I know it’s hackneyed to start my first post with an image of Dawn but…..there is a valid reason.
This image was taken in 1966 when I was 19 – I feel old simply writing that! I was just getting interested in photography, although it wasn’t until ’68 that I got my first SLR. Back in ’66 I was using a simple point-and-shoot camera (a Halina I think).
So what was I doing in ’66, aged 19, up at such an un-Godly hour to photograph the Dawn? Well – it’s an Alpine Dawn and I was up that early because I was about to leave the Hornli Hutte with a guide to climb the Hornli ridge of the Matterhorn – the iconic mountain that has made Zermatt’s fortune. And this was the view that greeted me to the East. An un-Godly hour to be up for sure, but what a privilege to see this: something so indescribably beautiful. And, by the way, it really was an unforgettable climb.
I’ve returned to the Alps to walk, ski or climb many times since then, and every time I return to Zermatt I look up at the Matterhorn and can’t quite comprehend that I have really stood on its summit. The inspiration behind my photography has always been, first and foremost, the extraordinary views that are the reward for climbing high, or just being in the high mountains in winter or summer. So, it seems appropriate to put this up as Post No 1. It was the start of a special relationship with my camera and the high mountains.
Despite being taken 45 years ago on film, this image has survived and scanned well with a Nikon Coolscan. I’ve got a huge back catalogue to work my way through – time-consuming, but the memories flood back with each image scanned.
Image Details: the silhouette is of some of the peaks that separate the Zermatt valley from its eastern neighbour – the Saas Fee valley. At extreme Lt – Taschhorn; next – flat-topped Alphubel; centre – Allalinhorn; at Rt – Rimpfischhorn and Strahlhorn. All are 4000M peaks.