Hole in the Clouds

Tag: mountain

Rio in the Light of Day

Oct 13, 2011

Way back behind the beachside hotels and the downtown apartment towers, Rio's notorious favelas cling to the mountainside. The people who live up there–who have no other place to live–have long endured every kind of danger and distress, but they are currently wrestling with a new dimension of difficulty: Rio's real estate boom is spreading all the way back and up to the slopes the moradors da favela have staked out for their dwellings.

The real estate developers moving into the favelas have government backing,  as Brazil attempts to clean up the city in preparation for the 2014 soccer World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. The people being displaced don't exactly own the land their shanties are built on, so they aren't cashing in on the redevelopment. And they have nowhere else to go.

Once the favela structures are razed, and the sewer and water and power lines are extended up the mountainside, the new homes and businesses take full advantage of something the former residents long enjoyed for free: the view.

cityscape   Brazil   Rio de Janeiro   buildings   mountain   (Image credit: Bonnie Strelitz)  

The Dark Side of the Mountain

Sep 2, 2013

Japan's Mount Fuji, just before dawn.

This is a pretty spectacular photo, with the features of an iconic landscape dwarfed by a skyful of stars and clouds and hints of daylight. Modern cameras can capture this sort of scene more or less routinely if they are set up to stare into the night, lens wide open, without blinking or moving for, in this case, twenty seconds.

The human eye could drink it in at a glance, if only we were there. But we weren't there, sadly. This morning, we must make do with the picture, and fortunately it's a picture that rewards a slowly wandering eye with pleasant little discoveries in the realms of shadow and glow, detail and hulk, pattern and emptiness.

landscape   night   Japan   dawn   sky   mountain   stars   Mount Fuji   (Image credit: Hayato Ebihara)  

Summer Vacation Selfie #1

Nov 9, 2014

On August 13, Hank and about a dozen other climbers summited Yanaphaqcha, an 18,000-foot peak in the Cordillera Blanca range of the Peruvian Andes. As they neared the top of the mountain, they were engulfed in thick clouds spitting snow. "What you see around me in the picture," Hank says, "that was the view from the top."

snow   ice   mountain   summit   climbing   Peru   Yanaphaqcha   Cordillera Blanca   mountaineering   (Image credit: Hank Stein)