Snowshoes, Igloos and sled dogs: welcome to the Jura

Want to escape to the end of the world, wide open spaces, immaculate snow? Sled dogs and Igloos await us in the Jura.

2021–11T21: 36: 09.0+02: 00

The postcard decor could place us in Lapland, in the north of Scandinavia or on the snowy steps of Mongolia. With a few differences, and even a few tens of degrees. In the upper Jura. Daniel is one of the emblematic characters. He raises and leads sled dogs that obey his voice alone? He did not choose huskies, but crosses with hunting dogs. For the speed on the one hand, but also because they are adapted to the mild temperatures in the capital. After an hour of walking, the dogs will be able to rest. As for Daniel, he spends the other half of his days in his workshop making sleds. He is the only one to have made it his profession. Here, no wooden sled, the materials have become technical. These gears can resist up to less 44 degrees. They can even be used for exploration missions.

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The sun sets early and it’s in a yurt straight from Mongolia. There are no showers or toilets here. All the furniture is original, only the wooden shovel and the roof have been changed. In Mongolia, the yurt is a summer habitat. You have to adapt to make it resistant to snow and cold. It is indeed very comfortable, but the night will be short-lived. Returning to the road, we cross the village of Moussières where a building is the only one to be lit. It is the highest cheese dairy in the Jura and one of the four workshops producing blue cheese from Gex, a very local speciality. Tonio d’Albertino, the master cheesemaker has been working since 4 am. Everything is handmade. They will then be salted and put in a maturing cellar for 22 days minimum. In broad daylight, the Jura mountains offer us an exceptional landscape, it is not -30°C as in Lapland, but -5°C. The conditions are ideal for a snowshoe hike and to discover the local fauna. There are no reindeer here, the tracks are those of hares or deer. After an hour and a half of walking and 85 meters of elevation, the surprise is huge, even for this tourist from Mongolia. An Igloo that the guide built himself. A moment out of time. A mixture of local tradition and folklore that make the Hautes-Combes plateaus unique.

T F1 | Report L. Adda, C. Moutot

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