Valdemadera – Midi D’Ossau | 184 km.

IMGmidi

By Juanjo Diaz de Argandoña
Camera Nikon D5100 @ ISO200 – 1/1.25
Lens Sigma 70 – 300 DG APO @ 300 mm. – f./7.1
Date April 2nd 2015 – 07:02
Nothing like early morning pictures to show the best and clearest air of all day.
From a new sightning location, at just 1 hour driving South of Zaragoza city, the whole center of Pyrenees range shows up at an average of 170 km.

I discovered that Valdemadera mountain (at 1.275 meters above sea level) was a great place to see Pyrenees range a few years ago as it is high enough to allow the views over surrounding mountains and (the most important thing) it is reachable by car.

Even with this ease of access, specially important when the desired time of arrival is before sunrise, I had never succeded in going there in a day of good visibility until last week.

As part of a mountaineering schedule that made me go to North of Spain by car, I decided to plan an stopover in Zaragoza, to get some sleep and be able to go to Valdemadera before sunrise.

When I arrived to the summit the view was incredible.

All mountains in Pyrenees were perfectly shown in contrast with the orange sky at the background, as the sun was still below the horizon.

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General view of Pyrenees before sunrise

This is one of the reasons behind the sunrise being a great moment to photograph distant horizons -the contrast between the mountains and the sky in the background-. It also helps that before sunrise, the air tends to be more static, as the heat of the sun is not creating convection.

This mountain is located South of Ebro river, and the Pyrenees at the North, and this way the view is uncovered to almost all directions, as the valley surrounding Ebro river has an average height of around 300 meters.

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General distribution of the view

And not only Midi D’Ossou is visible on the picture, also Aspe peak and many others, as we can see in the diagram below:

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The silhouette of Midi D’Ossou is easily seen in the middle of the image, with a shape usually compared with Matterhorn in Alps. It is a famous mountain for climbers and from Valdemadera the view is still impressive even being at 184 km.

And to end the adventure with a perfect finish, the sun rose with an amazing green flash:

rayoverde

This phenomenon is not common in middle latitudes, but around Ebro valley area is not so strange, as they are the “Fata Morgana” mirages, due to the accumulation of colder air in the lower parts of the atmosphere, when an strong anticyclone is affecting the area.

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