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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

View of the Alps


Kammgarn West / Schaffhausen / Art

“There is probably no pleasure equal to the pleasure of climbing a dangerous Alp; but it is a pleasure which is confined strictly to people who can find pleasure in it,” wrote Mark Twain in A Tramp Abroad. It used to be that the Alps’ stark beauty could only be enjoyed by those with the skill and nerve to make the trek to its peaks, and even today the photos we love most tend to be those of just the mountains themselves, maybe with a lone climber thrown in. The Swiss photographer Hans Peter Jost, who has shot cotton growers in India and political protesters in Italy, now brings us the photos of the Swiss Alps we don’t really want to see, cataloguing the human presence on slopes that look increasingly like an amusement park. The photos come at a time when crowds everywhere are thin, and serve as a reminder of the untouched nature we seek, and also sadly trespass upon. —J.V.

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Kammgarn West Baumgartenstrasse 23, 8200 Schaffhausen, Switzerland
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