Why do I climb mountains? People climb mountains for many reasons: Because they’re there (to paraphrase George Mallory), as part of a self imposed challenge (climbing all the Munros, or all the Alpine 4000M peaks for example), maybe simply for the challenge offered by that single mountain.
It may be for the Adrenalin Rush perhaps, for the experience, for the achievement, for the pleasure, for the exercise, to see the other side, for the rewards of being high on a good day (if you’re lucky). And finally for the views. Among all those possibilities – and I’m sure it’s not an exhaustive list – I would place ‘For the Views’ at the top of the list of reasons why I still choose to climb the occasional 4000M peak in the Alps in my seventh decade.
Reaching a summit and seeing the world spread out below you is an unforgettable experience. Seeing forty, fifty, or even on one occasion, a hundred miles across Switzerland is a Vista on the grandest of scales. The images I capture from those highest points are images that I treasure, not for the evidence of a summit reached, but because these images lock in the memories of that climb, that summit, that view.
Today’s image is a B&W conversion of an image already posted a few weeks ago of an ascent of the Allalinhorn. Click here to see the image, or here to view the Post. B&W simplifies, distils the image into a pure tonal range. It is the medium first used to capture the mountains, and for me, continuing to use it, speaks of the everlasting nature of the mountain landscape.
It’s common In the Valais Alps for fluffy Cumulus clouds to bubble up during the morning over northern Italy and intrude into the views from summits like the Allalinhorn. On this day, there was not a cloud to be seen, the view was all about the extraordinary recession as my eye drifted across ridge after ridge to the point where the land appeared to merge with the sky.