Line of Descent

Winter and shorter hours of daylight brings benefits, one is more time indoors to catch up on some long overdue processing, particularly B&W conversions.

The three images in this post go back quite a few years, two of them to 2013 and one even further to 2010. They all show the line of descent off the Weissmies, a popular 4000 metre peak above the Saas valley in the Valais Alps. All three images were taken with a telephoto lens from Hohsaas, easily reached by uplifts from Saas Grund.

In the Alps, black and white photography simplifies the mountain-scape and climbers are reduced to mere dots in the vastness of the mountains. Click on the images to see an enlargement to discover the mountaineers.

The route takes a dramatic line through an area of ice cliffs and crevasses before reaching a lower plateau.

Once on the lower plateau, the route skirts a heavily crevassed area to reach rocks (out of picture, leftwards) and the point at which rope and crampons can be removed and the remaining descent then continues on easy rocky paths.

 

 

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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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13 Responses to Line of Descent

  1. bluebrightly says:

    It’s always fun to see these amazing landscapes – I’m glad you’re forced inside to work on them. The first appeals to me the most, because it has such an abstract look, and the dynamic nature of the snow is so clear.

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    • LensScaper says:

      That top image is the safest and easiest part of the climb, except of course that at close to 13,000ft you get a bit short of breath. The middle image is the scariest because the mountain in that area has potential to be truly ‘dynamic’ and you don’t want to be in that part of the mountain when ice moves. Climbing a peak like this starts in the night and completes (meaning back down) by mid-morning if possible before the sun gets to work and the temperature rises too much

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  2. mellonicoley says:

    these suit black and white so well. it brings out so much of the detail, the different shapes and lines. beautiful work 🙂

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  3. Wow, this is a stunning landscape Andy. I visited the Austrian Alps many years ago but stayed at low level. It must be a truly exhilarating experience walking in these mountains. I’m pleased you caught up with the processing, it’s great to see these.

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    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Simon. I’ve climbed in the Alps over many years, but strangely I’ve never climbed this one – I really ought to put that right! On a good day there is something so very special being on a summit and looking down on the world.

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  4. shoreacres says:

    I’m especially fond of the last photo, with those interesting textures. It must be thrilling to be in the midst of such a landscape — and a little nerve-wracking from time to time. For understatement of the week, I’ll nominate, “Of course… at close to 13,000ft you get a bit short of breath.” I can only imagine.

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    • LensScaper says:

      Ha! You need a good pair of lungs! I’ve said it before and I will say it probably many more times that there is something very special about being high in the Alps and looking out into the far distance, looking down on the world at your feet, and on the highest of peaks on a clear day seeing the evidence that the world is round – you can see the earth’s curvature

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  5. paula graham says:

    Fabulous, what stunning work both in the taking and the converting.

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  6. seekraz says:

    Just stunning, Andy…nearly heartbreakingly beautiful…. Thank you for sharing them with us….

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