Scaling a mountain during a heatwave

As a landscape photographer and nature lover, I really enjoy being outdoors. My favorite place is in the mountains because of the clean air, the rugged landscape and the tranquility. That is why I will be writing a number of blogs about my adventures in the Swiss Alps.

This first story is about a hike along beautiful waterfalls and to an incredibly beautiful mountain lake. I hope you’ll enjoy my story as much as we enjoyed the hike.

The nice thing about hiking in the heat is that you don’t need a lot of clothing. In addition, sunglasses are perfect to cover the bags under my eyes 😀

Hiken in the heat

Summer is already over, but the Swiss Alps don’t seem to care. During the day it is sunny and hot. Nevertheless, we decide to do a long hike to an idyllically situated mountain lake at an altitude of over 2100 meters. Thus, a considerable climb awaits us.

After a long and quite tiering hike we see the beautiful lake in front of us.

The perfect location

When we arrive at the lake, it immediately becomes clear that this place offers an unprecedented number of photographic possibilities. I had deliberately chosen to leave the camera at the campsite, but now I know that I will return soon. In contrast to the lower valley, there is a fresh breeze. And because we are sweaty from the steep climb, it is getting quite chilly. Therefore, we quickly decide to go down again. But one thing is certain; I will go back soon!

I deliberately left my camera at camp, but at the lake the enormous photographic potential immediately becomes clear.

And up again…

Already the next day, I find my self at the start of the steep trail again. Joke dropped me off at the quarry, sparing me the first boring stretch of tarmac. However, with heavy legs and no warm up, I start ascending the steepest part of the trail. Despite this, I quickly gain altitude and enjoy the hike immensely. The landscape is breathtaking (the ascent too, by the way) and soon I am back at the waterfalls. I start my photo session here. There is no one else, and enjoy the stillness and the incredibly beautiful landscape.

I start my first session at the waterfalls near the trail. Panorama of 3 photos with Tamron SP 15-30 G2 | 15 mm | f / 18 | 1/6 sec | ISO 100 with NiSi medium gnd 8 & landscape cpl.

Breathtakingly beautiful

I continue the hike and one and a half hour later, I am at the lake. Unlike the day before, the water is as smooth as a mirror. Again there is nobody else around. The light is beautiful, in fact it almost looks like golden hour. Perfect conditions for a beautiful photography session. I enjoy myself enormously and see compositions and photo opportunities everywhere. However, time is limited and I also know I have to hike back in the dark. So I try to focus on what is really beautiful.

The reflection, the mountains and the different layers in the foreground make this location a dream for photographers. Tamron SP 15-30 G2 @ 20 mm | f / 11 | 1/8 sec | ISO 100 with NiSi soft gnd8 & landscape cpl.

Higher up

Driven by curiosity, I decide to walk up along the waters’ edge. Immediately after the lake, the trail begins to ascent sharply. Soon, I find myself high above the lake and I have a beautiful view all around. What an incredibly beautiful landscape! Unfortunately, the sun has already set and it is time to return home. But then my eye falls on bizarre red plants. I can’t resist taking an image. I really take my time; it is difficult to say goodbye to such a beautiful place.

The moment I decide to hike down, my eye falls on these beautiful and fiery red plates. Focus stack of 8 images with Tamron SP 15-30 G2 @ 30 mm | f / 11 | 1/2 sec | ISO 100 with NiSi soft gnd8 and landscape cpl.

In the dark

Then it is time to walk back down. I know the path by now, and therefore decide to do the first part at a high pace. This is the most treacherous section and I want to get past that while it is still relatively light. Then it quickly gets dark and I grab my head torch. This makes the world a lot smaller and helps me focus on placing my feet between the rocks. The pace is high and eventually, I return at the campsite in just over an hour. Finally, it is time for a beer and good food next to a lovely campfire!

Thanks to the bright light of my head torch, the world changes into the small beam of light in front of me. 

Thanks for reading

If you like my photography, please follow me on Instagram @harmenpiekema and Facebook. Check out my YouTube channel to see behind the scene vlogs, learn how to use certain gear and follow me on my adventures. If you want you can check out my webshop. Your support means a lot!

2 responses to “Scaling a mountain during a heatwave”

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