Observations about the universe, life, Lausanne and me

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Faffing about in fog

So I had this trip planned on Sunday: A quick drive to Valais, then a 6-hour jaunt through the Vallon de Nant, over the Col (i.e. mountain pass) des Pauvres, then back to my car. The morning started out a bit foggy:

 I was confident that as I would get higher - my planned route to the Col des Pauvres would lead up to an elevation of 2100 metres, a thousand higher than my starting point at the Pont de Nant - I would climb above the fog.  But soon I noticed to my dismay that the fog was rising - the race was on. I pressed on like a loon, and managed to outpace the fog for a bit at the hut La Chaux:

 But alas, a wrong turn cost me fifteen precious minutes, and soon I was back in the clammy embrace of the fog. Still, I took the lead again, and arrived at the Col des Pauvres after two hours, one hour before schedule and twenty minutes before the fog. Here is one of the peaks adjacent, the Dent Rouge (red tooth)

 The descent was... interesting. Fortunately the trail was very well marked, because visibility fell to about twenty paces

 even so I managed to loose my way for a bit, but found it again soon afterwards. A good thing I had my iPhone and it's GPS with me - while the Swiss Carte Nationale are very accurate and detailed (1:25000), they don't help you very much if all you can see is the next tree! After a while I got below the worst of the fog near Euzanne, and then it was a pleasant stroll back to my car through mysterious, foggy woods.

 Except for the spiders. Enraged due to the fog messing up their beautiful webs, they were ferocious - and if it hadn't been for my various edged weapons...

Finally, here is the GPS-track of the hike:

Map created by EveryTrail


  1. The spiders were "ferocious"? I'm sure they leaped from their sodden webs to attack hiking strangers and had to be hacked back with kitchen knives and ornate and impractical nerd tools. Didn't you know that the proper blade for attacking dew-enraged spiders is shuriken?

    You know, I love the look of fog. It looks to me like you had a lovely hike, misty or not.

  2. No, no, the wild Swiss mountain spiders have extra-hard carapaces, and can only be fought of with a proper Chef's knife, or Nepalese daggers. Shuriken are useless, except maybe for those depleted uranium ones used by the secret, exo-skeleton wearing DARPA-ninjas ;)

    And it's true, the hike was lovely. Especially since I had a reason using my impractical nerd-tools other than "they are cool"!