High Up and Close Up


The view from the Mettelhorn. The summit closest to us with a cross on the top is the Platthorn. Extreme left – Dent d’Herens. Centre with triangle of snow on top is Wellenkuppe, peering over its shoulder just to its left is the Ober Gabelhorn.

I posted an image of the highest point reached on our recent holiday in Zermatt about a month ago (click here to view). It shows the rocky pyramid of the Mettelhorn

The headline image today looks down from the top of the Mettelhorn onto the final snowfield crossed during the ascent, where four tiny figures can be seen on their way down. The view from the top  is worth the lung-busting final effort. It’s the sting in the tail of a long five-hour, very nearly six thousand foot ascent from Zermatt. The final altitude reached is 11,180ft. This rocky summit is a place to linger, soak up the view, and re-charge the energy stores before a knee-jarrring three-hour descent back down.


The second image takes a close up view of the small patch of melted snow visible in the foreground of the first image. The colours of melt water, or ice, that can be found on glaciers or high in the mountains is always a surprise – blue, turquoise, green – the colour varies, but it is always a delight for the eyes and worth a pause, and of course an image.

Remember to click on either image to see a much sharper and larger image.

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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9 Responses to High Up and Close Up

  1. Louise says:

    That is one long climb Andy and a you must have had an enormous feeling of achievement . , Very taxing on your fitness level , and not least on the lung capacity front considering the high altitude . It’s a spectacular photograph from your arduous day, how fortunate the weather didn’t close in ! The colours in the melt water just have to be seen – beautiful .


    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks very much Poppy. We had an entire week of blue skies in Zermatt this summer – very unusual – and this was one of those blue sky days. It’s good to know that in my 70th year I can still spend over 8 hours out walking and wake up the next day able to go out walking again. Long may it last.


  2. shoreacres says:

    This is one of the most basic questions ever, but I just noticed that ‘Matterhorn’ has some friends: ‘Mettelhorn,’ ‘Platthorn,’ and ‘Gabelhorn.’ What is the meaning of the suffix ‘horn’? It clearly is useful in the mountains!

    We’re nearly the same age. i’m turning 70 this month. I’m not sure I’m up to eight hours of hiking yet, but I’m working on it. It would be worth it to see sights like that second photo. That’s the color I was talking about in the glaciers in Alaska. So beautiful, and such wonderful photos.


    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Linda. The colours in the ice and snow remind me of the similar colours I’ve seen in the lakes in British Columbia. As to the suffix ‘horn’ – it’s a German suffix, routinely found in German speaking Switzerland and it means ‘Horn’ in English, it’s a suffix commonly applied to the more rocky mountains that tend to have ‘pointed’ summits. the ‘Matter’ part of the name Matterhorn references the fact that the mountain is in the Mattertal valley. In French speaking Switzerland and in the French Alps in the Mont Blanc area there are many rocky spires and they commonly are called an ‘Aiguille’ – French for needle – the most well known being the Aiguille du Midi in the Mont Blanc Massif. There’s a cable car station close to the summit from which the famous off-piste ski route called the Vallee Blanche starts. I wrote a post about that about three years ago. You might be interested in taking a look at that: https://lensscaper.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/skiing-the-vallee-blanche/


  3. Robyn G says:

    It must have been exhilarating and exhausting 😃 Stunning imagery and views! Awesome mountains.


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