A gap in the clouds

Today’s image dates from two summers ago – A tiny vignette of the Mont Blanc massif as the clouds briefly parted as we descended into the Chamonix valley from the Swiss border.

Aiguille du Plan, Mont Blanc Massif – click to enlarge

Chamonix sits in a deep, steep sided valley that runs NE to SW and forms the northern boundary of the Mont Blanc Massif. Approached from Switzerland (from the NE) the road climbs steeply out of Martigny to the high point of the Col de la Forclaz before starting its long twisting descent across the Swiss/French border and onward towards Chamonix. From this direction the massif abruptly comes into view – a panorama formed predominantly of jagged rocky peaks. Approached from the opposite direction from the SW (from Geneva), the massif is slowly revealed as a range of predominantly snowy mountains, as the Autoroute Blanche weaves through a vast flat plain before a series of rising steps on the final approach to the Chamonix valley. Both approaches are spectacular, each one presenting the viewer with a different initial impression of this huge massif.

Returning to today’s image. The weather was clearing, clouds swirling. I was driving, one eye on the road, the other peering out at the mountainscape. Suddenly the clouds parted, and a clutch of jagged peaks materialized, impossibly high in the sky. I knew that this view would not last long, thankfully a parking place was conveniently close. I had just time to grab a couple of shots before the clouds rolled back in and the peaks disappeared.

This is one of the clusters of Aiguilles (French for needles) seen prominently from the Chamonix valley. The small top right peak – above an inverted snow triangle – is the Aiguille du Plan. The flattish bulky summit just right of centre on the horizon is the Dent du Crocodile. The remarkable slender spire of rock between them is, I think, the Aiguille des Pelerins (mountaineers who don’t agree, please let me know).

This is just a small section of the chain of subsidiary peaks that are visible from the Chamonix valley. For a set of images showing the complete view, do take a look at an earlier post showing the chain under a variety of lighting conditions – The Chamonix Aiguilles. And…glance up at the header image on this home page and you might notice that today’s image is of the Rt cluster of peaks – although seen from a different angle.

About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'.
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20 Responses to A gap in the clouds

  1. rigmover says:

    Great, love to jagged sharp peaks above the soft tree line, great contrast.


  2. Great timing Andy, probably great driving as well in finding a place to get the camera out 🙂


  3. andybeel says:

    Hi Andy a well framed picture. You were lucky to be able to find a parking spot in the nick of time. Thanks Andy


  4. Great image, Andy. I love those mountain pictures of yours.


  5. ken bello says:

    Your composition is just beautiful on this, Andy.


  6. Victoria says:

    Wow, very nice photo.


  7. hdrexposed says:

    Talk about incredible natural framing with those clouds! Amazing work Andy!


  8. That’s an incredible image Andy. Talk about beautiful framing.


  9. Fantastic capture Andy. It’s so great when things magically line up to get a shot like this.


  10. Wow what a beautiful shot Andy. Way to take advantage of the moment!


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