Above Tremorgio

I spent Saturday hiking up from Tremorgio lake towards Capanna Le├Čt. The plan was to spend time on the Plateau watching Marmots. 

We got a little distracted near the top by waterfalls

16-35mm, f/11, ISO-100, 10sec

After clambering around on the rocks, slipping and sliding around on algae and moss and while struggling to get my head into a position so that I could see through the viewfinder, wondering if I could have a possible future as a contortionist, I managed to get a few images that I like.

16-35mm, f/11, ISO-100, 10sec

16-35mm, f/11, ISO-100, 10sec

 

After climbing back up to the path and going a little bit further we arrived at the plateau. While walking across the plateau we saw another waterfall from a distance and as we hadn't spotted any marmots where we'd expected to see them we decided to take a direct route to the river.

As we started to walk across the field we heard the first of the warning whistles from the marmots. So we took a few steps back changed direction and headed towards an area that was a little out and wouldn't disturb them, but still close enough to take pictures.

150-600mm 1.5x (840mm), f/9, ISO-1600, 1/1000sec

These two were the first to come out. In this image they are keeping a very close eye on two people walking past on the trail, that didn't notice that they were being observed by the marmots

Some time later they seemed to have got used to us, or at least tolerated our presence and didn't see us as a threat. Some more of them came out again to look around.

150-600mm 1.5x (441mm), f/8, ISO-1600, 1/1600sec

Finally able to relax and have a snack.

I took a few shot of this moment, the bird wasn't there when I started, but I feel that it adds the extra element to the image that makes it something special. 

150-600mm 1.5x (840mm), f/9, ISO-1600, 1/1000sec

This image is a touch out of focus, the marmot was moving very quickly down the slope (nearly tumbling at times) and I couldn't quite keep up with manual focus.

I was using a Sigma 150-600mm with a 1.5x magnifier and a MC-11 converter from a canon mount on a Sony A7. The autofocus isn't great in combination with the magnifier and the subjects were a long way off, very small and nearly the same colour as the surrounding grass.  Manual focus is the only option. Focus peaking makes it a lot easier though. 

 

Towards late afternoon thick storm clouds started to make an appearance above the peaks, so we decided to start heading back down, but with a small detour.

While sat watching the marmots we'd been looking towards a peak that had been shining white in the sunlight and as it wasn't that far away from where we were heading anyway we went up to the base of it. 

From the first of these two images you can just see that the trail was soft sand; sand that you'd expect on a beach, but not on a mountain path. At the top of the path the ground was bright white, so much so that you need to wear sunglasses due to the reflection.

16-35mm (16mm), f/14, ISO-100, 1/125sec

You can see this and the the impending storm clouds in the second image

16-35mm (35mm), f/13, ISO-50, 1/60sec

One last look back at the plateau before heading down the trail towards Tremorgio Lake and the ride down from there with the cable car.

16-35mm (21mm), f/7.1, ISO-100, 1/160sec