I made a short visit to EPFL in Lausanne, to give a talk in the Computer Science department. It was also a good chance to catch up with an old chubber friend, who is a professor of geography.
I had a chance for a quick tour of the campus, which is about fifty years old and includes some fascinating architecture – such as the Rolex Learning Center, a curvilinear structure that (to me) evokes a sense of the tiny gears in fine watchworks. That website has much better photos – but here, my photo shows the reflection of the sky and mountains in the windows.
But the most stunning feature of the campus is its spectacular view of the Alps, across Lake Geneva – on this day, mostly clear with a few clouds clinging to some summits. This view is from the rooftop café in the Computer Science building. What a view!
I spent six beautiful days at Moosilauke Ravine Lodge with a team of wonderful chubbers & friends who were there for the timber-framing workshop hosted by Dave Hooke ’84 and his TimberHomes crew. In the span of six days we learned how to lay out, cut, and raise timber posts, bents, braces, struts, and all manner of heavy wooden contraptions. Amazing that Dave et al. actually entrusted us with a variety of sharp tools and valuable timbers! We were guided by a team of excellent instructors, and managed to put up the main part of the frame (porches to be added later) and lay down the first course of roofing. It looks like a bunkhouse! It is located in a new clearing beyond Bicentennial and behind the ’74 Bunkhouse.
Thanks to the Class of ’66 for their generous donation, to the Lodge Crew for the amazing food, and to Dave, Josh, Skip, Shannon, Andrew, and Helen for their outstanding instruction.
As we drove toward Mount Moosilauke on New Year’s day, we caught a glimpse of its summit, brilliant white under the high cloud deck, and thought eagerly of our plans to hike to that summit the next day. Lelia and Andy and I hiked in past the Ravine Lodge, finding the going easy on a shallow but firm snow cover, with the last of the deep-pink sunset fading as we reached John Rand cabin. In a couple of hours the cabin was cozy and warm and we welcomed the arrival of friends Jen and Lars. After a wonderful pasta dinner and conversation, we settled in for a cozy first night of the new year; all in all, a great foundation for a big hike the next day.
For nearly thirty years I’ve wanted to climb Moosilauke via Tunnel Brook Ravine, a classic bushwhacking route through a deep ravine on the west side of the mountain. I have fond memories of a solo bushwhack up Gorge Brook, past Last Water and the Pleiades, following the brook until it petered out and I was crashing through krummholz. As I sat on the summit, surprisingly alone on a sunny summer weekend afternoon, I watched with curiosity as a single hiker strode up the west slope of the summit cone, crossing the fragile alpine vegetation as if he was unaware of any trail. It turned out to be my Dartmouth classmate Alex, who had just bushwhacked up Tunnel Brook Ravine.
A nice hike today with long-time friend Lelia. We zipped up Mount Ellen, on the Long Trail in Vermont, from the west via the Jerusalem Trail. It was a cloudy day, threatening rain, but we reached the treed summit in two hours and spent a pleasant hour sitting at the top of the Sugarbush chairlift enjoying the sun-speckled view to the east. Continue reading “Mount Ellen, VT”