Moonlit Monte Viso

June 20, 2022


Photographer: Jean-François Gely

Summary Author: Jean-François Gely

The photo above shows the Cottian Alps and starlight as captured from Col de Bouchet on the French-Italian border. Viewed together, this perspective of the Milky Way with Monviso (also called Monte Viso) half buried by snow and a sea of clouds in the valleys below, serves as the perfect way to feel closer to what nature has to tell us. The early hour lighting also adds to the scene as it is illuminated by the Moon and contrasted by the Nin Sardi Refuge.

Leading up to this trip, I analyzed satellite images to find out if a sea of ​​clouds was present on the Italian side of the pass. Fortunately, my analysis was correct and this rewarding photo was captured after a 5 mile or 8 kilometer hike that included 2887 ft / 880 m in elevation gain. Even if the sea of clouds below had gradually dissipated, their presence still provided an inexplicable emotion.  

From this perspective, the expanse of clouds under my feet alongside the moonlit mountains gave me the impression of floating. Just me, under the stars, facing 14°F / -10°C temperatures looking over this remarkable landscape, almost made me forget the night descent with my headlamp. Altogether, an indescribable feeling that I sincerely wish you all to experience.

Photo details: Unfiltered Canon 6D + Samyang 24mm f/1.4 lens on simple tripod. Foreground: 19 tiles. Each tile is a single exposure of 30 seconds at ISO 1600 and f/2.8. Sky: 19 tiles. Each tile is a single exposure of 10 seconds at 6400 and f/2.8.

View Larger Map