Sea of Clouds Above the Pain de Sucre

August 31, 2022


Photographer: Jean-François Gely
Summary Author: Jean-François Gely:

The photo above shows the view from the top of Pain de Sucre (located in the French Alps at an altitude of 10,525 ft or 3,208 m). The sea of ​​clouds featured here wasn’t totally planned, but actually many conditions were met to achieve the photograph I had in mind.

The weather forecast on the day I climbed this summit called for overcast conditions for a good portion of the day, which was what I was hoping for because in addition to giving a pleasant feeling of well-being, the presence of such a sea of ​​clouds below the summit reduces the diffusion of light pollution, blocks atmospheric turbulence and thus offers exceptional sky transparency. It was even possible to see the faint green color in the sky due to the phenomenon called "airglow."

Access to the summit is difficult, particularly when carrying equipment, requiring a walk of a little over 1 mile or about 2 km (no marked path) and an elevation gain of 1.640 ft (500 m). But the effort was certainly worth it. Photo taken on May 30, 2022.


Pain de Sucre, Hautes-Alpes, France Coordinates: 44.69028, 6.99639

Related Links:

Jean Francois’ Website