Search for  12-24  found 2 posts
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Sep 10, 2016, Saturday
Sep 10, 2016, Saturday
Jan 3, 2018, Wednesday
Jan 3, 2018, Wednesday

Stuck on the Vallée Blanche

September 10, 2016   Saturday
12-24   10.5   The Alps   Chamonix

I've been following the story of the stranded Alps cable-car riders having ridden this very cable a few years ago. My first thought: not a place to spend the night. The cars are tiny, they barely hold four, and it's cold hanging up there surrounded by frozen water. Even in summer - the pictures below were taken in August - there is ice and snow everywhere you look.

But what a beautiful ride this is, eerily silent, just fluffy snow below and mountain peaks all around. The cable is called the Valle Blanche aerial tramway and it runs between the Aiguille du Midi in France and Pointe Helbronner in Italy. The tiny glass cars ride a 5 km-long cable, one of the highest and longest in the world, as they pass over a glacier dotted with ant-trails of mountain climbers.

I'm listening to Moby's Porcelain.

At the top      
Vallée Blanche aerial tramway      
It's one of the longest cable spans on earth, and it's eerily quiet and beautiful. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
Inside the Vallée Blanche tramway      
On the trip back from Helbronner to Aiguille du Midi we shared a car with some fellow northern Califonians.
Looking down from the Aiguille du Midi

Happy birthday J.R.R. Tolkien

January 3, 2018   Wednesday
Dolomites   Books   12-24

J.R.R. Tolkien was born 126 years ago today. His blockbuster trilogy Lord of the Rings  introduced the teenage me, who was growing up in Texas suburbia, to the escapism of a well-told story.

I'm showing this photo because it's set in the Italian Alps, called the Dolomites, which is about the closest I've been to a place resembling middle earth. The hiker is Paul. We'd spent the previous night at Rifugio Tissi --- a spectacular place that --- and here we were heading for our last stop, Sebastiano.

Imagining Middle Earth