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(June 16–21, 2005)

Gerard Kuster

Saltwater - Freshwater

Erik Krause

Grimsel Alpine Power Dam

Grimsel Pass, Bernese Alps, Switzerland

June 19, 2005 - about 7:30 UTC (8.30 local time)

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© 2005 Erik Krause, All Rights Reserved.

Grimsel 'Spittallamm' dam was finished in 1932 to gain power from the river Aare which has it's source in the Aare glaciers coming down from the more than 4000m high bernese alps. Finsteraarhorn 4274m, Lauteraarhorn 4042m and Oberaarhorn 3637m each have their corresponding glacier.

These glaciers are located only few kilometers west - remains from the huge ice age glaciers that formed this landscape by polishing the granite rocks.

There are plans for the height of the dam to be raised, submerging a unique flora and fauna and some famous climbing routes in the granite slabs. Page of the power company: www.grimselstrom.ch

Some cylindrical panoramas showing the surroundings and the lake: On my page:


Europe / Switzerland

Lat: 46° 34' 20" N
Long: 8° 19' 46" E

Elevation: 1909m

→ maps.google.com [EXT]

Precision is: Unknown / Undeclared.

Taken 12 (8 horizontal, 2 zenith, 2 nadir) images on Fuji Reala at 1/90s f/11 with Zenitar 16mm Fisheye. Camera mounted on a self made pano head - nadir shots free hand. Scanned with Nikon LS40 and stitched using autopano and PTGui. Postprocessed in Photoshop. Converted to cubic with PanoCubePlus
Behind the scene: Some more information
It was just by chance that I got an opportunity to drive to central switzerland for climbing this weekend.

Due to long daylight and best wheather forecast we left a bit later than usual and the dam we had to cross on our way to the climbing area was in full sunlight.

The dam and it's surroundings looked like a suitable subject for the theme 'Water'. The landscape was formed by the ice age glaciers and still is formed by rain, snow and ice. Water as a source for electric power...

The more than 70 year old dam will soon be part of (and possibly covered by) a larger dam which should help to store even more water not only melting from the glaciers but pumped up with cheap base load electric power. This electricity origins mostly from nuclear power stations that have to run all the time even if there is no need. Peak electricity is sold when there is more demand to a much higher price.

This raising of the dam will affect a very unique flora and fauna by destroing some hill moor areas and some occurrences of the rare swiss stone pine. http://grimselverein.ch (german only) struggles for preservation or compensation of these areas.

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