10 janvier 2007

Les Diablerets

All through this winter (if you can call this a winter!), I am doing short 2 hour outings for english groups in Les Diablerets, which is a small winter/summer resort in the Chablais vaudois, about 1 hour away from Lausanne by train. I have already done three of these outings and will be doing more. Here are a few pictures of the area and of the -large!- groups that I take along, together with Yvonne, a ski instructor who lives in the village. Fortunately for me, I have no administrative work to do to organise these outings, since I am replacing Virginie from Rando-Découverte (www.rando-decouverte.ch), who has just had a baby - called Nelson: she takes care of all the logistics and I just pop up for the day!

After the second outing with a crowd of elderly english clients, I set off to climb the Mont d'Or (2175 m) above Le Sépey. Starting up from the East side, there is a breathtaking view over the Valley du Rhône, with the Dents du Midi on the other side of it. If you could fly over them straight from this point, you would be headed for Chamonix, the Mont Blanc and then the southern Alps, Nice, AFRICA!

On the ridge. The summit is way up there about another 45 minutes climb, but I turned back at this point: had to be home by 6PM; and anyway, I was nackered...climbed too fast!

Look arooooooound and you get a great view over the Pic Chaussy and the Oldenhorn (the pointed fin in the background to the right). This is looking East.

OK; then on another occasion, this time the snow had been falling for three days in a row, light and fluffy, COLD, sunshine, what more can you want? Here is one of the groups, about 42 people, a real challenge to keep them -sort of- together!

Later in the afternoon, I set off for a short snowshoe trip on my own.
Chalet and snow.

Snowy landcsape. One of those peaks is the Para (2540 m), and behind that is the Pays-d'en Haut, with Château d'Oex and Gstaad.

09 janvier 2007

A cold but snowless end of year (2006)

Here are a few photos of our week spent in the Vallée de Joux, a preserved and magnificent valley within the Jura mountains (I shoudn't really be advertising this place!). As you will see on the pictures -no snow this year, but: superb weather!

From the Blondine above L'Abbaye, view towards beloved Mont Tendre

Dusk in the Vallée de Joux, such a calm evening

Sunset in a crisp sky, the frost on north-facing walls has been preserved through the day

Remains of the day along the frozen shoreline, Lac de Joux

Another day out: picnic at Pré d'Etoy

Sorbier des Oiseleurs bays, a treat for the birds that have stayed around during winter

Chamois skid marks on a frozen road, it seems like these marks were done when the beast jumped up onto an embankment.

A typical Jura farmhouse south-west wall

In the woods towards Monts D'Orzeires (Bear Hill), an old wall covered with moss.

Skating is very popular in the valley, many small lakes freeze up during winter, and sometimes the whole of the Lac de Joux is frozen; here is a view of the small Lac Ter, between Le Lieu and Le Sechey.