Webcam Sunsets

Titlis webcam sunset

Here are a couple worthy photos from the Titlis webcam, at 3,020m (9,900 ft.) elevation, at the top of the Engelberg ski area. It’s been dumping snow the last several days in a highly localized storm which has been socked in from the north but never really made it over the main spine of the Alps. (I noticed that webcams from Zermatt, which is not that far away really, have been showing bluebird skies this whole time). Anyhow, the webcam photo above is from Friday evening, as the storm started to taper off. The clouds had lowered below the peaks at sunset, and oh, how I wish I was there at that moment to take a photo myself!

Titlis webcam sunset

Another worthy webcam photo. Yes, my camera and I would have enjoyed this as well. All day today there was a cloud-deck at around the 1800m elevation. Snowing below in Engelberg; bright and sunny above on the higher peaks. This is one of my favorite weather phenomena; there’s something so amazing about being on a mountainous island in the sky, with an ocean of clouds below.

This cloud “inversion” is actually a very common occurrence in the mountains around Engelberg. And already in the two weeks I’ve been here, I’ve experienced this on numerous days, when I’ve wished I could be up high for sunrise or sunset, but instead am relegated to viewing it later in the day, or via webcam. The challenge is that these mountains are BIG – up to around 6,500 vertical feet above the town of Engelberg. Staying up at the top of the ski area for sunset is not practical at all (which you’d know if you’ve been here). Getting up early and hiking all the way up one of these mountains for sunrise would be an all-night affair, much of which would be in the cloudy mist- also not practical. The only other obvious option is winter camping. Too bad I didn’t bring all my winter camping gear with me to Europe (which would have nearly doubled my luggage size).

I’m wracking my brains trying to figure out a way that I can photograph these inversions at sunrise or sunset. It’s especially tormenting knowing that they are so common here, but yet so difficult to attain! But, that’s the photographer in me speaking… the snowboarder in me, in the meantime, has been having a blast in all the fresh powder!

3 thoughts on “Webcam Sunsets

  1. Jack, I would get some basic winter camping gear, camp for the night get some awesome photos and enjoy the rest of the day snowboarding(:
    Tough life you have there!

  2. Well, I understand your problem Jack, faced them many times myself. Camping out there for the night is not really practical even with equipment because it is brutally cold and nights are too long now. One webcam shot shows -21°C, brrrr. I wouldn’t survive that cause my hands go freezing cold as soon as I stop being active 🙁 Maybe if you would kindly ask them to leave the upper gondola station open for you for the night hehe Don’t know, unfortunately sunsets are getting further away from last gondola ride each day. Maybe later in the winter when it gets bit warmer camping will not be so challenging, inversions are present year round in those deep valleys so that is not a problem, especially if warm high pressure comes from the south, which can raise temps to pleasantly mild up there while it will remain cold with low clouds in the valley. Wait for such combo, or just hike down the mountain after sunset. One such sacrifice for the winter wouldn’t be much 🙂

    1. Hi Aleksandar! I don’t mind winter camping if I have all the proper gear… but it’s so much stuff that it’s just not practical to haul it all over to Europe. Also, normally I don’t mind staying up on the ski areas for sunsets and snowboarding down in the twilight or via headlamp… but it’s a bit more of a daunting scenario at Engelberg, with its intricate 2000m descent from the top. Possibly doable though… hmmm….

      I’m also thinking that maybe there are some high alpine huts that I could stay at for a night which would position me better for a sunrise/sunset hike… not sure.

      Btw, thanks for those weather links you sent me… they are great! I’ve also found this one, which is pretty helpful: http://www.wepowder.com/weather

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