Peck's personal Web site
breaks from poring over the newspapers as the Bushies implode
may not find this tangibly 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.
Christmas visit and the Dent de Vaulion on a chilly day
to think of a nice place to go for a walk before dinner, 30 December 2005.
de Vaulion (1483m) overhangs the village of Le Pont on the Lac de Joux (1004m)
in the Vallée du Joux on the west side of Mont Tendre. We've left the car
at Petra Félix (1144m) just over the Col du Mollendruz. We're reassured
to find this trail sign stuck in a tree, so our enthusiasm grows and soon becomes
of new snow hasn't melted down out of the trees yet, and it certainly won't today.
(When it does, don't be underneath.)
inquiring about the way forward, pretty much bursting with joie de vivre.
1340m up the long ridge from the south, the hiking trail breaks out of the forest,
and from here on, the wind gets to do anything it wants to you.
it probably did to Goethe, when he walked up this same path at a dead jog in 1779;
mind you, he was only 30 at the time, and it was in October.
are the Leysin Tours in the centre, twinned atop the distant snowfield, with Les
Diablerets above them to the left.
of the Chalet de la Dent de Vaulion, at about 1400m, at the top of a road from
Vaulion with a nice petting zoo in the summer, but everybody's wisely gone now.
The Dent de Vaulion summit is up there on the right, and if we want to get up
there before the wind blows it away we'll have to abandon the party and make a
run for it.
a newish telecommunications antenna that's been set up to make the Dent de Vaulion
look even more beautiful. The two spots on the slope are hikers with Jansport
backpacks who seemed to be fading badly but are almost there. Skilifts run up
from the right side and a few hardy local teenagers can be seen just below them.
petting zoo as we pass in a rush. Mont Tendre is on the right horizon, near the
trees not far from the top
icy trees, with the Lac de Joux behind.
Jansport predecessors at the summit map-table, trying to figure out where they
Lac de Joux, not quite completely frozen over enough for skating, though it was
a fortnight later.
is absolutely bonechilling and we'd better scoot back down to our party before
we have to put hat and gloves on and button up our anorak.
trees are lovely in any weather. Well . . .. Well, it's mainly in winter, though.
restaurants can also be lovely, too, in context.
is generally agreed that it's time to get out of here before the chilly wind begins
making its own rules.
dash" is too strong a term for it, but life will certainly be more comfortable
down in the forest.
by the trees, that's much better, and it's time to start thinking about dinner.
and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, .
All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 8 February 2006, revised 9 October 2008.