Dwight Peck's personal website

Lac de Tanay and thereabouts

hidden above the far end of Lake Geneva

You may not find this terribly 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.

We're addicted to snuggling off to the Petite Auberge at the Lac de Taney, hiking and dining fine, and here we are again, mid-February 2008.

Our always-helpful host Valdi coaxed his track-vehicle down to the trailhead at Le Flon (1050m) to cart Kristin's suitcase up the hill, and we've been coughing our way up the path, determined to arrive in time for the apéritif. (Normally it's an hour's hike up, this time Cougher One held up the team and it took us nearly two hours.) But now we're here! But still coughing.

With the Petite Auberge beckoning warmly, Kristin (Cougher Two) checks to make sure that Cougher One is still with us.

An innovation: a comfy yurt provided for wintry hikers and randonnée skiers by the Passeurs de Cols, a group of Accompagnateurs en Moyenne Montagne who've formed this guiding group and locate their yurt from time to time throughout the region to receive their guided groups (in summer 2007 it was at the Col de Porte near La Dôle). At this time, the Passeurs de Cols' yurt is working together with the P'tite Auberge on some excellent wintry hiking/culinary/ambiance experiences.

Accompagnateurs en Moyenne Montagne are credentialed guides, not certified for high mountain climbing, but professionals in local topography and lore, culture, biology and botany, and of course first aid. (I spent some time a few years ago being interviewed by a young man about the mountain-cultural aspects of Leysin for his thesis for his accompagnateurs license.) It's a great idea.

The main room of the P'tite Auberge. On previous visits my camera lens had pretty well fogged over by the time we got inside, so I'm pleased to offer this convivial view of the interior. (The solution turned out to be Kleenex on the lens.)

Kristin poring over the International Herald Tribune in her now-traditional seat.

Lowe pack with our snowshoes on it -- ready for some serious hiking this weekend.
Not ready, however, for alien biological organisms multiplying exponentially in our lungs and, in the end, the snowshoes never left the pack. Francine our hostess plied us amiably with lots of tea and honey, but we're talking about alien biological organisms here, in the lungs!

Another view of the main room (cough). (Hack.)

And Kristin's luggage waiting to go up to the room (with her computer for watching DVD movies on)

Idée Fixe is just scouting around, practicing up for his dinner-hour mendicant act

A dash up for a shower and then back down for - - - - DINNER.

The yurt has some young hiking couples in it, with giggles coming from it.

The Taney song (English)

Francine, madame the chef, will make you, for anything on the menu, gasp when you see it and grin when you taste it. Magret de canard is a general favorite, the croûte de fromage with everything on it is my own favorite, the entrecôte is extraordinary, but the fondue with local herbs surpasses.
(My idea of a good dessert is to have another beer and nod enthusiastically at my dinner companion, a connoisseur of Zabiglione.)

The marmotte mascot is settled chillily in for the night.

The next morning, Kristin's ready to set out for a bracing hike up into the mountains. Not (cough) bloody likely! The yurt occupants are already long gone on their way. Just behind Kristin is a hot-tub sort of thing, a "jacuzzi", fueled by a firewood stove -- the young couples who came along this Friday evening had a great time out there and kept shouting in for another bottle of white wine and cheese nibbles.

But now -- cough, cough, pardon! -- we're off for a serious hike up into the mountains above us, chiefly to seek out signs of the bouquetins and get some invigorating exercise.

Most of the village is closed down, of course, in winter, and we have the place more or less to ourselves.

Kristin is trudging up ahead of us -- cough, pardon! -- and already this is not turning out to be a very wonderful hike. At this point, the infirm among us would settle just to get as far up as the sunlight on the mountainside, to bask in it for just a moment. As a sign of hope!

Here we are -- we've made it to the sunlight, anyway. Cough, cough. Pardon! Kristin thinks that we ought to face microbial facts and give it up for today. And, as the sun passed behind the mountain across the way, we were plunged into shadow here as well. (Cough.) Some days are just like that.

Almost back down to the village, Kristin is scrutinizing the heights with her monocular telescope for any sign of the bouquetins or mountain goats. (None today.)

It's hard to just give it up without having seen even a single mountain fauna guy. (Cough.)

But (cough) we're going back to the auberge anyway, to weep in disappointment and frustration and read yesterday's The Guardian and drink more tea with honey.

A lovely old village, even when it's deserted.

Kristin striding briskly through Taney village

As we, cough, strive not to be left behind, with faux-Tibetan prayer flags flapping above.

Taney village waiting for next summer's tourists

Kristin commiserating with her chilly marmotte friend.

Inside the yurt. Cozier than all snowcaves and many hotel rooms we've passed a wintry evening in.

If that looks fun to you, look here for more info: http://www.lespasseursdecols.ch/.

So, next day, we're leaving Taney again, dragging Kristin's luggage down to the trailhead because the roadway had got too icy even for our host's tracked vehicle. We always have fun here (cough, sorry), and we'll be back. After the antibiotics kick in.

And back home again, checking out what's happening in the world today (cough) on the wireless connection.

To Taney

I know the chalets, the rocks, the alpine meadows,
All the little paths from La Braye to Grammont.
I am happy up there, close to the white clouds,
Singing among the flowers my little song.

It is so good up there, far from the noise of the village,
Under the sun that warms one and in the fragrant air,
That one wants to stay there until the evening of his age,
On the mountain where his heart beats for his beloved country.

I dream when seeing nestled under the Jumelles
My lake in the green reflections of the little chalets.
I am so content up there, and my mountain is so beautiful,
That I'd like to be able never to come down again.

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 11 March 2008, revised 13 April 2013.

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