• Alpine Picnic Table
  • The Aiguille Verte
  • These Two
  • Chamonix-Mont Blanc
  • Argentière Glacier Walk
  • The Mountaineer's Loft
  • Les Aiguilles
  • A Lesson From the Master
  • Chalet Views
  • Col de Voza to Mont Blanc
  • The View to St Gervais
  • Le Prarion Hotel
  • Alpine Transport
  • The Aiguille du Goûter

Chalet des Anglais 2014

Firstly, I’ve added an email subscription form. If you’d like an email to let you know that I’ve blurted out some more words and posted more photos then jump on board. There’ll never be more than one email per week.

A bad case of PhDitis has made it a bit of a struggle to keep the photos and stories coming but I’ve given myself a little pre-Matlab window to catch up on my stay at the Chalet des Anglais in the French Alps this past July. I gave a little preview while I was there but a gallery of full size photos is definitely overdue.

As I’ve worked through the photographs from this year’s trip, one thing became apparent; all of the good images, and in fact all of the good weather had come from 2 days out of the roughly 14 I spent there. It sadly turned out to be the wettest two weeks I’ve seen at the Chalet, particularly frustrating since I managed to snaffle a longer stay than usual this year. On the other hand, a little imperfection should make next year all the sweeter (already assuming good weather awaits), particularly with the rumoured return of Antipodean-Oxfordian legend, I.G. Johnston from the world of M&A to the slow-paced Chalet life.

It takes a little bit of digging to remember which were the fine-weather days and where they took us. There’s a two-day feverish blur during which I understand the weather was spectacular – I mentioned this in my last post but it’s worth advising again some caution when drinking from alpine streams that may or may not contain dead Chamoix. Go thirsty if you must. Two days earlier, the stream-drinking day, was also a gem which saw us walk up to the Argentière Glacier. I had thought the lowlight of that day would be my jokesy “DON’T FALL” that saw my mate’s smartphone fly over the edge of a steep embankment (I did retrieve it for him but the incident wasn’t without damage) – wrong again. Drinking from streams and horseplay on cliffs to be avoided next time.

An opportunistic afternoon jaunt up Le Prarion on acute food poising eve kicked off the photographic haul of the trip. The weather cleared from a drizzling morning to blue skies decorated with puffs of cloud – the kind of day which polarising filters are made for. It set up the perfect conditions for my favourite picnic table, and a classic view down the Chamonix Valley (both in the gallery above). This was followed by perfect sunset conditions overlooking Chamonix-Mont Blanc and the Aiguilles. I grabbed some shots of the Aiguille Verte with a stunning banner cloud before returning to the Chalet with the first signs of a fever. Next year I plan to take a second tripod and take a time-lapse of this scene, it is unbelievably dynamic in texture and colour and looking through a few 3-4 shot series where the tripod was fixed, I’m annoyed I haven’t thought to do this sooner.

Previous years have seen me shy away from taking photos inside the Chalet for the most part. I don’t really have the appropriate gear, as it’s always poorly lit. There’s a couple this time. Basically, I ended up in the best room in the house halfway through the trip. It’s a small room with a big southwest facing window and great views. I’ve thrown in a few photos for illustrative purposes.

Patchy weather meant that this year at the Chalet fell far short of being a photographic bonanza. It was about making the most of the good conditions and hopefully the gallery above reflects what I feel like was an increase in quality despite the decrease in quantity.

Photos from the mountaineering adventure that came next will be up soon too (there’s already a few in the main gallery – see main menu). Unlike previous mountaineering trips, content came thick and fast owing to the lack of guide to stifle my photo taking intentions. Keep an eye out.

Chalet des Anglais 2014Benjamin Hall