~ Lake Luter: Tussocks ~
I started at 9 A.M. on the first day of December. I took off from work because I have gathered so much overtime. I wanted to use the free time to visit the Rotondo hut and take some nice photos of the Lacki glacier. There is a military road from Realp to Oberstafel, so the first thing to do is getting a permit from the caserne in Andermatt. I was told that the road should still be accessible, although it leads up to nearly 7000ft (it was December and in Switzerland!!!). But wasn't right. At about 5500ft a German couple had a car accident because of ice on the road. I din't want to crash my car on that remote road, so I drove back down. I was very disappointed. But I had a great backup plan: I drove over to Oberalp passroad where I wanted to visit lake Luter. This is a small alpine lake at 7074ft ov elevation. On the way up the passroad I noticed a small gravel road with a sign stating "lake Luter". Could that be possible? I didn't know there was a driveable road up to that lake. A short look at my Android gave me certainty. I wanted to drive that road up to the very end at 7000ft. - after a few feet I noticed a second sign stating "Permission required". I instantly looked at the permission I already had and noticed, that my permission also includes this road. Great! Now I just hoped that this road was ice-free. And it was. I easily could drive up to the top where I could park my car in less than 2 miles-distance to the lake. A short easy walk lead me to the frozen lake Luter.
I was there earlier than expected and I had plenty of time to spend. So I decided to follow the trail until "Felli gap". From there, I had a great view into the Felli valley. But it was nothing photographically interesting so I had to go back to lake Luter before the sun sets. But either the forward run and also the way back was not really easy because of the icy snow layer all along the trail. I needed about an hour for two miles (one-way). Nevertheless I was back to the lake at the right time. I was able to took plenty of great shots until sunset. It was a great luck beeing there in December where the sun goes down at a very southern point. In summer time, such photographs wouldn't be possible.
But the show wasn't over yet. I had very high clouds that day which reflected the intensive red of the setting sun very strongly. I have never saw such a spectacular sunset in the Alps. After the afterglow I rushed back to my car because I wanted to capture the town Andermatt in the blue hour. I also captured my car together with a wind turbine and was able to get a nice shot of the town.
Even though my initial plan didn't work, I was very pleased at the end of the day. The trip to lake Luter was very exciting. Never before I was able to drive up until 7000ft. in December. That's because we had not even one drop of rain for the whole November. November is usually very rainy in Switzerland and therefore the higher mountains are all captured in deep snow. Today (2nd December) is the end of the dry period. And this means it's also the end of my photographic trips to the higher elevated places until May 2012.