Tag Archives: Alps

A spectacular (and very rare) ice halo photographed (on an iPhone) by Michael Schneider this month in the Swiss Alps. According to Schneider, the phenomenon developed gradually as fog dissipated at the top of a ski resort.

The annotated overlay (using information from this site on atmospheric optics) was created by Mark McCaughrean.

Previously: Dublin Rainbow


The Valpelline Bivouac –  an alpine shelter on a rocky peak in Italy’s Morion ridge – prefabricated offsite and dropped into place by helicopter.

Made from composite wooden panels and steel, anchored to the rock by cables, it offers a base for climbers trekking over the ridge, with cooking facilities, storage and stunning views of Becca di Luseney, Monte Rosa, and the Matterhorn.


All aboard the Gelmerbahn in the Swiss Alps – a very steep (106° at its most precipitous), 1,060m long funicular railway –  captured returning to base in time-lapse by Raphael Sandoz.

Alternatively, here’s the full 8 minute descent in real time.


Nighttime shots of the bizarre ‘earth pyramids’ of the South Tyrolean Alps by photographer Killian Schönberger.

Each of the clay columns, eroded from earlier structures left by retreating glaciers after the last Ice Age, is protected by a large boulder resting on top. Eventually, the columns lose the structural cohesion required to support the boulder and collapse – a sad day indeed for natural weirdness.


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A bonkers POV video from Polygon UR Team downhill mountain biker Jamie Nicoll vying with (and trying to avoid colliding with) fellow competitors in the opening minutes of the 30km Megavalanche glacier descent in the French Alps.

The race starts at the 3,300m summit of the Pic Blanc and ends 2,500 meters below in the Allemont Valley.

Here’s another rider (Thibaut Ruffin’s) POV of the 2014 race in it’s full unexpurgated glory.