New Release: Matterhorn With Cirrus Streamer, Zermatt, Switzerland

April 20th, 2011 by David Leland Hyde Leave a reply »

New Release: Matterhorn With Cirrus Streamer, Zermatt, Swiss Alps, Switzerland, 1994

Matterhorn With Cirrus Streamer, Zermatt, Swiss Alps, Switzerland, copyright 1994 by Philip Hyde. Photographed from the hotel window in Zermatt. Never before published or printed.

(To view the photograph full screen Click Here.)

In June 1994, Ardis and Philip Hyde ventured to Europe by way of transatlantic flight to begin the first in a series of Swiss Hiking Trips. Ardis Hyde was 69 years old and Philip Hyde was 73. They flew from Sacramento to Chicago where they met the trip organizers Bill and Barbara Bickel and the 19 other participants of the Swiss Hiking Trip adventure. The group then embarked on an overnight flight to Zurich, Switzerland on a Boing 767 airplane.

Ardis and Philip Hyde sat next to the galley. They became acquainted with the flight attendant, named Janis, in charge of the kitchen. They loaned Janis their book about the Normandy Invasion. Ardis Hyde wrote in her travel log that the flight attendant, “gave us a bottle of wine and generally ‘bonded’ with us.” The Swiss Hiking Trip resulted in many such pleasant encounters and new friendships between the participants that lasted for some of them the rest of their lives.

The Swiss Hiking Trip concept simply brought various retired people together and provided them with an organized, yet leisurely itinerary whereby they could progress in various divisions and subdivisions of the group, hiking at their own pace between mountain inns and chalets in the high Swiss Alps. Philip Hyde brought along only his 35 mm camera on the first trip.

In Zurich, the group boarded a train to Kandersteg, Switzerland. In a little over three hours they arrived in Kandersteg under cloud wreathed peaks and walked to their hotel. The room was spacious with three windows and a balcony that “looked out at the range of peaks without any obstruction.” Ardis and Philip Hyde strolled through Kandersteg, bought topo maps and returned to the hotel for showers, dinner and an early bedtime.

The next day, the first of many days hiking, took them by the Kander River and Selden, Switzerland where they met back up with the group for “soup at a long table in the yard.” The highlights of the hike were an infinite variety of wildflowers all at peak and a stop at Waldhaus at the bottom end for apple strudel and hot chocolate. The next four days consisted of more hiking in the Kandersteg area and beyond, with frequent rides on steam and electric trains, aerial trams, cog trains, gondolas and cable cars. Seven members of the group took a side trip to Locarno, Italy. Ardis Hyde wrote in her travel log:

It was a verdant route traversing steep gorges with fast dropping streams below. In Locarno about lunch time we walked from the new train station down to Lake Maggiore and around the landscaped edge faced by continuous restaurants. We picked one, Al Pozz, and sat down for a good green salad and pizza. We hurried back for the return train and train change at Domodossla, Italy, headed for Brig, Switzerland. At Brig we changed to the cog train to Zermatt. While making 35 mm camera photographs Philip almost missed the cog train. The doors closed and the train began to move as he became aware. Cathy, one of our party inside the train, asked the conductor to let Philip on. The conductor stopped the train, opened the doors and Philip got on board.

The train progressed on up to Zermatt, which from the entry direction was not especially impressive. We could not see any high mountains in the surroundings right away. We checked into the Excelcior Hotel. In our room number 52, we crossed to the window and there was the Matterhorn in all its glory. We could see it while in bed too. The room windows also looked out over the town and down onto three old barns with slate roofs. We walked down four flights of stairs to the dining room for dinner. The Matterhorn was still out at sundown.

The Matterhorn was fully out all night. We watched the sunrise and the light and clouds change on the mountain. A beautiful cirrus streamer appeared as if it came out of the peak itself. Philip made a 35 mm photograph of the Matterhorn from the hotel window.

For the first time ever, Philip Hyde’s 35 mm photograph is now offered as an archival fine art digital print. In the film era, Philip Hyde did not consider his 35 mm images printable, but with digital print processing, high resolution drum scans of 35 mm film photographs can be blown up and printed up to 24X30 while retaining comparable print detail and quality to prints made from drum scans of 4X5 color transparencies.  For a limited time, “Matterhorn With Cirrus Streamer, Zermatt, Swiss Alps, Switzerland, 1994″ will be available at Special Introductory New Release Pricing.

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7 comments

  1. pj says:

    What can I say? It’s a great photograph. Interesting write up too David.

  2. Thank you, PJ. The 35 mm color slide is gorgeous. The photograph also looks fantastic as an archival digital print. The sky blues are richer than show up online and the cirrus streamer is lacy and etheric. If you like icons, the Matterhorn has to be one of the primary ones on Earth, right up there with Half Dome, Stonehenge, the Great Wall, Grand Canyon, Mt. Denali, Killimanjero, etc. I guess the trick is to get lucky with a cirrus streamer or something else unique when you happen to have the right hotel window or tent view.

  3. Greg Russell says:

    Man, what an image. It looks like the Matterhorn is reaching a banner straight up to heaven.

    Great write-up too. I’ve always been intrigued by trekking in Europe, but sometimes feel like there’s so much waiting to be discovered here at home. When vacation time rolls around, home has always seemed to win out. Someday.

  4. Hi Greg, I can appreciate what you’re saying. My father felt the same way. He photographed the wilderness landscapes of the American West for nearly 60 years and only made it overseas in the last 10 years of his life.

  5. Your dad didn’t miss a step with age, did he, David. What an absolutely gorgeous photograph. Wow!

    Sharon

  6. Thank you, Sharon, for your astute observation of my father’s talented eye that many have said equaled in old age what he saw and photographed as a young man.

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