The Transylvanian Alps are a place of peace, solitude and tranquility at this time of the year. The winter skiers have gone, but the summer hikers have yet to arrive. On the morning I took this photograph, I had this whole mountain to myself. I spent over an hour on this ridge, taking in the silence and the beautiful 360 degrees view. The weather was glorious – I felt like I was on top of the world.
I had taken the first cable car up from Sinaia to Cota 2000. I was the only paying passenger on the cable car that morning (the other passengers were workers manning the cable car station at the top). I was intending to hike to Babele and then take another cable car down to Busteni, but I discovered the snow was still too deep. After hiking less than a kilometre, I gave up because I was sinking up to my knees in snow – I guess I was about 2-3 weeks too early to make the hike without snow shoes or cross country skis.
Instead I climbed to the top of a ridge to take in this panoramic vista. For someone who lives in Asia, where three billion people makes it hard to find a place where you can see no other human beings, this was an experience to savour.
The ridge from which I took this photograph is part of the Bucegi Mountains, and those across the valley in the distance are the Fagaras Mountains – both part of the Carpathian Mountains (commonly known as the Transylvanian Alps) which cut a broad crescent-shaped swathe through the middle of Romania. The peaks in the distance are around 2,500 metres high
I should qualify my comment that I had the whole mountain to myself – there were a couple of men working in communications stations which I passed by on my mini-trek. But I was the only visitor on the mountain.
As I was struggling through the snow on my climb up the ridge from where I took this photograph, a man carrying a rifle came out of a microwave repeater station to tell me that I was in a restricted area and photography was strictly forbidden.
I asked if I could continue to the top of the ridge and take photographs of the mountains in the other direction. He gave me permission to do that, and when I got to the top I was very careful not to point my camera back in the direction of the repeater station. I didn’t want to tempt fate :)
Later, after the exhilaration of being the only visitor on the mountain had worn off, I thought to myself that maybe I would have had second thoughts about going up there if I had known that the only person I would meet that morning would be a stranger with a gun!
Critiques | Translate
jemaflor (86528) 2007-05-08 4:18
great landscape, interesting effect for the depth with three snowy montains, nice snow with a perfect white an the foreground.
kevinos (7403) 2007-05-08 5:20
It's a lovely, icy mountain view. i like the way the composition ripples across the frame. You have a great light that has given you a nice exposure. regards Kevin
tcht (7565) 2007-05-08 10:37
lovely landscape, superb depth with the mountains. I think due to the empty foregorund this might benefit slightly if you aimed higher for more sky - well thats just my preference, but still this is a good effort. nicely taken! also interesting story behind the pic :)
riclopes (35577) 2007-05-08 12:46
And here you have another country of the world for your long collection, David. I'm surprised to see two similar photos in a sequence from you, but I see from the note that you wanted to make clear how incredible this experience of being completely alone in such a peaceful place, was. I totally undertstand you, since I try hard for such experiences when travelling and usually succeeded, even in Malasya :)
Top of mountains with such views are the landscapes that thrilled me more. Apart from the lonely cabin and stronger FG, this one a more impressive view, for sure. I miss the snowboarding...
ChrisJ (100602) 2007-05-09 1:33
Looks cold! A superb alpine scene from Romania, with excellent sharpness. I like how the snow disappears at lower levels, & the green conifer trees appear.
elmec (12210) 2007-05-09 3:34
Amazing mountans everywhere, great contrasts wit with snow!
Philippe (11836) 2007-05-09 12:12
Hi, David. A good panorama which shows us there was more snow in Eastern Europe last winter than in the Franch, Italian and Swiss alps. The ridge going down in the fg makes agood diagonal line providing depth to the picture. The view seems to stretch out quite far. There is a good contrast between the snowy tops and the lower parts where the snow has already melted.
siolaw (38290) 2007-05-09 13:11
That is a nice moutain picture, starting with the POV showing various layers of mountains, nice wide DOF, excellent exposure too with sow textures...
I like it!
John_F_Kennedy (43163) 2007-05-10 11:45
Very great depth almost a panorama image with the "V" valley in the middle.
Fis2 (87247) 2007-05-10 13:03
I like the mountains... Good frame and light. Wonderful landscape. Very impressive picture.
Henryk_Bilor (20799) 2007-05-10 14:25
You don`t have frozen sea but you travel to see snowy mountains ;). Very nice capture of these mountains. Lovely light.
wolf38 (31282) 2007-05-11 8:10
Hello David. Your snow landscape is a strong contrast to the spring, which we have now in Europe. Cold weather works like a shock. But the winter sportsmen will be pleased. A beautiful and photo worth seeing. Best regards, Wolfgang.
feather (51130) 2007-05-11 9:08
You still managed to get that satiny snow that I find so attractive (in photos anyway; I'm not much of a snow person)Despite the almost bare open landscape you have several layers to give lots of depth. I had to smile when I read your last sentence. You're still here to tell the tale.;D
plimrn (21344) 2007-05-11 12:46
I've tried many shots like this but never gotten such amazing detail from the front to the far ranges. Snow is very dsifficult to shoot well but you've reallyu captured lovely layers. HLJ, Pat
jmcl (14535) 2007-05-13 11:02
Great Story .. Wonderful landscape .. the depth of all those layers is great .. the feel of the cold .. the untouched snow .. wonderful peace.
- Copyright: David Astley (banyanman) (7789)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2007-05-03
- Categories: Nature
- Camera: Nikon D100, Nikkor AF-S 24-120/3.5-5.6G ED, Circular PL
- Exposure: f/8, 1/1000 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2007-05-07 15:48