A day in Samoëns, France.
Arriving in Samoëns for the winter was dreamy, the village itself boasts character and charm. Holding buildings that look so beautiful but so fragile. What makes Samoens extra special is having the Aiguille de Criou as it’s backdrop, this mountain really is spectacular as it hangs over the village. Most days the top of the mountain can be seen but other days it can be covered by cloud and you wouldn’t ever know this dramatic landscape existed.
The skiing & snowboarding all happens on the mountains facing the Aiguille de Criou. Taking the GME (Grand Massif Express) gondala to the top of Samoëns 1600m the platform opens up to panoramic views of the Rhône-Alpes, and as you continue to climb, eventually reaching the highest point of the Grand Massif ski area 2500m, Mont Blanc appears, staring at you as if you’re arms length away from being able to touch its peak, and what a treat it is.
Find more from Heidi Angela here: @heidiangela
A day chasing sunset in Chilliwack, British Columbia.
It started off as a call from a buddy of mine asking me if I wanted to go for a hike up the popular Elk Mountain in a few hours. Since I wasn’t busy, of course the answer was yes. The wind had been howling all day, so we expected the worst of conditions when we reached the peak. There was a fresh dusting of snow when we got to the trailhead, and surprisingly no wind, so we set off chasing sunset.
We slowly made our way up the steep slope, and eventually we came to a break in the trail where we began getting the views. Our excitement increased, so that helped us take our minds off out tired legs. Eventually we reached the peak, and just in time. The sun had starting setting over the valley, and we ended up in the middle of the alpenglow that hits Elk Mountain. Amidst the pink glow on the snow, there was no wind, which made for a spectacular evening of sunset watching. After the sun had fully set and the cold became even colder, we decided to head back down. I have seen many sunsets from the tops of mountains, but none quite like this one.
Find more from Jesse Block here: @amateurpnwbabe
A day in the Swiss Alps exploring Lauterbrunnen.
6 am on Sunday. The alarm rings. It’s dark and snowing outside. I check the weather forecast. Light snow in Lauterbrunnen. I run and catch the train. After more than 2 hours, I’m finally in the Bernese Alps, in Lauterbrunnen. The magical valley, with its 72 waterfalls and impressive mountains, opens before me. I’ve been here before, but every time is different. This Sunday is not an exception. Lauterbrunnen doesn’t look like I remember it. The summer alpine flowers, the birds singing, the cow bells cheering me along the hike… now the color is gone, everything is white and there is only silence in the valley and the forest. The waterfalls are frozen and the snow continues to fall. It feels as if the time had stopped. Suddenly, the sky opens a bit and a shy light starts to illuminate the summit of the mountains around me. The clouds and the light dance around the peaks. It’s like a magical spell and I fall bewitched with the Swiss landscape once again.
At the end of the day, I arrive home, tired and with a lot of beautiful new memories in my mind… and looking forward to the next weekend, when another adventure in the mountains is waiting for me.
A day above the clouds.
Exploring Pilatus and Luzern in the Swiss Alps
During a business trip to Zürich, I had an extra day to myself to explore and was keen to experience the amazing villages and alps that make Switzerland so unique. I asked a few locals where to visit, and they unanimously replied “go see Pilatus”.
I woke up before the sun that Saturday morning, and watched it rise as we sipped our coffee on the 1.5 hour to drive to Kriens. From there we hopped onto a small four person Gondola, making our way up a Fräkmüntegg and taking in the incredible views of Luzern: medieval churches on snowy hills, and people enjoying typical winter activities like sledding and skiing.
At Fräkmüntegg we hopped off the gondola and stood at the base of Pilatus with views of the alps as far as the eye could see, toes frozen and hearts full.
Next we hopped onto a larger, much steeper gondola to take us to the main observation deck. Our faces were glued to the windows as we soared above lakes and layers of snow capped peaks. At the top, we discovered a panoramic view of the alps, way above most of the peaks. With Espel peak shining brilliantly in the backdrop.
Following our trip up to Pilatus, we stopped in vibrant Luzern to enjoy lunch and wine at a traditional Swiss restaurant, and checked out the amazing architecture during sunset. It was a full day of amazement and wonder.
While I took what seemed like a million photos, I also made sure to put my camera down and really embrace those incredible moments that I will never forget.
A day along Iceland’s Snæfellsnes Peninsula.
We hit the road before sunrise leaving the sleeping city of Reykjavik behind us with destinations along the Snæfellsnes Peninsula pinned on our SatNav. It was just us and the empty road ahead. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee and pastries from Braud & Co kept us company however.
Driving along the Peninsula, there were times when it felt like hours between cars passing us by. Iceland’s untameable landscape and unpredictable weather made this an unforgettable day.
We stopped about seven or eight times along the way. Each corner different from the last. We were constantly in awe at how untouched this beautiful part of the world was.
This is our journey along Snæfellsnes Peninsula.
Find more from Rory Malone here: @roryamalone
A day in Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland.
Scotland is a vast and wild country. The landscape offers endless trails and paths to explore, and yet, I find myself wanting to return to Glencoe even though there is new territory to discover. The valley you discover here, in Glencoe, is awe-inspiring, enclosed by huge mountains on either side.
We arrived at the start of the trail enveloped in the pitch black of the early hours, delighted that we were the first people there. Head torches on, we marched up the steep path to the Lost Valley; as the day broke our surroundings were slowly revealed. The views stretching across to the Aonach ridge and beyond to the Nevis Range were incredible. The image of the sun rising over the Highlands will remain etched in my mind for years to come.
Find more from Alex Dudley here: @ajdudley92
A day in Scotland on the Isle of Skye by Andrew Barlow.
In my opinion a Sunday is well spent in the great outdoors. Whilst in the Isle Of Skye I took a trip out to the fairy pools; a landscape I have wanted to capture for as long as I can recall.
As we made our way to the south of the island the early morning light lit the way; light rays beaming over the mountains that the fairy pools sat beneath. The walk down to the fairy pools has us pausing every other step, taking in the surroundings. The sheer beauty compels you, stopping you in your tracks and beckoning you to take in every moment.
The Isle Of Skye and the entirety of Scotland is a country and a landscape not to be missed. Having the opportunity to see most of the alps and live in the Lake District, Scotland still wins me over every single time. Scotland is wild and rugged, and for me it is nothing short of incredible.
Find more from Andrew Barlow here: @andrewbarlowphoto