Dwight Peck's personal website

Winter 2014-2015

Despite the Resurgence of the Pugs

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.

A short walk to the Pré du Four

What with one thing and another, we haven't been out to romp in the snow at all this winter. But we've got a good day for it today.

A delightfully raw start at the French end of the Col de la Givrine, crossing the Little Red Train's tracks at 1211m, 22 March 2015.

There are way too many bare spots for mid-March, but with luck we'll get some more snow today.

Our guide for today is Dr Joe, who (however) is looking a little perplexed at this point.

Our worst fears are becoming confirmed -- the snow's stopped, the sun is breaking through, and we're way overdressed. It's some years since we've been here; everything looks completely familiar, but we still don't know where we are.

This is the farm of Pré du Four sitting on a sort of knob overlooking the pastures to the south and west. The tripod (this is a guess) is for hanging a pot of spiced hot wine on when youth groups are brought up for the weekend.

Pré du Four, at 1394m altitude. If the name is taken literally, 'Pasture of the Oven' or Kiln, there must have been some venerable historical associations with this place.

A snowshoeing path marker -- the village of St-Cergue vigorously promotes cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and walking on prepared tracks in the snow, and there seem every year to be more of these organized itineraries for tourist groups, usually requiring rental gear and stopping at a restaurant montagnard sometime during the walk.

The farm of Pré du Four from the north

It's beautiful in its own way on a grey day, but in sunlight it can be a stunner.

Pré du Four in January 2008

A well-traveled path by groups earlier in the season

It's not so often that skis are worth the trouble in the gentle Jura, but this would have been one of those times.

One of the myriad plastic-bottom livestock ponds that have been proliferating in the region over the past twenty years or so. The warning sign says, in effect, 'this ice is breakable'.

The farm of Les Coppettes to the north . . .

. . . and Le Noirmont on the horizon, overlooking France.

The farm of Le Sollier on the way back down towards the car

To add to the hilarity, our guide prefers to bushwhack the forests for a while.

We've found a track but don't which one it is or where it goes.

Dr Joe trusts to instinct and leads us into an entirely unsuitable part of the forest, farther and farther from the car.

We're losing confidence just a little bit.

But how wrong could we be? It's all within about a square kilometre in the Bois de la Givrine.

That didn't work, and we'll try something else.


Desperate measures

We're trying out a new theory, and this one proves more successful.

The summit of La Dôle peeking down on the Col de la Givrine. And no new snow today.

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 13 May 2015.

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