Matterhorn Stars

Matterhorn, Zermatt, Switzerland, stars

Matterhorn Stars : Prints Available

Stars over the Matterhorn, as a rising 10% moon illuminates the sky with pastel hues - as seen from Zermatt.  The camera's high sensitivity long exposure "sees" much more than what was visible to the naked eye; when I took this photo, I could barely even see the shape of the Matterhorn.
Matterhorn, stars, Zermatt, Switzerland

Matterhorn Stars #2 : Prints Available

Dim moonlight, stars, and the Matterhorn.  This was taken after "Matterhorn Stars #1", and by then the very first light of dawn had brightened the sky quite a bit, though still barely perceptible with the naked eye.

3 Days of Splitboarding

Skiing Schafberg, Engelberg, Switzerland

This week I met up with Jonas, a splitboarder from Finland, and we went on splitboard tours around Engelberg on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Here are a few photos from the last three days.

In the top photo, you can see Wetterhorn down the valley.

Splitboarding below Titlis, Engelberg, Switzerland

Titlis dominates the scene at Fürenalp.

Continue reading “3 Days of Splitboarding”

Matterhorn Moonlight

Matterhorn, winter, moonlight, Zermatt, Switzerland

Matterhorn Moonlight : Prints Available

Moonlight illuminates the Matterhorn as a winter storm clears. 
Matterhorn, moon, Zermatt, Switzerland, Cervino

Matterhorn Moonset : Prints Available

The full moon sets behind the Matterhorn (4478m / 14,692 ft.) - March.
Matterhorn, alpenglow, sunrise, Zermatt, Switzerland, Gornergrat

Matterhorn Alpenglow : Prints Available

Sunrise alpenglow paints the summit of the Matterhorn (4478m / 14,692 ft.), as seen from Gornergrat.

The Matterhorn is the icon of icons – easily the most photographed and recognizable mountain on Earth. While I normally try to resist photographing the most iconic, oft-photographed landscapes, the Matterhorn’s magnetic pull is too much for any photographer to resist, especially me!

With a full moon and hopes for a clearing storm, this last weekend Claudia and I splurged for a one-night vacation to Gornergrat, a hotel perched on a high ridgeline nearly 5,000 feet above the town of Zermatt, with an incredible view of the Matterhorn. Though it was snowing as we rode up on the Gornergratbahn rack train, the storm broke shortly after sunset and I was super stoked to catch some photos of the iconic peak in the moonlight!

See more photos below! Continue reading “Matterhorn Moonlight”

Friday on Titlis

Titlis Rotair, Engelberg, Switzerland

The recent misty, rainy weather down in Engelberg gave way to fresh powder and sunshine up high on Titlis this morning!

Snowboarding the Steinberg Glacier, Engelberg, Switzerland

The somewhat heavy powder was perfect for arching fast carves down the Steinberg Glacier.

Titlis, Engelberg, Switzerland

A peek off the rugged backside of Titlis.

Igloo bar, Titlis, Engelberg, Switzerland

The igloo bar, with a view of the heaps of off-piste on offer, including Titlis and the Steinberg Glacier at upper left.

Powder Above the Clouds

Skinning above Engelberg, Switzerland

Still scoring powder in Engelberg! Monday offered an alltime powder day, with 30cm of fresh and bluebird skies above the inversion clouds. Tuesday offered more fresh tracks for those of us willing to hike a bit above the ski area lifts. I’m loving it here lately!

Skinning above Engelberg, Switzerland

At the top of the line, with an impressive spire overhead.

skiing, Engelberg, Switzerland, powder

Skier: Zapatilla.

Continue reading “Powder Above the Clouds”

Griessental

Rugghubel, Rugghubelhütte, Switzerland, Engelberg, Alps

Rugghubelhütte : Prints Available

The Rugghubel alpine hut sits on a snowy ridge above Engelberg, with a hazy Swiss Alps backdrop - February.

Yesterday I hiked up to the Griessental valley, a photogenic alpine valley that I vowed to return to after seeing it the first time during the Brunistock traverse a few weeks ago. This valley is directly above the town of Engelberg; in fact you can see the Rugghubelhütte (above) from town!

Griessental, sunset, Switzerland, alpenglow

Griessental Sunset : Prints Available

Alpenglow light illuminates the snow-filled valley of Griessental, February. 

See a wider version of this one here (Tough to decide which one I prefer).

Ruchstock, Hasenstock, Switzerland, moonlight

Ruchstock Moonlight : Prints Available

Full moon light illuminates Ruchstock (2812m) and Hasenstock, February. In this 30-second exposure, at the left is the last light of dusk, and at the right is the glow of city lights under low cloud cover.

Ski Surenen

Skiing in Blacken, Switzerland

Today I met up with a skier from Montana for a ski/splitboard tour near Engelberg. I had scoped some north facing lines during Sunday’s hike up the Surenen valley, and I thought they would offer the best potential for any remaining powder after nearly three weeks of blue skies since the last storm.

Skiing in Switzerland
Skier: Sam Cox.

We skinned up the valley and of course we chose to go for the highest couloir there! The snow was promising on the way up, but as we got higher into the couloir it turned to hard icy snow. After pounding steps into the slope for a few hundred feet, without crampons or ice axes, we decided that it just wasn’t happening! A crusty descent took us back down out of the couloir, and then we scored some nice turns down the open slope of smooth old wind-rippled powder.

Nice turns!

Looking back up at our carves down the nice section. We had come out of the couloir at top right. All in all it was about an 1800′ descent, with probably the best (or should I say “most decent”) snow left around here.