Dwight Peck's personal website

Winter 2013-2014

Dispatches from way, way behind the lines in Switzerland

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.

Mont de Bière Devant in a slushy sort of snow

We're driving up from Féchy just above Lake Geneva, 10 November 2013, for a nice autumn hike with no winter clothes in our backpack and summer tires on the car.

The Route des Montagnes: somewhat unwelcoming for the car, but promising much more fun for us.

Quite unwelcoming for the car now, but promising otherwise. This VW has such a low draft that he's dragging on the little snow that's here already, ominous.

We'd better leave the thing here. Dieter VW's just not up to it anymore.

He will, however, wait for us.

Slushy snow blowing all round, but we've got a couple of rain shells with us. We're bound for the Mont de Bière Devant, up behind the ridge on the horizon.

More slush -- we've got a sore knee today and we're trying to favor it with no luck.

It's nice and quiet, with only the wind in the trees (and the occasional EasyJet passing overhead).

The grand virage in the forest road

A long plod it is, but we're gaining height. We haven't decided yet whether we'll go all the way up to the top.

Technically speaking, we're in the Bois de la Sauge at the moment, probably at about 1440m (we left Dieter at about 1340m).

Slushy it may be, but it's still a beautiful day.

Whoa, a checkpoint

We're still debating whether we'll continue to the summit flagpole or get our dodgy knee out of here in good time.

Whilst reflecting on our options, we noticed that we'd already put a second rain shell on and tied our baseball cap down.

Twenty minutes later, we're nearly at the farm at Mont de Bière Devant in the gustiest slushiest day of the year.

We're admiring the classic 1750s-era Jura farm building through the slushy gusts of wind, and not watching our footing.

An elaborate sort of slushy dance on a rock that ended badly -- and another twisted knee.

One cannot lie there in thin trousers waiting for the knee to heal itself, so we're hopping along to the farm building to get out of the wind for a while.

Ah, out of the wind. A short break.

We refuse to go anywhere until our twanged knee has fully recovered.

No use waiting forever. The summit flagpole is just up there.

The nominal summit of Mont de Bière Devant

And the scenic tableau to show you what you're not seeing today

We're getting blown right off this thing. Time to go.

Goodbye to the farm

A little trouble finding the good way down, the sunglasses keep icing up.

Here we are.

Once off the lumpy pastures, our knees semi-rejoice on the old road.

A lovely but wet trudge down again

The longer stretches do go on and on.

Back off the snow and into the slush -- finally, the grand virage in the road.

Now emphatically into the slush zone

The last stretch, with a buffety wind

He waited.

Gentlemen, windshield scrapers out!

Allons-y! Summer tires get an opportunity to prove their worth.

(We're booked to have the winter tires put on tomorrow in Rolle. Wouldn't that be ironic?)

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Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 20 November 2013.

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