Tag Archives: Le Môle

The House On The Hill

The House On The Hill, French Alps

If you ever hike Le Môle in the French Alps you’ll come across this seemingly disused house about half way up. It’s got a great view across the valley, so I’m not sure why it’s unoccupied. I wonder if it has a use during a particular part of the year and I was just there at the wrong time.

It’s a great spot to have a breather, which if you’re anything like me you’ll definitely be needing at this point in the journey to the summit. With that beautiful cloud and the mountain ridge both converging on the house I couldn’t resist this shot!

Having said all that, the view from the half way point probably isn’t worth the effort unless you’re heading for the summit. So if you’re in two minds about whether to make the trip or not, my advice would be to either go the distance or give this one a miss.

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Facing The Challenge Of Le Môle

Facing Le Môle, French Alps

After climbing for an hour or so to Le Petit Môle this was the challenge that lay ahead of me – a small dirt trail and the beginning of a hike to the top of Le Môle itself. Over the next 90 minutes I traversed the long switchbacks left and right up to the summit. You can just see the start of them etched into the side of the mountain here.

I positioned myself at 90° to the sun for this shot, making the most of the morning shadows. Taking a camera while hiking gives me a great excuse to stop pretty regularly. In fact I’m probably guilty of stopping a little bit too often. But it gives me a chance to savour the fresh mountain air and make more of a connection with the landscape. It’s a beautiful thing!

The Sun Shines Through It

The Sun Shines Through It

Shots like this one always put a smile on my face. There’s something about that sunburst effect which is inherently joyful. I can’t say that I go out specifically seeking the sun, but every now and then it pops up in the right place at the right time.

Fortunately this was one such occasion, taken while I was hiking up Le Môle in the French Alps. As I stopped for a breather (one of many) I caught this scene in the corner of my eye. It’s always great to see nature align perfectly right in front of you.

If you want to get this sunburst effect you should use a really small aperture. Somewhere around F22 should do the trick. But don’t look at the sun! Unless you’re using an electronic viewfinder, I think it should be ok then. At least I hope so as I’ve been doing that for a while now.

The Summit Cross

Summit Cross, Le Môle, France

If you’ve spent much time travelling around mountains, chances are you’ll have seen one of these summit crosses. They are all over the place in the French Alps, but I’m struggling to find a succinct explanation as to why they’re put there.

I have two theories, the first is that because you’re at the top of a mountain you’re closer to God. The second is that it’s believed that the cross looks down over the surrounding land and keeps it safe. Or perhaps there is a completely different reason and I’m way off the mark!

In any case they certainly provide an element of grandeur to the scene, and great foreground interest to give some perspective. This shot was taken atop Le Môle in France and was the first summit cross I’ve ever reached on foot. I’m hoping the first of many!

Do you know why these summit crosses are put in place? Care to submit a theory? Or maybe you’ve got some great shots of a summit cross from elsewhere in the world. I’d love to hear from you!

Weekly Photo Challenge: On Top

Le Môle, France

Taken from the summit of Le Môle, this shot seemed like a perfect fit for this week’s photo challenge. After nearly three hours of uphill hiking I finally made it to the peak, and boy was it worth it! I really felt like I was on top of the world.

Le Môle is by no means tall. In fact at 1863m it could be considered small next to some of the higher peaks that can be seen from its summit. But because it’s isolated and not immediately surrounded by other mountains it’s an incredible vantage point from which to look out over the French Alps.

I spent at least an hour up here exploring and being patient whilst waiting for the sun to peek out from behind the clouds. This shot captures one of those fleeting moments when the mountainside was blessed with sunlight. The leading lines of the path and the ridge alongside it were just too good to ignore!

Hiking Towards The Light

Hiking, Le Môle, France

I’ve been walking in the mountains before, but never anything you could really consider a proper hike. For some reason when I set off to reach the top of Le Môle in France, I was confident that it wouldn’t be too tiring. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

At this point in the hike I was just about to reach half way – Le Petit Môle – and I was absolutely exhausted. Fortunately I had my camera with me and I was on my own, so I didn’t really mind stopping every 5 minutes to take some photos (and catch my breath).

I loved the light in this scene, and after waiting a few seconds for this chap to make his way up the mountain a little more I took this shot. Actually I would have preferred him a bit further to the left, but this was the best pose I managed to capture with both walking poles on display.