Dwight Peck's personal website

Dent de Jaman

Easily accessible from the Montreux Casino and the Platinum Club

Many residents of the Swiss Alps may be unfamiliar with the Dent de Jaman . . .


. . . but when students and staff of the American College of Switzerland were compelled to flee Leysin pell-mell in 1980 and take up residence in temporary college buildings in Les Avants-sur-Montreux (bottom center), it was hard to miss the Dent de Jaman (top center). [Photo: Cathy Carey Spozio]

Smallish, but with a classic look to it, Jaman sits proudly off by itself at 1875m altitude, just below the Rochers de Naye (right, 2042m). A late-19th century cog railway train leads up from Montreux on Lake Geneva (Lac Léman, 375m) through Glion and Caux and reaches the ridge just to the right of Jaman (you can see the track slanting up leftwards in this photo) to the Station de Jaman just behind the ridge, and then bores through a tunnel rightward into Naye eventually to the hotel at the summit.

The Dent de Jaman in an awkward moment, a winter storm in about 1980, with the railway line having come up from the center and circled round to the Station de Jaman (far right), and then proceeded through avalanche galleries to the entrance to the tunnel at La Perche (from where this photograph was taken).

On the other side, a summer one-lane road leads up from Caux and from Les Avants to the Col de Jaman (from near which this photo was taken), and a fine restaurant-montagnard, Le Manoire.

There may only be two people in the world stupid enough to think that snowshoeing up Dent de Jaman would be a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon, whilst more canny folks are enjoying a hot dog and a warm beer at a Boston Red Sox baseball game. This is Prof. C. Berman in 1980, pausing at the Col de Jaman after a deep-snow slog up the murderous gulleys from Les Avants.

Mr Berman's colleague D. C. Peck has never seen a baseball game and doesn't have any idea what he's missing.
Mr Berman, way back then in 1980, advances upward at a much brisker pace than he would do now. On second thought, that's probably not true. Mr Berman seems never to slow down. Which may be a blessing or a curse, depending on the point of view.

Well, they've made it, and the cross at the summit must have had something to do with it, larding on a fair amount of undeserved luck. In retrospect, having learnt a great deal more about avalanches in succeeding years, Mr Peck feels that this minor success must have been a goofy lucky fluke.

Duelling beatifications

The following spring, 1981, the narrator and friend Jane head back on up to the Dent de Jaman, with a rest stop at the Col de Jaman and an overnight in the Montagne d'Amont behind Jaman.

Friend Jane sets up camp in the Montagne d'Amont, just behind Jaman, on an inclement evening.

The wind is kicking in, early spring 1981, but we're getting ready for a fine day on the morrow, for our walk up the Dent de Jaman.

Friend Jane prepares to set out for the Dent de Jaman, April 1981.

Friend Jane heads up through the forest towards the Dent de Jaman in the morning . . .

trees thinning, up onto the ridgeline . . .

just below the final march to the summit . . .

The present narrator and friend Jane on Dent de Jaman summit, 1981, as the weather begins to change . . .

Making lunch, Dent de Jaman, early April 1981.

"You want fries with that?"

Here's a peek down from near the Dent de Jaman summit at the farm (top) and restaurant-montagnard (bottom left) at the Col de Jaman (1512m). The Lake Geneva side is off to the left, the trail down from the Col to the right leads to Allières and Montbovon in the Pays d'en Haut, in the next canton.

Fast forward twenty years

Two of those three buildings at the Col de Jaman, seen in September 2003.

There's the Station de Jaman (center, 1758m) on the cograil line, the Dent de Jaman up to the right, taken from across the high valley of Montagne d'Amont halfway up the next mountain, the Dent d'Hautodon. (That was another story!) Lake Geneva is down on the far side of this ridge.

Our favorite Dent on a threatening early summer evening in the mid-1980s. The cog railway line can be seen entering its little tunnel onto the ridgeline at the right. The Col de Jaman is behind the mountain, on the left.

Scenic grandeur: the Dent de Jaman from Les Avants.

A hearty vingtaine of years later, Mr Peck and Mr Joe Pirri, following trustingly along after Mr Dan Hinckley, find the trail signs near the Station de Jaman all rimey and iced up illegibly, November 2001.

The Montreux-Rochers de Naye cograil line can be seen snaking out of its tunnel on the ridge and up into the mountain tunnel to the Rochers de Naye summit. Great views down onto Lake Geneva on a clear day. Great thermals for the parapenters (hang-gliders).

Recriminations (above) about who've been knocking the beautiful ice off the pole (Joe did it,).

Mr Dan Hinckley joins the narrator at the rimey trail sign.

The Jaman Antics Troupe practicing its tap-dancing routines for a possible run on the dinner-theatre circuit in the Cleveland and Shaker Heights area.

Time to head down, lamentably, Sly Joe Pirri leads the party back into a world that seems to be getting harder and harder to go back to, don't you find?

The back of Dent de Jaman from the Col de Bonaudon to the east, near Rochers de Naye, with the cograil track and the Station de Jaman (1758m) leading along the ridge into the Rochers de Naye tunnel, September 2003.

Jaman from the Chaux de Naye at the top of the Grottes de Naye caves, with the Col de Bonaudon in the foreground.

Station de Jaman

Dent de Jaman from the Rochers de Naye

The Dent de Jaman (left) and down to the right, the Col de Jaman

The Dent de Jaman, beckoning to you, just above Montreux on the Lake of Geneva, Switzerland. Have a nice walk up in summer. Admire gob-smacking views of the lake and the Alps. Dine on traditional dishes at the Col de Jaman "Le Manoire" restaurant. Deprecate firmly any dumbbells who, in 1980, thought it would be a good idea to go up there on snowshoes.

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 26 April 2002, last updated 27 January 2008.

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