2019 Alpine view timelapse videos

It’s great to be back up here in Aime2000 and able to start these again. I’m putting an annotated framegrab here to name some landmarks. Click on the image to expand it.

Annotated view of the timelapse videos
Annotated view of the timelapse videos

4th of August 2019.  Not a complete day: I only reconstructed the recording system some time into the day and I forgot that the old ‘phone has to charged continuously otherwise it dies, which it did. It’s been a bright day with few clouds and almost none in the portion of the day caught here but I still think the clouds constantly rolling off Mont Blanc are calming and lovely to watch. Swallows flick in and out, frozen momentarily at each point when the coincided with the ‘phone taking a shot.

5th of August 2019. Making progress on the technological side but “only” 12 hours here as I hadn’t noticed that the Framelapse pro settings had somehow changed so it stopped after 12 hours rather than waiting for me to stop it. Scudding clouds and sunbursts through them. Shame it lost the sunset.

6th of August 2019.  Oh dear, no video.  The software I have been using, timelapse pro, seems to have lost some abilities (isn’t that the way with software “upgrades”?!) and my attempt to get it to record the whole, rather wonderful cloudy day here, failed as it seems to have lost the willingness to record until you press the record button again which was what I used to do to try to get a pretty full sunrise to sunset day. After I pressed record I found I had a tiny video, a few seconds of what was clearly the start of the recording, and a bit from the end, and some corruption of the images as well!  OK, trying a different app today (7th), fingers crossed!

7th of August 2019. This was a damp day and at my level the clouds would billow up and surround us reducing visibility to a couple of hundred metres then lifting again to give a view into the distance. Mont Blanc remained covered all day. The sad side of this is, as ever, the technology: I swaped from FrameLapse Pro as it mangled yesterday, to Lapse It and it has left off the last few hours of the day and the recording quality is horrible: blocky and marred by weird contouring artefacts. The search for good IT goes on! Very frustrating.

8th of August 2019.  And the saga continues!  It’s been a gloriously sunny day here today but my woes with the technology I am using to create these videos continue so instead of all the daylight hours condensed into about five minutes, what you have here, if I understand the date stamping on the video, is the first 15 minutes or so, condensed into two. That’s not what I wanted! Adding insult to injury, somehow the ‘phone is now picking up some reflection of me inside the room off the double glazing. I don’t have a clue why that suddenly seems intrusive. And there’s flare and some of the “contouring” distortion there was yesterday, though less. Oh dear, is this one step forward and two back, or the reverse. On the plus side, I thought it was a glorious dawn and I guess this catches that fairly well!

9th of August 2019. Yesterday (9th) was a day of blistering sun so perhaps the clouds aren’t as interesting as they are some days. This is supposed to be taking an image every 5secs and it starts before sunrise but stops after five minutes which, at 30fps should have given us 12.5 hours but this clearly stops around or before midday! Sorry!!

10th of August 2019. This was a real hubble, bubble day until mid afternoon when the sun finally burst through. This is supposed to be every seven seconds but it’s still not got through to sunset in 4minutes and 20 seconds of video. Either I’m dumb or the app doesn’t obey its parameters! I will try longer delay tomorrow.

11th of August 2019. At last, I’v got dawn to dusk! 8 seconds between frames and 4 minutes of final video. Glorious day with some lovely if brief rainbows towards the end. I didn’t see them live as I was cycling up the road but as not unwelcome rain hit me and the sun still shone I thought there would be!

12th of August 2019. A damp day of seething cloud and periods of complete white out made quite a dramatic video.

13th of August 2019. I missed the very first light but I really like the first minute or so here: the sun catches an extraordinary bubbling up of clouds from down in the valley and the theme of the day seemed to be of cumulus building much higher than usual, as if someone had the flame under the cloud cauldrons on too high.

14th of August 2019. I think that’s an amazing dawn and sunrise. Hm, which is which here? The sky lights up quite a bit before the sun actually emerges above the crest of the little peak and ridge to the right. Symmetrically, there’s a very satisfyingly seamless dusk and sunset. In between it became a fairly fiercely sunny day but the clouds bubbled away though slowly drying away in the heat.

15th of August 2019. Another beautiful dawn then quite a cloudy day and I found myself watching the shadows the clouds stippling, dappling and finally frankly scudding across the land.

16th of August 2019. Very little low cloud at all today so a very calm video. Another amazing dawn and the low cloud down in the valley burns off fast as the morning went on so my late morning cycle ride was in full sun. I like the clouds on the pasture slopes the other side of valley. I think I’m starting to understand a bit more of the physics of how, when and where they form!

17th of August 2019. Interesting day often with three clear layers of clouds (ignoring the contrails): fluffy short-lived low cumulus, a mix of higher “flying saucer” or lenticular clouds, and a lot of high cloud. That last kept the sun from really blitzing through until mid afternoon but even mid morning it dried my washing pretty fast! The whole day is bracketed by an eeyrie blue dawn and, with a quick brush of lovely pink, a fade out to a similarly blue dusk. Around 3 minutes and 40 seconds in Mont Blanc develops a particularly good set of clouds, almost stationary but not quite, very slowly reshaping and disappearing to the right. A bit before that there’s something I’ve not seen before: many of the low, rapidly forming and disappearing cumulus puffs have a sort of beret of lenticular cloud above them. I usually associate lenticular clouds with some sort of “stationary wave system” downwind of the mountain peaks. Clearly that wasn’t explaining these ones. Just when I think I’m intuiting some of the physics I realise I haven’t a clue!!

18th of August 2019. It’s been another very sunny day, another lovely dawn and dusk and a mix of cumulus scudding over speeded up here. Seen here, it feels like much more cloud than I remember as the day went by!

19th of August 2019. A day between blue bookends. Lovely blue dawn rapidly gives way to heavy cloud absolutely seething around, nice heavy rain shower hammers across L to R late morning (?) between us and Bourg St. Maurice (the town visible at times down in the valley, almost directly ahead). After some local rain later the clouds eventually lift late on and the day fades out in blue with hardly any pink as the sun sets.

23rd of August 2019. A distinctly unusual easterly (R to L) wind much of the day. I love the sunrise revealing a seemingly self-regenating torrent of very low cumulus down in the valley over Macot and Aime, invisible below us. It looks as if it is tumbling away down the valley off the to the SW (bottom L) and then the sun hits it and in the timelapse it’s gone in a few seconds. The easterly seems to create lovely bubbling and seething higher cumulus later in the day and there’s sun and a brief vivid rainbow right on the R of the view, just before the sun drops away finally.

24th of August 2019. A cloudless sunrise but by one minute in the far distance looks like a waterfall of cloud falling from the peaks and ridges. Seventy-five seconds in Rognais (see annotated view) and the other peaks to the left seem to be smoke signalling with cumulus which build into real cloud masses. By two minutes it’s clear, but only from the shadow over us, that there are similar pillars behind us. By late afternoon that all goes away but Mont Blanc and the Grandes Jourasses calve an enormous cloud which eventually goes off to the right as the sun sets. Unusual day!

25th of August 2019. This really was an almost cloudless day. Cumulus bubbles up off Grand Combin and the peaks to its right from about 110 seconds and that continues until not long before sunset which is a cloudless as the sunrise.

26th of August 2019. Cloudless sun and no clouds at all until 90 seconds in when cumulus starts to bubble above the peaks. About three minutes and twenty seconds in that is gradually replaced by some higher cloud from about 3’30” and that’s formed rather a fine layer by sunset.

27th of August 2019. A rather grey day dominated by cloud above us (cirrus?) but shortly before four minutes in a storm sweeps in and, if you watch carefully, one flash of lightning is caught rather well after 3’50” but of course it’s just one frame and I can’t grab it for the thumbnail for his video!

28th of August 2019. Cloud drama dominated from dawn to dusk by cast members from the low upper cloud families by which I think I mean from about 3km to 6km? All above me at 2.1km, some cutting below the top of Mont Blanc (4.7km) but most a bit above her summit. For the first 90 seconds or so there’s a lovely cameo performance from the very low cloud down in the valley at first miming a river then later waves splashing up the other side and there’s some rather grand low upper theatricals just before the blue sunset.

29th of August 2019. I didn’t see much of this day life as I was scuttling around a lot including a trip down to Bourg St. Maurice. Putting that together with watching this bird’s eye, speeded up view, shows me how the valley is often out of cloud shadow even when clouds are bubbling around the peaks and ridges all around the valley. This was a classic day for cumulus generation on those peaks and ridges. Must have been just the right combination of a slightly higher colder wind and sun evaporating moisture from where it had settled overnight on the upper areas. Fun to watch!

31st of August 2019. (No 30th owing to another overnight hospital stay!) Day starts with only a little diaphanous high cloud in the far distance but at around 90″ in the cumulus cauldrons get bubbling and build rapidly to produce what was rather an overshadowed day from there on. At about 2’40” rain lashes in sheets across the upper valley and Bourg St. Maurice. The day is also marked by the transhumance: the cows have arrived as the French holidays finish and most humans leave!

1st of September 2019. Mostly higher cloud until 90s in but a lot happening all day with a fine darkening blue sunset. I had never realised what a restless lot cows are!

2nd of September 2019. A day of much cloud but flashes of pure blue sky through it all occasionally and even more occasionally sunshine rakes in through the breaks to spotlight a part of the view briefly.

Another gap here: back over to Chambéry and Challes aux for more surgical attentions!

6th of September 2019. A very blue start to the day then cloud all day, bubbling and seething around and intermittently encasing Aime2000 in white out. I like the way that, earlier in the day, the tiny low clouds are like smoke or steam rising from the slopes.

7th of September 2019. A day of bubbling clouds in lots of linear waves in the early quarter of the day. Fleeting rainbow around 2’47”.

8th of September 2019. A lot of seething cloud all day but with sun cutting through between the clouds. About 3’28” in it’s snowing and I don’t think there’s been a swallow visible all day. The cows have gone too: you can see them loaded onto a lorry and moved to other pastures early in the day.

9th of September 2019. Interesting day as the sun burns the low cloud away through the morning and yesterday’s (and last night’s) thin covering of snow burns off the roof of Les Hauts Bois and the pastures below and on the opposite side of the valley so by lunch time it had gone from cold as I walked down to Plagne Centre to so hot I could sunbathe! Higher cloud comes in later and I was wrong about the swallows, very few left but not quite all gone.

11th of September 2019. (10th knocked out by another hospital trip!) A fun day of clouds with two higher layers of cloud succeeding one another with the higher that comes in later moving clearly at right angles to the lower and lovely volcanic bubbling of cumulus off the peaks below that.

12th of September 2019. Almost completely cloudless day so the fading in of the light with sunrise, then the way the sun swings over and the briefly salmon pink tinged fade out are very clear. Lots of swallows again, in real time at one point in the morning there were 50 to 100 of them swirling around dead ahead of my looking out of the window. I am starting to think, as their numbers fluctuate so much, that “my” swallows have entirely or mostly gone south now but are being replaced in waves by northerners passing through. Is that right? Any bird migration experts out there?!

13th of September 2019. Almost completely cloudless day, just a little “real” cloud early evening, otherwise the sky action is sunrise and a muted pink sunset and the coming and going of contrails!

14th of September 2019. A beautiful sunrise and more high cloud than yesterday and some bubbling up of cumulus from about 2’30” and a quietly lovely sunset.

15th of September 2019. Lovely sunrise with low thin clouds in the far distance and pink light then the day turns into a “smoke signals”, cumulus generating one until near sunset when pretty much all cloud disappears and the light fades out through blue.

16th of September 2019. A good videoed day I think. More atmospheric haze than usual so Mont Blanc is faint pretty much all day and a nice sunrise leads on to a day of wonderful bubbling, seething, contorting cumulus being constantly created and destroyed off the peaks and ridges to the L (West, roughly) clearly driven by a steady westerly prevailing wind.

18th of September 2019. (The 17th didn’t get recorded through a loss of concentration!) Funny now to watch a video from a day I didn’t see “live”: by the time this finished I was in Krakow and soon after the thumbnail in the lovely sunrise, I was on Cerise and off down the mountain. It was clearly a good day for clouds! That’s the last one now until the 11th of October as I’m not back up to A2k until then.

11th of October 2019. First day back in three weeks. I missed the very first bit of dawn but it was a beautiful day. A lovely wraith builds in the centre of the view from about 1’20” and the progress of the shadows is clearer with so little cloud and the sun lower in the sky. Lovely colours at dawn and dusk.

13th of October 2019. Yesterday didn’t get recorded as the old ‘phone played up but today, in real time, was a very sunny day with lots of blue sky but the timelapse shows that the clouds were there and changing all day with Mont Blanc bubbling away merrily!

14th of October 2019. A brilliantly sunny day and a mechanical digger works hard on Golf (that’s the blue run down from our building, Aime 200 which is just visible in the niche between the covered car pack and Haut Bois). It seemed to be smoothing earth around newly installed artificial snow blowers. However the amazing thing in the video for me is the slowly developing and constantly changing wall of low (2,000 – 3,5000m?) cloud in the notch to the left of Grand Combin in the far distance. By the end of the day it had spread to the lower reaches of Mont Blanc. What causes that and lasts all day?

15th of October 2019. What a contrast with yesterday! I this positively Wagnerian? (What would I know, never seen a Wagner opera and probably not likely to!) OK, enough of that, wonderful timelapse. Even a fleeting rainbow between the snow showers about 2’44” in. Amazing day.

16th of October 2019. I think this may have been the day with the least cloud of any that I’ve recorded so far. There is a little around Mont Blanc in the lovely sunrise and then low cloud bubbles and does its usual illusion of running down the valley right down in the depths. The high cloud around Mont Blanc burns off rapidly and that in the valley, and some on the slopes opposite, disappears more gradually. After that the only cloud action is some contrails late afternoon and some real but diaphanous high cloud, not just from contrails, near sunset. Sunset is completely blue: not a tinge of pink or orange. I guess no low cloud, no diffraction, no warm colours. The non-cloud action is the slow burning away of the snow on the ground and on the roofs of Haut Bois and some fitful testing of the ski lift on Golf behind Haut Bois in the later afternoon. A lot goes on up here between the seasons to ensure the tourist trade keeps up and to make sure everything works during the seasons.

17th of October 2019. Distraction meant I lost the sunrise but a glorious day for cloud drama building from lovely cloud stringing off Mont Blanc in the morning through to total dark cover and rain by the evening. I love the rapidly changing dappling of light on the other side of the valley in the afternoon as mixed higher cloud scuds over.

18th of October 2019. Sometimes I think I’m a bit odd recording these videos most days I’m up here (OK, I know I’m odd!) but this is one of those days that justifies it for me: cloud and weather drama all the way through, extraordinary changes in colour that you don’t see in real time as the eye/brain adapts and the low clouds, just embryo clouds really, steaming off the slopes and seeming at times to caress them. Glorious!

19th of October 2019. Perhaps not as amazing as yesterday (go and find it if you haven’t seen it!) but another great day. Fascinatingly small wisps of low cloud seemingly just metres above the trees and grass: can I really call them clouds? They’re not just mist though. Higher above, two layers of cirrus (?) seem to move at a clear and fairly consistent angle to one another much of the day so there were clearly two airstreams up there quite separate from one another but not looking that far apart in height. How far apart must they be? Great plays of light through the clouds.

20th of October 2019. This was a bit different! An Easterly wind all day for change and in real time it was fierce at my level, hard to hold the door while bringing things in from the terrace for fear they’d be blown off (as I’m 20 floors up anything could be pretty lethal going over the edge). The odd thing in real time was that the clouds seemed to move very slowly compared with the howling wind. This shows it pretty clearly: a brief lovely burst of pink sun as it came up but pretty cloudy all day with a wonderful standing swirl of cloud towards the Grandes Jourasses. Late afternoon (after 2’30”) I love the way that clouds repeatedly form and disappear in exactly the same place pretty well dead ahead of the viewpoint here.

21st of October 2019. Another day of much cloud movement. I think the wind moving the layer above me has shifted to SSE (but haven’t rechecked yesterday) but again there are two very different layers of drama.

22nd of October 2019. The wind immediately above had swung back to easterly, there didn’t seem to be much wind at all when I was out and about. Lovely seething fish kettle of cloud in the valley and those standing swirls at the head of the valley that the easterly winds seem to produce. Another good one I think!

23rd of October 2019. Clearly another strong easterly wind directly above and is it south easterly stream up above that. Wonderful cloud drama and I think this is another “new” one for me, i.e. one that doesn’t fit into an emerging sort of cluster analysis of patterns through days. Too many different things to list here really. Maybe a blog post in the days/weeks to come analysing it more?

24th of October 2019. To me this is another glorious cloud drama driven by an easterly wind. I like the way Mont Blanc emerges briefly (a couple of times?) and the way the very low cloud clinging to the slopes only emerge after the rain swept over. Clearly that is then evaporating and creating those clouds. All good viewing fun.

25th of October 2019. Very different from the last few days. Glorious and dramatic sunrise (to my mind) and fascinating first 40′ as cloud boils and seethes up from the valley and then it dissipates to a completely clear late afternoon and rather an undramatic sunset. One interesting thing (to me again!) through the afternoon is how a little patch of low, well, c.2000m, cloud stays on the very rocky and barren face of Rognais over on the far left of the view. That’s about SSW facing so in full sun then and there’s little foliage for 500m, perhaps 800m to the top so why enough vapour there to maintain cloud? I guess ‘cos it’s shooting up the heated face of the mountain from down it its valley and hitting a cold enough layer of air there to cause the water to precipitate out continuously and maintain that little local cloud for what must have been some hours after all the other low cloud had gone. As ever, richly interesting scope for conjecture!

26th of October 2019. A cloudless day. I have to be honest: totally boring as cloud drama, the only real interest for me was in how hard edged and clear the moving shadows were. I guess with the low autumn sun at full intensity and no cloud at all to diffract or reflect anything then that’s what you’d expect. It was such glorious day that I went for a walk: https://www.psyctc.org/pelerinage2016/aime2000-my-strange-home-in-the-alps/ !

27th of October 2019. A lovely quiet cloud dance of then higher cloud driven by a westerly air stream clearly. In real time it was striking how much even such thin cloud dropped the temperature compared to yesterday. No sunbathing today!

28th of October 2019. And certainly none today! A ceiling of cloud not much above me remained there all day and light rain came across in squalls followed by lovely whispy evaporation clouds off the slopes. The wind direction seems to change quite sharply from westerly to south-westerly mid to late afternoon. Another different cloudscape day!

29th of October 2019. A lovely dramatic day with cloud filling the main valley below for pretty much all the day and swashing in and out of the little inlet valley (it’s not really a full valley) that comes up to Plagne Centre (on the right) directly in front. I timed my trip to Plagne Centre around midday in the best of the sun there was and there are two nice little aerial rainbows top left of the image around 1’50” as the sun and light rain up there clearly hit the right angles to the sun and the camera.

30th of October 2019. Another good day of scudding clouds with rain showers whizzing across in the morning. Lovely flash of pink as the sun goes down.

31st of October 2019. A grey day, the automatic exposure on the old ‘phone compensates and doesn’t really convey just how dark it was at times though never quite to putting the lights on in my eyrie. I did a few days ago so this must have been lighter. Lovely evaporation clouds on the slopes like smoke coming off scrub fires and higher wisps immediately around me like wraiths. No pink in the sunrise or the sunset!

1st of November 2019. Quite a change as the day went on from such a clear higher sky and the evaporating away of the clouds below and on the slopes and the higher cloud moves in and we ended in total cloud cover and rain!

2nd of November 2019. Very autumnal seething of clouds and showers, almost wintery but the sun flashes through at points, and creates a lovely brief rainbow upper left around 1’13” and autumnal in that the conifers are yellow, beautifully so in some of the brighter moments.

3rd of November 2019. A pretty dramatic change through the day from grey with small rain showers to a pretty steady fall of snow by the evening. White everywhere now!

4th of November 2019. Well, this is all about the visibility coming and going between the snow showers and some intermittent lovely glimpses of frosted conifers.

5th of November 2019. A day of extremes … speeded up. Late morning the sun was really hot through the windows and the icicles were melting fast but later the snow returned, though not in great depth. Makes the timelapse and the clouds pretty dramatic.

6th of November 2019. Seething and boiling cloud coming up from below most of the first half of the day then more blue sky emerges above and much of the cloud production below melts away.

7th of November 2019. Glorious pinks of sunrise then constant rising and falling of low cloud and scudding over of higher, but still lowish, cloud and intermittent snow showers and a middling proper fall as the evening closes in. Also a rather spooky appearance, reflected in the window, of me with white headphones in a work meeting as the world went dark. I must position the curtain more carefully in future!

8th of November 2019. A day long battle between the sun and the snow clouds. When the snow clouds are wining, it snows! When the sun is winning, there are dramatic white highlights: the snow covered slopes across the valley in the morning and some extraordinary mushroooming clouds coming up from below in the afternoon. Magic!

9th of November 2019. Not a dramatic day like some recent ones. The low resolution of the video doesn’t capture how vivid and beautiful it was at many points in the day. What’s the sort of haze that comes and goes in the “midway air” (well, we do have Choughs for bard lovers)? It was just about visible in real time and it’s not really cloud, it’s not mist, it was rain or snow, I guess it’s just haze! No recollection of seeing it like that before.

10th of November 2019. Not a day for low, bubbly cloud at all. Huge swathe of cloud covering the sky almost completely uniformly at one point in the morning. I don’t remember it like that but I think my eyes were ignoring that ceiling and looking at the glories of the slopes and peaks in their pristine whiteness at those points. A calming timelapse to watch and just relax?!

11th of November 2019. Wind is coming pretty steadily from the south all day, swinging around a bit and bringing in a pretty total coverage of grey cloud by late morning. One amusing activity is the scurrying of humans starting to build the children’s nursery ski area in front of Club Med. My icicles didn’t drip all day. Might this snow last through to Xmas and the ski season (starts 14.xii.19 here)? Interesting.

12th of November 2019. Another different day, they all are really. I loved the constantly reforming but stationary small cumulus from about 1’40” for what must have been an hour or so and a very subtle pink and utterly smooth blue as the sun disappears.

13th of November 2019. A very blue, clear day with delicate pink on Mont Blanc and around as the sun set. It seems as if there must have been a small cloud or haze just over the ridge beyond Haut Bois sending smoke signals up behind it for much of the day. Interesting!

14th of November 2019. Louring cloud all day and it looks as if there was rain or snow at the head of the valley most of the day but nothing fell here. However, I didn’t see any drips on my huge icicle so I guess it stayed below zero all day. Oh yes, and that “cloud” beyond Haut Bois that was puzzling me yesterday: snow blower of course!

15th of November 2019. Much of the day, until mid afternoon I guess there are two flows of cloud moving almost at right angles to each other, the cumulus down in the valley looks as if it’s streaming down the valley sort of SSW, and there’s a wall of I think cirrhus streaming away EME Glorious pink light flares twice on Mont Blanc as the sun goes down.

16th of November 2019. Not the most dramatic day I’ve recorded but I like it. I like the shadows of the high clouds above and behind us skittering over the ground while the sky above remains resolutely blue and clear: the clouds were clearly playing a sort of teasing game with us. The other entertainment is the snow blowers. They clearly go off when the air temperature around them is too high but I suspect that they’re on means that the snow magicians up here reckon there’s a fair chance that most of this snow will last through the next four weeks. Aha!

17th of November 2019. I was a bit slow switching framelapse on this morning so I missed the transition from darkness but for much of the day the action is the snowblowers under a grey sky and clearly with the temperature remaining below zero pretty much all day. Some cloud swirling around and a very, very little natural snow late on.

18th of November 2019. Another day of snowblower action, and the lift for the little black run behind Club Med got tested out. Lovely dusting of snow over the lower slopes across of the valley melts off as the day goes on and creates lovely low cloud. Great bursts of sun in sunrise and colouring the high peaks pink briefly as the sun sets. Lovely!

19th of November 2019. A warmer day than yesterday though my mega-icicle didn’t drip much. Lovely high cumulus almost stationary while other high cloud whips across from the East. Later afternoon I’m sorry to say that I think that’s thin but definite smog over Bourg St. Maurice up the valley. [Forgot to add yesterday: at the end there’s a very funny reflection in the window of me in a zoom meeting. I do gesticulate and and seem to touch my mouth a lot. Must be more careful with the curtain again!]

20th of November 2019. The low cloud fills the valley and seethes away with some high cloud being blow across by an easterly wind until late morning when the high cloud vanishes and the valley’s duvet evaporates rapidly in the warmth. A tiny bit of cloud remains in the high pass at the head of the valley but for a long time almost nothing happens until an intriguing wall of rolling cloud builds in both the high passes in the distance … and the sun sets with a lovely flash of pink.

21st of November 2019. Blue sunrise gives way to phase with the low cloud in the valley really beating on the slopes opposite exactly like sea waves on a sloping foreshore. Why like that today. Then rolling cloud piling over Grandes Jourasses and the other high peaks at the head of the valley driven by an easterly wind but above strange clouds like UFOs are almost stationary for a while (up to 1’0″. Then a southerly high air stream brings in heavier cloud for a bit only for that too to give way to easterly stream pushing cirrhus across and the day fades out to blue and black.

22nd of November 2019. Funny little wavelets of very low cloud over Bourg St. Maurice and at the head of the valley in the early morning but then the day is pretty consistently two air streams almost at right angles to each other: the low one (3,000m or so) streaming from the East and creating lovely standing waves of cloud off the high peaks ahead while much higher (how much higher?) a southerly air stream pushes rather flat cirrhus over. Funny to watch it in silence as the wind is making a fair howl outside now and was early this morning, though not much in between.

23rd of November 2019. Another rather different pattern though strong easterly wind blowing the low and rain laden clouds across and it looks as rain fell over Bourg St. Maurice and at the head of the valley pretty much all day. Lovely white and blue flashes around and to the West of Mont Blanc through the day.

24th of November 2019. Cloud scudding across all day but there’s a glorious flash of pink and red as the sun drops that’s worth waiting for: don’t cheat and try to jump to it, it’s all the better after the rather unexciting day that preceded it!

25th of November 2019. Lovely touches of pink as the sun rises then a phase with an easterly pushing low cloud across fairly fast and an upper airstream going north but the lower cloud disappears by mid/late morning and then it’s all about the high cloud moving slowly and forming and dissolving until, shortly before sunset, it covers all for a blue to black finale.

26th of November 2019. In some ways this video is why I do this: it’s fascinating AND it’s beautiful. The beauty is mostly in the first 15 seconds of a glorious range of pinks as the sun rises. The fascination for me is the rest of the day. Clearly we now have a westerly air stream at some height, 3500m and up a fair bit? There seems to be no lower cloud all day and the what to me is so stunning is that for much of the day there are two sets of clouds seemingly at the same height. The one set are clearly just driven across by the airstream, the other set a wonderful standing clouds, mostly downstream, downwind, of Mont Blanc and over the Grandes Jourasses and the other high peaks at the head of the valley. Wonderful!

27th of November 2019. A snowy day though the temperature never fell below zero so I’m not sure how much this will help the looming ski season. Lovely flashes of sun and blue sky through the day but generally pretty grey!

28th of November 2019. Well this was a snowy day! Some brief and lovely moments (in timelapse) when the snow lifts and the low cloud roils and boils around below and bits of blue sky and pure white cloud emerge above but mostly it snowed!

29th of November 2019. Well that was a lot more snow! A few flashes of blue sky through the snow but mostly it’s snow. Interesting to watch the tarmac come and go on the road. Not sure if its emergence marks the passage of snowploughs or just a fair bit of traffic.

30th of November 2019. Not an exciting video really. Nice pink tones as the sun comes up and mostly blue sky with high cloud going across from the West and little bits of low cloud in the valley, mostly just above the snow line but gone by afternoon. Snow blowers on the morning and evening when the air temperature is below zero.

1st of December 2019. Another seriously snowy day, what more can I say?! Actually, I did like the black to blue to white to grey sunrise and the snow battering straight at me and the camera at times!

2nd of December 2019. A day of seething cloud below throwing itself up and at us intermittently and some lovely moments as the sun gets through and shines on the lower cloud (around 2’10”?) A fair bit of human snow management activity visible unsurprisingly.

3rd of December 2019. A day of snow on the ground (and being moved around by piste bashers and three different snow ploughs immediately below me but out of shot here). One thing that’s very clear is the “sweating” of the low cloud out out of the foliage below the snowline on the slopes across the valley as the sun hits them. You can see how it marks the snowline and its zero isotherm line and how the little clouds only form in the first hours in which sun hits that slope, so they move around as that impact moves. The video doesn’t capture how beautiful the pink sunset on Mont Blanc and the other high peaks was in real time.

4th of December 2019. Mostly blue sky all day and no low cloud that I could see at all. Nice pink flush to the surise and a brief and lovely pink flash in the sunset and some rather elegant, daphanous, drifting high cloud. It was a good day to walk down to the show in Plagne Centre (off picture, right)!

5th of December 2019. Because I overslept the day starts late and runs into darkness longer than it should. In between it’s, well, a bit boring!! The human scurrying activity is really hotting up with just over a week to go to the start of the ski season here!

6th of December 2019. Hardly a cloud at all until late afternoon when rather lovely high clouds move in from the south west to catch the sunset and, at the same time, a linear cloud cuts across the slopes of Mont Blanc. Otherwise a quiet day.

7th of December 2019. A lowering sky in the early morning with a westerly behind it gives way later to blue sky coming through and the clouds clearly being blown from the south. Fluffy little cumulus forms and reforms moving only slow immediately above me and toward sunset shelf like cloud forms at the head of the valley and catches a touch of pink as the sun drops.

8th of December 2019. A good sunrise (this rather low resolution video doesn’t do justice to the colours or the detail of course). Then a slow, high passage of cloud from the West. That gets more impressive from about 2’05” and there’s a brilliant example of how you can have almost stationary clouds within a moving cloud system around then and gloriously just before sunset. Sadly I have a ghostly sit in part around then as I forgot that I’d drawn the curtain right back!

9th of December 2019. What can I say? It snowed! You can see how the snowploughs struggled to keep the road clear (NOT a day not to have chains or winter tyres). A lot of activity around the lift at the top of S’s little black run (just to the left of Club Med). Really that was it: snow galore!

10th of December 2019. After the snow, back to sun. Great sunrise and a moment when Mont Blanc seems to have a pink fluffy wig. For the first half of the morning the clouds in the valley seem to literally swirl moving up the valley on the far side and down it on this side. Amazing. Pretty amzing snow clearing on roads and the car parks too.

11th of December 2019. I think this one is simple: a bleak, grey old day after a flash of nice colour with the sunrise and ending with a bit of snow!

12th of December 2019. A lovely day emerged quite early morning with valley cloud churning away opposite and a layer of high cloud sweeps across like a theatrical curtain coming down just before sunset. I’ll miss these videos when I’m away!

13th of December 2019. Wow, that was a lot of snow both falling but also being blown around by some pretty strong winds. I did wipe the window a few times in the morning but gave up as nature was winning! The snowploughs seemed to make a similar decision mid morning: I think the wind was redistributing the snow pretty much as fast as they were moving it. I guess that means there was a particular light consistency to the snow. Not visually much here!

14th of December 2019. Another day with a lot of snow both falling and blowing around you can see that the season has started: skiers visible and the Golf lift working away.

15th of December 2019. Really gently beautiful colours in both sunrise and sunset and in between the clouds stream over but the sun shines. Skiing must have been lovely. There’s a funny bit as the sun rises as the piste bashers bash away with headlights on like agitated beetles. Another revelation for me was how much lower the golf ski lift hangs when there are many people on it than when there are few on none. Of course it must but in the timelapse it seems to dip up and down rather scarily!

16th of December 2019. Brief flashes of pink as the sun came up but otherwise a very grey day with low cloud layer covering the sky most of the day with intermittent features and smaller clouds coming and going. Cloud tumbles and reforms on Mont Blanc for most of the day and sometimes on the Grandes Jourasses too.

And that’s over and out for now. The old ‘phone seems to have sensed that, you can see the image move at the start of the day and it’s now very bent out of shape. It’s had a severely broken glass back for ages (why a glass back for heaven’s sake?) but I think it may finally be dying. We’ll see and perhaps there’ll be a few more days if we get back here to ski in January and March … if we’re lucky.

I’m repeating the annotated framegrab here to name some landmarks. Click on the image to expand it.

Annotated view of the timelapse videos
Annotated view of the timelapse videos