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.
21 June (5:04 a.m.) will be the summer solstice. We're getting ready.
It's 2 June 2013, and we're out to enjoy the new summer's weather with a walk up Mont Tendre.
But we're going to have to be flexible in our expectations.
The old path from the pastures of Petit Cunay, well trod over the winter months
The sun is preparing to burst out in its summer effulgence.
We're passing around the top end of the Creux d'Enfer de Druchaux, which right now must be hellish with its half-hidden limestone caves and holes.
We're out of the forest and hastening up onto Mont Tendre at its southwestern end, near La Pivette.
It's been a rough winter.
Actually, we're looking for mountain flowers -- we've got 10 species so far. (When here with a scientist colleague on the same date in 2005, she counted about 30.)
A large gully on the normal path -- we can usually expect big cornices here.
As foreseen. We'll go around.
Kristin leads us downhill a ways.
Very big cornices
Back on the trail, we sense that the sun is trying to break through with an intense glare that may require a strong sunblocking product.
More big cornices
The summit is in sight, sort of
More big cornices, and a ladder of uphill ski tracks on the right
Still more cornices
Mont Tendre (1679m)
A look back before we make a loop back towards the car
Mont Tendre from the France-facing side of the ridge
Down on the international hiking path the Chemin des Crêtes -- the Chalet de Yens (1579m)
Very wet snow
The little cabane du Servan (1555m)
Incomplete spring melt-off (1530m)
Brief troubles finding the path back up through the forest
Up the well-trod Chemin des Crêtes through the jumbly forest called Pierre à Coutiau
A long path
It's been a rough winter.
The tree tore half the hillside out when it came down.
Uphill, but halfway to the top
It's a fairly long path.
Nearly to the top
The top of the little hill (1609m), expecting to run into the Swiss Alpine Club Cabane du Cunay (1588m) just over the rise, but lo! here are the new Swiss back-up radar installations for Geneva's Cointrin airport.
They were meant to be built on top of Mont Tendre, but such was the popular outcry that the authorities relented and stuck them up here instead.
With a refurbishment of the old facility that's always been here
A short walk remains down the Route des Montagnes to the car (1547m) at the top of the pastures of Petit Cunay.
The sun should be bursting forth any minute now.