Dwight Peck's personal website
Wandering all around in the Swiss Jura at the end of 2012
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.
La Fontaine Valier (by accident)
We're departing at the crack of noon from the big carpark at Le Sapin à Siméon, a nature walking area just below the Col du Marchairuz on the Lake Geneva side. 30 December 2012.
But first, we need to visit the Paul Monney wood sculpture commissioned by the Commune d'Aubonne.
M. Monney's wonderful sculptures can be seen all over the La Côte region around St-George
Me and it.
Suitably awed by art, Dr Pirri leads us off into the forest.
Reminders from a bygone era
Perhaps, once upon a time, a (small) family lived snugly and happily in there.
Or, more likely, a couple of old-time woodcutters came from time to time with a few bottles of eau de vie and stories to tell.
But we need to move on now.
Our guide has an easy job of it so far, following along on someone else's track from a few days earlier. (Mine.)
But down at the far end of the Pré de Rolle, Dr Pirri veers off into some obviously unnavigable landscape.
Deluded by that small red dot on the tree on the left, we're assuming that the snowshoeing trail leads up this way.
And another small red dot on that rock, which only serves to confirm his theory for him. But . . .
. . . now a few stray red dots are sufficient to get us clambering up here in our TSL model "Easy Approach" snowshoes?
And now he stands up there laughing at us.
Well, that's done.
Oh. We're going up again.
There's nothing to do but follow along.
"Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into!"
It's a fairly porous mountain.
And we will take our business elsewhere.
Mainly, uphill again.
I don't like to see Dr Pirri looking unsure of the way.
A nice flat place for our "Easy Approach" snowshoes, where they can rest for a moment.
That doesn't look familiar. The fact is, we're trying to rely upon my memory of this place . . . and my memory is demonstrably not a good memory.
But now we spy a stone wall that must signify something!
And down on the far side, a forest glade at the top of the ridge, a landmark
The stone wall itself is proving to be a challenge.
Dr Pirri leads off up a ravine, not too far from La Neuve.
We don't have too many options on which way to go . . .
. . . but we're becoming exasperated just following Prof Pirri interminably.
So we're watching out for a short cut. Not that one.
Severe Impatience grabs hold of us, so we take a short cut after all . . . and become horribly lost, back and forth and up and down between the old Chemin des Crêtes and the cliffs over the Pré de Rolle.
But, much later, at the point of kissing it all up to god and digging a snow hole, out of the mist appears the Fontaine Valier, the only natural spring on the limestone Jura ridgeline, and our faith in something is reaffirmed.
Because there is a known path down out of here, which we will plunge down straightaway.
Dr Pirri is leading, but I've got the headlamp.
Back to an empty carpark, and Dieter the VW awaiting us. Happy New Year.
and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, .
All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 22 February 2013.