Noirmont ('black mountain') is a cute ridge lying just north of the Col de la
Givrine in Switzerland, hovering over the border with France on its northwest
side. We come here frequently to restore our noirmontness.
assistant, Mr Pirri, is faithfully laying down a good track to ease our progress,
a warm 26 March 2006, as we pass the farm of Les Coppettes (1323m) at the southwest
end of Le Noirmont, which rises up towards the right. We're just an hour out from
La Givrine, delayed just a little bit by fits of laughing at George Bush jokes.
farm of Les Coppettes, about which more here.
Actually, it's not just George Bush jokes that are slowing us down a bit; today,
we've been sharing George Bush quotations. It's not that hard to mimic that trademark
semi-literate cornpone drawl, but no one on earth can imitate the President's
irritating tone, an amalgam of condescendingly didactic
and deeply bewildered.
farm to the east, from the side of Le Noirmont
chamois scout on the southeast side of Le Noirmont, just observing our progress
scout saunters westward to consult with his colleagues.
the meantime, a second scout has been watching from above, as . . .
. . we instruct our assistant to get out a camera and wait for the boys to make
of our friends makes a flanking movement to get round behind us.
some reason, scout one paused and decided that he didn't like his initial plan.
scout two followed along, sinking way down into the warm, wet snow.
sent our assistant, Mr Pirri, on ahead to see where our chamois friends have gone,
but in the meantime they've turned round and retreated back northward, still keeping
a close eye upon us.
due course, we top out on the slope at the old skilift on top of the first part
of Le Noirmont (1547m) and we saunter onward towards the second summit.
sent our assistant ahead a bit to locate the second summit of Le Noirmont (1567m)
and quickly verify that, and, if he's got it right, to wave us ahead.
is indeed the top of Le Noirmont, and we've requested our assistant Mr Pirri to
change our camera batteries so we can catch some of these gorgeous views.
the farm of Les Coppettes below.
Dôle to the south from the top of Le Noirmont.
narrator re-enacting the venerable Noirmont crucifixion joke.
Blanc in the mist
dispatched our assistant, Mr Pirri, to negotiate a convenient way down through
the slushy spring snow towards the north.
chamois scout observing us from the ridge running northeastward towards Le Croue.
turned down through the cliffs into the Combe aux Tassons and we believe we're
tramping along southwestwards to L'Arzière farm.
assistant rushes ahead to the trail signs to verify that we are where we think
narrator limbers up his new FujiFilm camera for some improved shots of L'Arzière
farm, 26 March 2006. Now at the end of the day, we're heading home.
without mishap. The narrator nearly disappears into the warm slush.
despairs and gives up.