Mountain Walks – 2014

France, Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland, Scotland and England

About a dozen walks scattered across 7 weeks

Click on any image to see a larger version

From mid-May to late June, we made our way through the Dordogne, Auvergne and The French Alps, via the Dolomites to Slovenia, then the Zillertal in Austria, and Säntis, Engelberg, Bürgenstock, Glaubenbuelerpass and Stoos in Switzerland, to the Cairngorms in Scotland, and Lindisfarne, the Yorkshire Dales and Bempton Cliffs.

We've allowed ourselves a little licence, by including some shots that were not strictly from mountain-walks.

France – May 2014

The Dordogne – mid-May 2014

After a few days in Paris, we spent 10 days in the Dordogne with Howard and Maureen Bamsey, then 2 nights in the Auvergne and 1 night in Briancon at the Italian border.

From Marqueyssac,
to Roque-Gageac
Gardens' Topiary
A graceful curve at
The Autoire Valley Walk
The ruined
English Castle
above the Autoire ...
... before and after
the storm
Sarlat Geese
More Geese
Before the
Turenne walk,
a morning coffee
Turenne village,
from near
the castle
not a walk,
but so serene
The Valley
near Nadaillac
The Presbytery,

Auvergne – Late May 2014

We drove in from the North, and had 2 nights in Apchon, walking in the central area.

View from the
castle ruin,
S over Apchon ...
... and N to Sancy
Start of the walk,
looking back at
be-clouded PuyMary
Atop the ridge,
looking S
After walking along
that ridge, looking
back to Puy Mary
Snapping a succulent
(or being a foreground)
Coming down
off the ridge
Through the
Competing for space
with the local
Saler cattle
A beechwood, trying
to look mysterious
On the way back to
Apchon that evening
Just S of Apchon,
the next morning

The French Alps – Late May 2014

We drove from the East, via Grenoble to Briancon

West of Grenoble
Up the southern side
of the valley ...
... to the
Galibier Pass
To Briancon, near
the Italian border

Italy – en route

Dolomites – The Very End of May 2014

We had 1 night in Enego, in the very south of the Dolomites, then drove northwards over the Duran and Giau Passes.

The view from our
Pension, Puffele
... above the
lower Valsugana
The complex junction
on the valley floor ...
The Dolomites just
can't stop themselves.
Nth of Belluno
This time
with Larches
Further up one
of the passes
Between Passo Duran
and Passo Giau
Nuvolau, from
Passo Giau, where
we walked in July 2010
with the Gang

Slovenia – The Beginning of June 2014

We had 4 nights in Bled, with Roger mostly at the conference and Linda mostly up mountains.

Lake Bohinj, NNE
from the cable-car
NE, over Stara Fuzina
to the Karawanken
S, towards
Mt Vogel
N over the
Bohinj valley
Triglav from the S,
using a 200mm lens.
In similar conditions in 2011,
we walked from the hut
on the right, left up the snow,
up to the right beneath the rockface,
and left over Male (Little)
Triglav to Triglav itself
Our path, from
the right, along
the contour path,
and up to the left
Map here
A closer look at
the contour path
around Tosc
The Map of that Walk

Austria – Early June 2014

The Zillertal

We spent four nights at Restaurant Talblick 1050m above Aschau in the Zillertal. It's accessed by a zig-zag c. 10km route up from Stumm. We did three steep walks in successive days, each 750m-1000m of height. Roger's recovery after that was slow, so our normal pattern of avoiding big walks on successive days is a better idea. Firstly, here's the valley-view from the eponymous Talblick:

Through the window
From the balcony
Morning light,
looking up to
Zell am Ziller
And another morning

Walk 1 was up the slope from Talblick to Kapauneralm, but (due to the remaining snow and the fact that it covered the track-markings) we didn't quite get to the ridge-line overlooking the alpine lakes:

Starting from Talblick
Briefly up the gully
Zillertal from
above Talblick
Alpine meadow flowers
above the valley
Bistort and Zillertal
More flowers,
sheds, view
Through the last
of the woods
Above Kapauneralm
How Kapauneralm milk
is picked up these days
Reaching the snowline
The rockwalls beneath the lip
And closer up
We weren't the only
ones enjoying the views
A bridge on the track home

Walk 2 was up the side of a nearby valley to the south, the Tuxental, from Juns at 1400m, NW up the 2395m Grüblspitze (below the Ramsjoch):

We parked
just above Juns
And admired the locals
making hay
while the sun shone
Not quite steep enough
for mountain goats
Linda admired
the cut meadows
So did Roger, and,
remarkably, framed it
almost identically
Climbing the ridge above
Brandalm (steadily)
Linda arriving at
a vantage-point ...
... and then taking
almost the same shot
Overlooking the
Lunch at the top
We were tempted
by the side-valley ...
... but opted for
the ridge-line
Pasque Flowers ...
... with a view
Primula minima
Fairy Primrose ...
... with a view
Down the Tux valley
towards the Ziller
Back down to the
forest and a
deeply rutted path
Still plunging
through the forest
To the valley, where
everyone was hay-making

Walk 3 was to the north, east of Gattererberg, from near the Obweinalm, up to the Dristenjoch (saddle) and the adjacent Kleiner Galtenberg, c.1500-2300m:

Early on, targeting
the saddle, high right
Steeply up,
through deep heather
Getting some height
now, and looking back
S towards Zell
At the joch, suddenly
a view into the
next valley
The Dristenkopf
and its saddle
Looking north,
to the German border
On up to the East
And looking back
to the joch below
and West of us
Linda wants to go on
up the Grosser Galtenberg,
(down 50m, up 150m)
but Roger settles
for the Kleiner only
After lunch, on
the way back down
Part of the way down,
overlooking the walk.
The car is the black
dot beside the road to
the right of Roger's head
The Primrose needs to
be Sticky to stay on
vertiginous rock-faces
The colourful face
of the Dristenkopf
Linda's shot of
Kopf and Joch ...
... and Roger's shot
of her taking it

Switzerland – Early-Mid June 2014

We had 2 nights in Appenzell in order to walk on the Säntis massif. After that we had one night in Zürich, and a week based in Engelberg, south of Luzern.


We spent a night at Leugangen near Appenzell in order to walk on the Säntis massif the next day. It comprised the Ebenalp cable-car up 725m, a walk up a further c. 475m to Schäfler and down 1200m via Messmer and Seealpsee. (1, 7, 3, 9 on this map). The hard grind down, combined with the fact that it was the fourth big walk in five days, knocked Roger's body around for a while.

Leugangen's Cows,
view SW to Säntis
View E from the
Leugangen Bedroom
View SW, incl.
the Ebenalpbahn
A local brew,
the evening before
From the Bahn,
SW along the valley
And, in the cliff,
the Wildekirche
At the start,
the Schäfflerhuette
and Säntis
But first,
down under the cliffs,
above the Seealpsee
Above steep alps
Looking at a walk
(next year's walk?)
on the cliffs opposite
After that interlude,
looking back E
to the Ebenalp
Elderflower at
the Schäfflerhuette
So far so good
Now pick the easiest
path to Säntis
Memories of
Triglav ...
Not sheer,
but not for
the faint-of-heart
Time for calming
alpine flowers,
outside ...
... and in
Resting, looking
back to
Marching Trees
The path we'd come
beneath scree
and alps
Looking across
to our lunch-spot
amidst the rocks
The low ridge
above Messmer
The Lunch-Spot
Above Messmer,
looking back NE,
to Leugangen
The return route
down the valley
A rough path,
belting knees
down a 1200m drop
Calm cows
above Seealpsee
Finally, the
calendar shot

Engelberg, south of Luzern

We spent a week based there, with our son Russell and partner Karen. The first day was spent on the slopes up above the village.

From the
Hahnen Seilbahn,
looking E at Ristis
Looking S
over Engelberg,
towards Titlis
A Foot Jacuzzi
Along a
foot-tickling path
(Yes, seriously)
The pond as a whole
Path, Strollers,
Red Campions
And back down to
the Seilbahn terminus

The Bürgenstock Cliff-Path

A short half-day walk above Vierwaldstättersee / Lake of Lucerne.

The steep drop
The path
Pilatus and Luzern,
from the top of the lift
The top of the lift
with Rigi opposite

The Glauberbuelenpass

A short walk at a pass between Luzern and the Emmental.

Good grazing beneath
the Brienzerrothorn
With Orchids

Stoos (East of Schwyz) - The Ridge Walk, Klingenstock to Fronalpstock

We've had the good fortune to meet with Pierre and Denise Steim many times up at Stoos

Walking towards
the Klingenstockbahn
On the chairlift
Briefly, a clear
but also steep view
The cloud blocked
the mountains, but
not always the valley
That's why
they call it
a 'ridge' walk
Coming around
to the West,
above Lake Luzern
With plenty of
ups and downs
and Seelisberg,
a little more clearly
From Fronalpstock,
straight down
to Morschach
Returning to the Stoosbahn,
looking W over Brunnen,
to Rigi, Bürgenstock

Scotland – mid-June 2014

We spent three nights and two days based in Ballater (a remarkably nice town, towards the eastern end of the Cairngorms, nowhere near as touristy as Braemar), in order to do a couple of Highland walks.

In the foothills,
north of Perth
Into the Highlands,
north of Pitlochry
In the valley south
from Braemar
A royal Stag, en
route to Loch Muick

The warm-up was the splendid Lochnagar Walk, SW from Ballater. We did the northern route out, and the southern route back:

Start of the
Lochnagar walk
Through a
small pine-forest
Further up the valley
Looking back to the
forest (the nearest one)
And, high up on the
hillside, more (moor?) deer
Then up a short,
steep rockfield ...
... above Loch Nagar
At the summit, the
SW view ...
... all the way
to Ben Nevis
Near our lunch-spot,
looking E over the Loch
Looping around, with
Loch Muick in
the deep gully
More hospitable
lower in the valley
With a waterfall at
the lip above the Loch
Below the lip
Back at the Loch,
showing the heath patterns,
partly burnt for both
and grouse-shoots
(puns intended)
Around the loop now,
and the Queen's herd

The awkwardly long Ben MacDui Walk, West of Braemar, from the Linn of Dee (375m) up Glen Lui to Munro No. 2 (1309m).
The walk is 30km, so we hired bikes for the first and last 6km of distance and 70m of height:

We parked the bikes
halfway between
Derry Lodge and the Bridge
Misled by the lack
of path-markings
Back on the
right track
Finally at the start
of the actual climb
Looking back over
the boulder-field to
the valley we'd come up.
The dot is the only
other walker we met
on the upper section
And the photographer
at her work
The top was cloud-
covered and blowing
a frigid gale, so
we stopped at c. 1150m
The afternoon sun
back down in the
valley was very pleasant
What the well-kitted
walker is riding

England – Late June 2014


Lindesfarne Castle
Closer up, seen from
Gertrude Jekyll's garden
And seen from
the ruined priory
Nearby, on the mainland,
Bamburgh Castle

The Yorkshire Dales

The North
Yorkshire Dales
With orchids
The trees fade away very
quickly with altitude ...
... but like narrower,
more protected valleys
The lower levels
are richer
Muker in Swaledale,
with woollen jumpers

Bempton Cliffs, East of York

Bempton Cliffs host ...
... large numbers
of nesting ...
... gannets, guillemots
and razorbills ...
... and some fulmars
and puffins

This is a page within the Clarke-Spinaze Photo Gallery, home-page here

Contact: Linda or Roger

Created: 6 July 2014; Last Amended: 21 July 2014