Late Summer Snow Patch

September 23, 2013

Summer snow

Photographer: Piero Armando
Summary Authors: Piero Armando; Jim Foster

While on a short hike in the Gran Paradiso National Park near Cogne and Lillaz, Italy, I noticed this sediment-laden patch of snow at the base of a seasonal waterfall. It was likely a residual of a late winter avalanche but also could have been all that remained from this past season's snowpack. Considering the warm weather we've experienced in August and the moderate altitude (5,575 ft or 1,700 m.) of this location, it was a surprise to see any snow at all here. The shading provided by the cliff and sediment covering acted to prolong this stubborn snow patch from its ultimate fate. Note that the flow from the waterfall has tunneled through the dense heap. Photo taken on August 9, 2013.

Photo details: Camera Model: Canon EOS 600D; Lens: EF-S17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM; Focal Length: 61mm; Aperture: f/13.0; Exposure Time: 0.050 s (1/20); ISO equiv: 100.