Swiss Choices

The choice today was: To hear the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra (who are here for a series of concerts) rehearse Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No 3 in Saas Fee Church for tonight’s concert (which we will miss because we will be eating!), or go on a 7hr high altitude walk to the most isolated and most difficult passes in the Saas valley.


Yesterday’s rehearsal. Wonderful acoustics in Saas Fee church

My wife chose the rehearsal and loved it. I chose the walk (no surprise there) but the clouds came down just as I reached the first of the two passes

Arrival at Pass No 1: Jazzi Pass (Passo di Cinguino). I minute later the clouds descended!

Arrival at Pass No 1: Jazzi Pass (Passo di Cinguino). I minute later the clouds descended!

and stayed down well after I started my descent from Pass No 2 (The Antrona Pass).


Arrival at Pass No 2 (The Antrona Pass) – the cloud lifted slightly!

And to compound my day I managed to twist my ankle and tear the anterior filament of the ankle ligament when I had successfully negotiated all the difficult ground and was just walking down the four-wheel track on the final 2miles to the valley floor. Aaarrgghh! Expletive deleted! Nothing too serious – I’m still walking (had to, anyway, to get back down). Should have stayed down to hear the Rachmaninov – one of my favourite concertos!

So what of my day? Two beautiful valleys explored, a tricky ridge negotiated where the next way-mark was hard to spot in the claustrophobic whiteout. Cloud (fog would be a better term) is extraordinarily disorientating. I went for the views of the world beyond and saw none. So that walk goes back on the bucket list of things to do (assuming the Good Lord spares me long enough)!


Low down on the descent of Furggtal

What I did see is what you see here. High alpine meadows carpeted with Alpine Clover.


Alpine Clover on the ascent of Ofental

And a reasonably close encounter with a Chamois.

Chamois in Furrgtal

Chamois in Furrgtal

And a beautiful glacial valley complete with stream and strewn with boulders. Shame about the absence of the view beyond.

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'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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22 Responses to Swiss Choices

  1. rigmover says:

    Great shot Andy, the only time I get close to a Chamois is when I wash my car.

  2. Hard luck with the weather Andy – hope the ankle injury doesn’t cause any problems!

    • LensScaper says:

      Hi Paul. Thanks for commenting. The ankle,bizarrely, has recovered rapidly. I was out walking the next day. Thankfully it was not the major ligament that got damaged.

  3. oneowner says:

    I think my wife would have chosen the concert and I the walk, too. At least you got some good photos to show for it in spite of the injury.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Ken. The rehearsal was inspiring according to my wife. I heard the orchestra rehearsing the following day for another concert and the acoustics were superb. I would have loved some images from the ridge looking into Italy. Still, there’s some unfinished business there, looks like I might have to return to the same area again. That certainly won’t be a hardship.

  4. Chillbrook says:

    For obvious reasons I’d have been at the Rachmaninov, one of my favourite too, but glad you took the walk to bring us these pictures Andy. Sorry about the ankle.. 😐

  5. ehpem says:

    I hope that ankle recovers soon. Great shots. I especially like the Alpine Clover shot with the back lighting.

  6. munchow says:

    Weather always makes the mountains unpredictable, doesn’t it? Of course it may go both ways, but even though you were fogged down this time, it still looks like you had a nice trip, albeit not quite as you had hoped for. I am sure Rachmaninov would have been great, too. Oh, all those choices we have to make in life…

  7. Len says:

    Sorry to hear about your injury Andy. You chose the option I would have taken. A hike in beautiful landscapes vs. sitting inside – easy decision. Great images. Love the wildflowers.

  8. Phillip says:

    Beautiful images Andy! I hate the luck of hurting you ankle while you you were out. I hope that it will be fine.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Phillip. All’s well. One of the perils of high walking on rough ground is an ankle injury. I’ve done it before but thankfully on both occasions I’ve been able to keep walking.

  9. Would have been wonderful to visit these mountains. Wonderful nature I can see from you pictures. I like foggy pictures too, but not in reality.

  10. Jim Nix says:

    gorgeous scenery my friend, well shot and hope the ankle is better now!!

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