January 2007

Haute Route Notes

The Haute Route

Useful Information

I hope some of the following will be useful - I was certainly looking to answer these kind of questions when I was planning the trip! If not, you can try contacting me but I can't promise I'll remember anything else useful.

Guide Books and Route Selection


Skiing across Iceland: March 31st - April 9th, 2005

The First Day

Early breakfast at the Reykjavik hotel with my French speaking companions, then loaded into the old VW to the airport and a short flight to Akureyri. There we were met by our Icelandic guide Sveinn, who also happened to be fluent in French. A forty minute 4 wheel drive took us beyond the 'Impassable' sign to the base of the rugged highland slopes.

Climbing in the Swiss Alps: July 3-4, 2004

As Claire and I had hoped, having completed our section of the Haute Route without any weather delays, we had time to attempt some 4000m+ summits from Zermatt. However, the first poor weather forced us to take a very lazy rest day, which we found a little difficult, so the next day we were lined up for the first lift to Klein Matterhorn, whatever the weather.

My Astro Equipment

This is my current setup for astrophotography:

Takahashi Epsilon 160 f3.3
Vixen GP-DX equatorial mount
Canon EOS20D that has been modified by Hutech for increased Hydrogen Alpha (red) sensitivity.

Film Tips

This info is many years old, but perhaps still useful for some! It's a long time since I used any of these..

Finding good astrophotography films is tedious, especially when you have only a limited number of nights and don't want to risk them trying new films. Below are some of my thoughts on films I have used.

The Haute Route: June 26 - July 1, 2004

Fifteen panoramas should be enough, and there are more pictures in the Gallery, but I've been told the story needs some words too. Perhaps I've overdone it.

Lens Tests

A series of tests with wide angle and telephoto Canon and Sigma lenses, comparing performance on daylight and star targets.

20mm Wide Angle Lens Test

20mm Wide Angle Test

These photos were taken on a fixed tripod using autofocus on the centre of the image. These images are 100% crops from near the corner of the original.

Sigma 20mm
f1.8 EX DG

Canon EF-S 10-22mm