The cloud covered valley is Ossoue. It was cloud covered in 2009, the skies a lovely pink. Later that evening I watched distant flashes of lightning. I couldn’t hear any thunder. I’m not sure if that happens. I assume it does, that thunder and lightning do not always go together. It’s curious and unsettling. Like some power beginning to awaken, flexing muscles, testing the skies, seeing how it feels about an onslaught. Shall I bother, or shall I release it later. You wait, powerless, and the lightning knows it. You feel insignificant in the mountains and that is paradoxically attractive. Feeling your smallness prompts reflection on your place in, if not the universe, then certainly nature. It’s a refreshing experience in regard to normal living which is humanly arranged, built, and controlled, instilling a kind of amnesia.

In this regard I’ve had the same feelings with lightning as I do in the mountains. On the distant skyline peaks you can just see the Breche de Roland. Gavarnie is downhill from there passing a snow field, the Sarradets hut, and down a steep scrambling climb or another easier route the other side of a mountain called Pic de Sarradets. Many years ago I noticed when I was able to identify Lake District peaks. I was descending a slope at Crinkle Crags, walking towards Three Tarns and Bowfell. I thought I recognised the Scafells to the left. I wasn’t sure however, asked a passing walker, and realised I did know. I’m now familiar with large parts of the Pyrenees.


Pyrenees Mountain Photography: Baysellance Cloud

Thursday November 27, 2014