One of the things I always share with people about the Alps is that while in this part of the world you are surrounded by non-stop postcard worthy photo opportunities. The Alps are strikingly beautiful. With that said, the biggest constraint on capturing these photos is the photography skills behind the camera — at least for me — obviously not for the photographers below.
To tease out and promote some excellent photography, this past hiking season Alpinehikers hosted a Photo Contest. We received a number of incredible submissions and it was tough to narrow down our finalists into three unique categories with one overall photo winner. After much deliberation, our office staff voted for four winners and below you will read more about the moments leading up to their beautiful winning snapshots in time.
Shannon and her husband Scott planned a self-guided 8 night Self-guided Hikers Haute Route Express tour this past summer. With 4 young kids at home and the logistics of flights, they planned to end their tour in St Niklaus, catching an evening train back to Zürich at the end of their tour. Their intention was to explore Zermatt on another trip. However, along their tour, Shannon and Scott decided they had come too far to in fact skip the Matterhorn. Taking advantage of their last day, they hiked from Gruben at sunrise catching a train from St Niklaus to Zermatt. In Zermatt they explored the town during the afternoon including a hike above the village. This photo was captured just before catching the Gornergrat train back to Zermatt and starting their journey home.
Catherine took this photo on their first day of hiking from Montroc towards Chamonix before reaching Lac Blanc along the Tour du Mont Blanc. She was lagging behind the group for photo opportunities and caught this moment while the group was resting on a ridge with the moody peaks in the distance. She yelled for the group to gather and the series of photos that resulted are stunning. The photo was taken with an Olympus OM-D camera.
Carolyn and her husband ventured into the Dolomites on a Self-guided Dolomites Traverse this past September. Spending the night at the historic Schlernhaus mountain inn they “cooled their heels in a tiny unheated room, marveling at the beauty of the unexpected snow blanketing the mountains”. The following day they began the hike down to Ortisei and came upon the huge Alpe di Siusi. Stopping to take a break and take in their descent they noticed this beautiful cow posing right in front of the ridge they had just descended. Carolyn explained “I never intended her to be my subject but quickly snapped a couple of pictures anyway. Honestly, haven’t we all seen and photographed way too many cows? But this one really touched me. She looked so content and obviously lives an idyllic life on this beautiful meadow. Which is exactly what my husband and I experienced on our fabulous Alpine Hikers trip to Italy!”
The above photo of Alpinehikers guide, Zach won Best Overall Photo for our 2017 photo contest. This photo was taken by Sharon after exploring the glaciated peaks topping Zermatt with her comrades. It was really cold as they walked through the portal area after walking down from the viewing platform of the Klein Matterhorn. While they were waiting for the elevator still bundled up from their adventure Sharon snapped this photo. Sharon swears that Zach is not posing in this photo but merely dreaming of his next adventure with his wife and fellow guide Abby. She explains, “I think he was staring at the Breithorn glacier and planning a trip for him and Abby to climb it!!”
Thank you to all of the photographers who submitted photos to our 2017 Alpinehikers Photo Contest! It was fun to see everyone’s beautiful photography and glimpses of all of your 2017 adventures along the trail. It was a difficult decision in selecting our winners but the Alpinehikers office crew is already looking forward to our next photo contest.