forestry road that passes by this way, but no luck so far.

One of our group remembers that forestry road very well, but this is not the first time that his memory has let us down signally.

Our forestry road!

Now we're figure-eighting back out onto the pasture of La Foirausaz, a name which, by the way . . .

alludes to their sodden nature and, according to Henry Suter, means literally meadows of diarrhea.

Despite all that, the sun's out again (briefly) so we're celebrating . . .

. . . though it's snowing at the same time.

Sun and snow, we're all reluctant to leave, but it's time to start down again.

In the Pré à l'Ane -- wandering for a bit, but now we seem to be on a track.

Catching up to the scouting party who's got the Coolpix.

Determined hikers

Oh, ye hikers of little faith

Back uphill for a while

An intersection of forestry roads -- whither now?

At this point, just "downhill"

Back to Dieter VW just as the excellent snow for which we'd yearned all day commences in earnest

It's -8.5°C (17°F) but invigorating.

On the way home, we need to stop in at the village shop in St-George and stock up on fancy cheeses and other specialties of the terroir.


Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 28 February 2013.

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