28 October 2011

Opening of the World Cup alpine skiing season in Soelden

Traditionally the World Cup races in alpine skiing started in Sölden, Austria in late October, and traditionally we were there again. Apart from following the women's and men's giant slalom races we had time to ski, take photos and enjoy the gorgeous, sunny weather in the Alps.

Early in the morning, on the road leading up to the Rettenbach glacier:

At the top, looking back into the valley:

A newly built reservoir for snow making:

Friday was skiing just for fun, but on Saturday and Sunday it was all (ok, mostly) about the races.

More photos can be found here.
Photos from my Sölden trips in 2008 and 2009.

25 October 2011

Sunset on Kamniški vrh

A quick climb to Mt. Kamniški vrh a couple of weeks ago was my first since the beginning of the summer. Scandalous! I was late and missed the sunset at the top by a few minutes, but the light was still good.

First snow on Mt. Brana.

The moon in pink light above Velika planina.

I got back to the car when it was already completely dark. And I only met a couple of people on the way up. :)

12 October 2011

Two days of hiking around Mt. Krn

Our photo club organized (Jaka, to be exact) a two-day hike to Mt. Krn in the Julian Alps. Seven of us drove to the Lepena valley on a Friday afternoon and hiked to the hut at the Krn Lake. We just caught the last sun rays on Mr. Krn.
Krn Lake in the evening

The light was much better in the morning.
Krn Lake at sunrise

Mt. Krn was basking in the sun while we were still in the shade.
Mt. Krn in the early morning light

When we finally left the lake after more than an hour of shooting, the sun almost reached it.
Krn Lake in the morning

The trail ascends to a small plateau and then starts up a scree slope.
Hiking in the shade

After less than 2 hours Klemen and I were close to the top.
Almost at the top!

Views over the Julian Alps from the top of Mt. Krn (2244 meters above sea level). Mt. Triglav in the distance, and Krn Lake down below.
Views from Mt. Krn towards Mt. Triglav.

Layers of smog and Mt. Snežnik in the distance.
Layers of smog with Mt. Snežnik in the distance

At the top from the left: Jaka, Aleš, Bine, Klemen, Maja, Brane.
Members of our photo club

Aleš was the only one with a bright T-shirt which made for a nice foreground. :P
Aleš taking photos

The Soča valley to the north-west.
Soča valley

It was unusually warm for October 1 and on the way down we suffered great thirst...

...and we couldn't wait to take off our hiking shoes and soak our feet in the cold lake. And drink some beer. :)
Resting at the lake

One more look toward the lake and off we went back to the valley.
Krn Lake in the afternoon

Other club members took photos, too. Surprising since we are from a photo club, right? :) Have a look at the photos by Jaka and... wait, nobody else processed them yet. :P

05 October 2011

Skiing and hiking around Zermatt

Skiing in early September, yeah baby! Admittedly, that was a first for me. Usually I wait with the skiing season until late October. :) But this year I found myself on a short, three-day trip to Zermatt, Switzerland. After driving through the night for 8 hours we arrived at Täsch, a small town 6 km from Zermatt, at 5 a.m. As Zermatt is a car-free town, you need to leave your car in Täsch and take a train - yes, with all your luggage and skis and ski boots and everything.
We wanted to go skiing right away, but the cable car wasn't running due to strong winds, and the weather prevented me from taking lots of photos that day, too. Some people spend a week in Zermatt and never see the famous Mt. Matterhorn!
Mt. Matterhorn on the first day in Zermatt. Some people stay here for weeks and never see the peak!

The following morning looked more promising.
The second morning was far more promising!

Getting to the cable car station meant going down a steep path:
The town of Zermatt is idyllic and car-free.

It's funny being dressed in your skiing clothes, carrying your skis on your shoulder, when the grass around you is so green. :) Not to mention it was very warm. But - the cable car takes you to almost 4000 meters above sea level.
Taking the cable car to the mountains.

I was busy taking photos through the glass of the cable car:
Nearby mountains.

From the top Mt. Matterhorn looks completely different.
Ski slopes at 4000 meters above sea level.

The couple of ski runs that were open were full of alpine skiing teams from various countries training for the coming season.
Ski runs.

Me and Ivica Kostelić, the best alpine skier in the world. :)
Me and Ivica Kostelić, the best alpine skier in the world. :)

Did I mention that skiing at the altitude of 4000 meters leaves you breathless after a couple of turns? Oh boy, I felt like I had asthma!

By 1.30 p.m. the snow was so soft it was better to call it a day. On the way back to the valley I had to take more photos:

Zermatt in the valley.

Looking towards the Gorner glacier.

After a hearty lunch back in Zermatt I walked around town a bit. Electric cars, narrow roads, picturesque houses. :)
Typical houses in Zermatt.

Stone roof.

Matterhorn in late afternoon light.

The third day was a perfect cloudless day from the beginning. Well, a few puffy clouds would actually be nice.

This was my hiking day. I took an underground funicular and a cable car up a mountain on the other side of the valley from Mt. Matterhorn. The views of the surrounding mountains in the morning were spectacular.
Klein Matterhorn.

But my primary goal was Stellisee, a beautiful lake in an even more beautiful setting.


I hiked down the mountain past some more lakes and streams, with the omnipresent Matterhorn always in view.
Hiking around Zermatt.

Backlit trees.

Back in Zermatt, it was a 30-minute hike back uphill from the cable car station to the hotel.


As if the trip hadn't been gorgeous enough, I was met with great light on the drive back home.
Magical light on the way back home.

More photos can be found here.