Peck's nostalgia gallery
Switzerland, and its wonderful mountains (2)
mountains in the Préalps near Leysin
village of Leysin, tucked up into the side of the mountain, overlooking the fog
and staring across the Rhône valley at the Dents du Midi. Allegedly more
hours of sunlight per year than any other village in Switzerland.
huts near Lac d'Aļ in early evening in the spring melt, from the side of the Berneuse,
Miss Marlowe Peck once, at the age of about 3, tried to walk across the ice that
wasn't ice anymore and splooshed through into icy slurpy, a good couple of hours'
walk above the village. But, wrapped up in several sweatshirts and jackets, she
was soon grinning amicably and poohpoohing the whole affair. But Lac d'Aļ has
no real bottom, and a year or two later, in summer, Marlowe and her Dad were chagrined
to see a promising local lad try to wade out to retrieve his snagged fishing bobber
and sink forever.)
The same huts on a
summer evening. (Probably more than one injured climber -- well, at least one
-- has snuck into the open upper window on the leftmost hut and waited for dawn
in hopes that a bus or tram might come by. Passing hikers with cellphones weren't
common until more recent times, so frequently one had to be prepared to crawl
home when required.)
same huts at Lac d'Aļ, winter in the early 1980s.
everyone got out before the snows came.
Sphinx on Tour d'Aï, centre left, La Berneuse to the right, and Lac d'Aï
between them, ca.1980.
Chalet des Fers in about 1981, before
the skilifts were built; Famelon behind.
the same from above, also before the skilifts were built in the mid-'80s.
now with the skilifts, like enormous mechanical spiders all over the landscape.
de Bryon, and the very deep cave called the Gouffre
de Bryon under the cliffs to the left of the cleft and pathway.
(The gouffre descends over a thousand meters, it's said. Marlowe Peck shimmied
down about 100 meters at the age of 6 or 7, practicing up for her assault
on the Caves of Naye, until it became apparent that ordinary electric headlamps
would no longer suffice and big spelunker magnesium lights would be needed. The limestone Truex above Leysin has the highest concentration
of caves and holes in all of Switzerland. There is nothing more chilling than
gingerly rounding a rock buttress on a wintry evening and finding something like
"J24" painted on the rock -- it means that
the speleological society has catalogued this as a major cave entrance, and you're
probably standing on a tiny snow bridge over it, possibly not for long.)
Chaussy in 2005, running off to the right towards La Tournette and Châtillon.
The skilifts were closed down
in the late 1980s and the restaurant on top was left to vandals and the winter
winds. Lac Lioson
lies directly down behind Pic Chaussy.
somewhere near the summit of Pic Chaussy, looking down onto the lovely Lac Lioson,
Laurie-Carroll in the lower left
d'Or, from the Tour de Famelon, in late afternoon. Mr Peck
once blew away an ankle trying to get down the left side, and once watched the
superb skier Jean-Pierre Hefti ski down the gulleys on the right side on the avalanchiest
day of the year 1987.
de Moëllé, the hollowed out rock in the col at the foot of Mont d'Or,
a gun emplacement since the last war. The chalet on the right is a restaurant
montagnard in summer when the military isn't shooting -- this is the edge of the
military training ground of Hongrin, one of the biggest in Switzerland -- and
a command post for the military when they are.
Chamossaire (2113m), across the ravine of the Grande Eau from Leysin, in January
Chamossaire from just below the summit, about 1980
Lac d'Hongrin just to the north of Leysin.
des Chavonnes, on the far side of the Chamossaire, winter
Dents du Midi
Dents du Midi from Leysin, 2005
de Jaman (left) and the Rochers
de Naye, from the ACS college building during its 18-month sojourn
in Les Avants, 1980-81.
Tours, Mayen and Aï, atop the distant snowfield, with Les Diablerets above
them to the left, seen from the Dent de Vaulion in the Vallée de Joux.
Leysin Tours from the west, above the Lac de Tanay, November 2006.
of Leysin local mountain photos
and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, .
All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 29 December 1999, most recent
update 9 May 2008.