It was fortunate that we chose to go to Lac de Joux the previous weekend, not just once but twice! Why? Because … if we had waited just another week to go and enjoy the frozen lake, we would not have been able to do so as the lake was closed to the public a week later as a result of the rise in the temperature! Were we not lucky?
It was chillier on Sunday at Lac de Joux than on Saturday even though it was sunnier. But despite the cooler temperature on Sunday, there was a lot more people on the lake enjoying its frozen state. I suppose that just like us many of them must have thought that they had better do so before the frozen lake would start to melt!
As it was already past 3.00pm when we arrived at Le Pont, the hubby quickly got ready to put on his skiing gear and swiftly made his way to the frozen lake. According to his estimation, he should be back at Le Pont in 2.5 hours and since I would not be skiing, I would have to wait for him at one of the cafés at Le Pont. Fortunately, I chose to spend that time checking out Lac Brenet because the hubby did not get back until nearly 4 hours later! pfffff ….
I had to wait for him for more than 1.5 hours in the cold with my wet feet (because of the tramping in the thick snow along Lac Brenet) slowly starting to freeze and beginning to feel quite painful. I decided not to wait inside any of the cafés as there was no way of telling him where I would be since his phone had gone dead on us! So to make sure that I would not miss seeing him coming back and for him to be able to find me … I chose to wait out for him in the cold. Haizzz … (To give the hubby’s point of view, he had thought that, worst case, I would walk back to the waiting room at the train station and wait for him there … which I did, but as the waiting room was in total darkness, I wrongly assumed that it could not be used).
But at least he got to do his cross-country skiing on Lac de Joux … which made him very happy. And so today … we will be going to somewhere and be doing something that will make me very happy which the hubby had agreed to after that in return! hehehe … 🙂
Where are we going? Errr … I will tell you after we come back lah! In the meantime … enjoy these photos of Lac de Joux that we took on the second day that we were there ….
The hubby getting ready to do his cross-country skiing as soon as we arrived at Le Pont.
And then stepping onto frozen Lac de Joux with his pair of cross-country skis.
While the hubby was about to start his skiing, this older couple had just returned from their ski outing.
And then off he went … eager to ski across the whole length of the frozen lake and back … after successfully walking across the length of it just a day earlier!
The crowds on Lac de Joux on that chilly Sunday.
Interestingly, in case anyone needed help that day on the lake, assistance would be provided by the local firemen. This picture shows one driving back over the frozen lake on a 4-wheeler. Fortunately, it was a false alert!
The sun beginning to set at Lac de Joux as I waited for the hubby to come back from his ski tour.
And with the sun setting down, the number of people on the lake started to dwindle as many left and went home.
From waiting at the side (near the railway station) … I decided to walk towards the centre of Le Pont so that I could have a better view of the lake …
… and be able to spot the hubby from far. However, still no sign of hubby in sight! Haizzz …
The view to the left of Lac de Joux from where I was standing more or less at the centre of Le Pont.
The skyline had started to change to a beautiful reddish hue as the sun set further and further.
It was really fascinating to see how the strong colours of the setting sun made it seem as if the hill was on fire.
So beautiful … the glow behind the hills, do you not agree?
Getting darker now … and still no sign of hubby! I was getting really annoyed by this time as my freezing feet were becoming more painful.
The centre of Le Pont being lit up to welcome the night.
And yet there I was … still waiting for the hubby to come back!
When he finally made his appearance, I was no longer in any mood to talk! We had thought of going to one of the cafés to have a hot drink and to keep warm while waiting for the next available train … but all the cafés and eateries in the area were already closed or closing by this time! Arggghhh …
So, we ended up waiting for the train in a dark waiting room because there was no light in the waiting room! I had thought of using the toilet but there was no light in the toilet, either! Argghh … argghh …
Hmmm … you can imagine how frustrated and annoyed I was becoming!
And the reason why the hubby took a long time to complete his ski run? Well, there were a few, it seems!
The main reason was that he had spent quite some time taking photos of these!
It seemed that there were a lot of people doing this on Lac de Joux that Sunday towards the other end of the lake. And so the hubby got caught up trying to snap photos of them doing so!
Less you think they were flying big kites on the frozen lake … errr, not quite right. They were not flying kites … but were actually using the kites to help them ski on the frozen lake! In Canadian French, which is the country from where the sport seems to have originated, it is called ‘ski kite’ (ski cerf-volant) or air-traction sliding (glisse aérotractée).
Unlike downhill skiers who use mainly the force of gravity and cross-country skiers who use their legs and arms to help propel themselves forward, those skiing this way can move really fast when the wind is blowing steadily. Amazing how people keep coming up with new ways of having fun on the snow! 🙂
But it is not easy to handle or control the big kites, especially if the wind is blowing very strongly!
If you look closely at the guy on the left of this picture … you might notice that he was almost lying on the snow, trying to control his kite!
And among those skiing with the help of big kites in the sky … there was this guy skiing with the help of the kite that he held in his hands … or is it a sail as it looks more like the one used by a windsurfer?! He certainly looked as if he was sailing on the frozen lake rather than skiing on it!
The other reason for the hubby’s delay was because of the wet surface of the frozen lake, which would make the snow break easily and thus slow down the gliding of the skis. As the snow had melted under the sun and with many people having trodden on the ice, when the temperature dropped later in the day, the surface of the lake turned into uneven and bumpy patches of ice, thus making it even tougher to propel the skis forward on his return journey … so the hubby had to expend more energy to get his skis going!
Last but not least … remember the fault lines that were mentioned in the previous entry on Lac de Joux? Well … they also helped to hamper hubby’s skiing as he could not ski over them at full speed and had to slide over them carefully instead. The hubby even heard a thumping sound (made by the ice hitting the water) when he crossed the main fault line (the one which had been marked with poles with red marks at the end – see safety notice at the end of our previous entry)! Fortunately, the ice did not give way … but the hubby had already got both feet wet when he slid into a patch of water deeper than his shoes about an hour earlier.
But since he managed to get to the other end of the lake before it was dark… at least the hubby was therefore able to take some snapshots of that area as it looked like in the bright light of the day!
The hubby having finally reached La Golisse.
The view of frozen Lac de Joux from La Golisse.
And the view towards the other bank from the end of the lake.
Finally, I was able to see how the other end of the lake looks like (even if it is only from photos) … as it was too dark for me to see it when we reached the area the evening before.
And then … back on the frozen lake to make his return journey back to Le Pont … where the frustrated wife of his was waiting! 😉
The view of Lac de Joux in the direction of La Golisse in the setting sun.
And the view in the direction of Le Pont with the deep marks left by the skiers crossing the width of the lake at full speed with their kites.
So this ends our entries on our two trips to le lac Joux glacé (frozen lake). We hope we get to enjoy the same experiences next year.
Other related entries on (the frozen) Vallée de Joux: