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Category : Montagne

When everything lines up...

When everything lines up…

The cloud ceiling settled over the Grenoble area at the end of the morning and is not willing to move. According to the webcams, it is located around 2000-2100m altitude. So above the Vercors. We won’t be able to enjoy the fog in the forest or the sea of clouds. As for the Oisans, it is rather the opposite. The morning clouds dissipate announcing a storm of blue sky.

I decide to go to Oisans. The goal is always to have a good time in the mountains, photography is secondary.

Clouds begin to form in the late afternoon. The golden hour is coming, the hour before sunset. But the light remains harsh with strong contrasts. The Sun passes through high altitude clouds before setting, there will be no beautiful colors. Too bad, it won’t be for this time. It is still so good to be here, in this beautiful place, discovering a new view on this summit that I know so well.

Oh wait! After the sunset there is the blue hour, maybe something will happen again. The clouds are well up, it’s a real tide now. There are still glimmers of light in the mountains and the moon is starting to come down into the frame. Finally, everything lines up…

Well, except that it’s late, the exposure times are getting a little too long and I don’t have the right tripod. And then I have to go back down the steep grassy slope with the headlamp and almost through the fog! Everything went well. It was Sunday evening.

Where There Is No Path

Where There Is No Path

After a long ascent which will end in a nasty scree, I walk quietly on this ridge. The grassy slopes have given way to a lunar terrain. The scenery all around is grandiose. There is no path here. To get there, you have to know the area. And it gives the feeling of being privileged, I imagine that few people pass by here.

I am in the sun. Clouds are coming in from the west. They seem to have decided to blend together over the Ecrins to form a very dark ceiling. The Meije keeps its white dress in the light.

The Wall and the Shadows

The Wall and the Shadows

The clouds pass and spread their shadows. They are set ablaze with the peaks in the light of a late afternoon.

Massif du Soreiller. Ecrins National Park. August 2020.

Blue Sky Storm in the Cerces

Blue Sky Storm in the Cerces

Last September, last week before the weather got fickle.

Beyond The Silence

Beyond The Silence

The blue hour in the Ecrins. Everything is very quiet. Only the murmur of the torrents coming down from the valleys below breaks the silence.

Dawning Darkness

Dawning Darkness

Last light on a random rock. Ecrins National Park.

The Moraine of the Glacier d'Arsine

The Moraine of the Glacier d’Arsine

In the warm glow of the rising sun. Ecrins National Park.

Ten Minutes To Sunset

Ten Minutes To Sunset

Montagne des Agneaux – Écrins National Parc

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Lake and Glacier d’Arsine – July 25, 2010 / July 26, 2020

After making the comparison last year with the Quirlies glacier 5 years apart, I thought I could do the same with the Arsine glacier this year for the 10 years of my first bivouac in the area.
So here is the Before / After of the Lake and the Arsine Glacier at 10 years, 1 day, 1 hour, 14 minutes and 45 seconds. Si, si!
Well, I tried to find the same pebbles in the foreground but, as I naively thought that pebbles were inert things, it’s not that simple. In 10 years they’ve had time to move! Having said that, if you look carefully towards the centre of the picture, there are some who have remained faithful to the position.
Unsurprisingly, some of the ice has gone. I remembered very well the large wall of ice that almost threw into the water at the bottom of the lake. When I arrived, I immediately saw that it had shrunk. If you compare the photos, you can see that it has almost disappeared. It was as if bulldozers had come and bulldozed the land in anticipation of some infamous construction.
Since most of the glacier is covered with rocks, we don’t notice too many other differences. There’s still a big hole in the ice where a stream of water comes out that didn’t exist 10 years ago. The upper part, where the white snow is visible, doesn’t seem to have changed much. The patches of snow perched in the mountain are more important this year. The melting was obviously more advanced in July 2010 than this year since we haven’t really had a lot of heat yet. But don’t worry, the heat wave is coming. It’s just a bit late this year.

Face The Colossus

Face The Colossus

We are between 1700 and 3500m above sea level and there is very little snow. It is mild. The landscape is very textured between the roughness of the rock and the snow clinging to it desperately.

Aiguille du Plat de la Selle. Ecrins National Park.