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Climbing the Villarica

Climbing the Villarica
Photo Information
Copyright: Mathieu Gregoire (mattgregoire) (20)
Genre: Places
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-07-07
Categories: Action
Exposure: f/10.0
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2013-01-13 13:49
Viewed: 1958
Points: 14
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note [French]
We started to climb the Villarica volcano. During the climb, the snow disappeared to let place to a thick ice sheet that prevented even our crampons to penetrate. The wind also started to rise and blow strongly, becoming a major obstacle in addition to the impenetrable surface of the ground.

At a moment, an Irish teammate fell, began to slide down at an incredible speed. He managed to return himself during the descent and use his ax to slow his fall, which worked pretty well and stopped it.

We continued to climb. Now, it was the turn of a Dutch teammate. Our guide, Germán, jumped on it to try to catch up, but in vain. Both lost their axes and went down at a crazy speed.

Another guide and I have decided not to risk the lives of the rest of the group. So we grabbed our three teammates, trying to reach a crevice. It was almost impossible to hear ourself cause the wind was so powerful.

Fortunately, we had reach the crevice and backtracked along it, reaching our first fallen friend. He had been able to stop his fall quickly, which was not the same for Germán and our Dutch friend. Fallen from upper on the volcano, they went considerably lower than where he had been able to stop, because Germán and our friend had lost their axes.

He served as a protection during the fall, causing him many fractures at one of his legs and most of his fingers.

brech, mesquens1, Teresat, dipsybee has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • linus Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1797 W: 13 N: 1442] (15482)
  • [2013-01-13 15:45]

Interesting photo and a what a story in the notes. I like the way the photo is composed, with the climbers at an edge.

Well done.


  • Great 
  • brech Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 539 W: 135 N: 1111] (3045)
  • [2013-01-13 19:25]


Your low angle upward POV captures the form of of the snow-covered mountain with the climbers entering from the creating a strong visual impact. White balance on snow cacthing a bit of the blue sky is effective.



This is nice shot. Snow mountain, clouds pattern, climbers - all in all it gives feeling of as if one is standing right there and looking at the peak.

It is so interesting to see how people are willing to climb rather than taking cable cars. Empty cable cars against climbers shows strong minds and legs...


Hi Mathieu...very nice shot. Excellent tones and colors. Perfect exposure. Well done.


Ola Matieu
Great scene, fantastic light, fine sharpness and colors. good photo.
Interesting note
um abraço

Hi Mathieu, nice pov with the climbers heading across to the line of lifts.The red poles stand out nicely. Fiona

This is an interesting shot Mathieu and a fascinating account of your treacherous ascent of the mountain. I am sorry to hear of the falls of your team mates but so glad you were eventually able to return to them all. As to your image, I like the composition with the climbers walking into the frame from the left, with the ascent in front of them. The front climber looks particularly fatigued as he views the peak above. There is good colour contrast in the shot with the red poles and the yellow of the suits against the snow and of course the blue sky, full of moving cloud. I think you have depicted this lonely and desolate place perfectly.



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