Peck's personal Web site
Peck enters the Caves of Naye
Grottes de Naye were at one time filled with ice.
The entire hollowed-out-limestone mountain called the Rochers de Naye, looming
above Montreux on Lac Léman [Lake Geneva] in Switzerland, was a big glacier icebox.
Then in about 1895 a know-it-all professor from the University of Lausanne got
permission to knock out a thin wall at the base of the cliff, and LO!
within 20-odd years, most of the ice went bye-bye and we got a limestone honeycomb.
So people started to explore a bit and established a neat but muddy/icy route
through the thing, a path that begins at the bottom of the cliffs and winds upward
to an opening on a ledge about halfway up the face, from which one then hikes
to the top.
wonderful tourist attraction is not entirely safe, however, because sometimes non-speleological people run into difficulties
in the icy passages and, occasionally, die, so in 1990 the cantonal authorities
entered into a grand debate about whether to blast the entrances shut so that
no one could ever enter into the caves again, or on the other hand merely to delete
the caves from all the hiking signs and hiking maps so that only the cognoscenti
would ever know enough to go there. And, thanks Bog, that's what they did.
in 1992 Mlle. Marlowe Peck, age
7, decided that this was a Grotte that had to be experienced at first hand. So
she went there with her dad.
she is, suiting up and ready to climb into the cave entrance on the right (see
general view at the bottom of this page).
bit doubtful at first, but then
the fire of determination ignited and onward into the crawly little tunnel. .
these wee-little cross-country ski gloves are not up to the task. We'll be needing
better equipment if we are to continue."
proceeds out of the crawly tunnel and into the first chamber, where she could
stand up and pose for her Fond Papa's camera.
then, heading back into the innermost secret recesses of this formerly glaciated
after a very crowded narrow bit, the route starts upward.
Look, a century-old iron railing, I wonder where that leads to."
Mom! 'Click the sucker, I can't hold this grin for too
Explorer with the muddy butt.
reflectors nailed to the walls from time to time help to lead the way along.
climbs a bit, and gets her arm tucked the wrong way round the rope.
"Tell me honestly,
are you sure you know the way out of here? Or are we going to end up like
Mark Twain's Injun Joe, eating the candles and expiring in quiet confusion."
at the top, and up to the top of the cliff, taking a leisurely
lunch under a big red sign warning people not to try to wiggle through the caves
without big boots, monster headlamps, and a lot of insurance.
at the bottom of the caves, Fond Papa says, "Nice
scene some years earlier shows the lower entrance to the Grottes de Naye (red
dot) and exit (green dot), with a walk up the snowfield to the top of the ridge
appears that, since the time of these photos, the authorities have laid on some
chains and ladders to create an external route, presumably between the green and
red dots. If we go back there soon, we'll return with some updated photos.]
this scene from 1980, the bottom entrance is hidden behind the scree field at
bottom right, the green dot indicates the exit on a small ledge halfway up the
cliff, and the orange dot shows the top of the ridge.
there really an external route now? Let's go find out.
and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, .
All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 29 October 1999, revised 7 April