Driving off-piste

Jo and I took a drive up to Grindelwald last night to take some moonlit landscape photos. After an abortive attempt to head up to Bussalp–which saw us having to reverse back down a single track lane which got too narrow and way too steep to pass, after following the misguidance of Google Maps on my iPhone–I decided to take advantage of the fact that it’s off-season at the moment and head for Ischboden. The road is very narrow and winding and although one of the mental Swiss Post buses makes the trip up and down during the summer, the road is usually closed to traffic. (Check the Google Street View and use the arrow controls to “drive” down the road.) However, with no-one about, fresh snow, and the lateness of the hour, I drove up just past the alpine bird park and parked up in a passing place just before the road became completely covered in snow. After dousing the lights and allowing my eyes to become accustomed to the darkness, it was a wonderful–if cold–spot to spend forty five minutes. Long exposures aplenty, which I combined to make a giant panoramic image of the Grindelwald valley and neighbouring Eiger, as well as the photo in this article to use here on my website. (Lighting geeks: the exposure was 30 seconds at f5.6 on ISO 400 and the car lights were only on for 15 seconds, to avoid them burning out in the image. Thanks Jo :))

The most magical moment during the stop here, surrounded by moonlit mountains, was a far-off wooshing sound, which proved to be a waterfall-like small avalanche of snow falling from the cliffs of the Wetterhorn; dramatic but far enough off to be safe, as the slopes led snow away from where we were parked.