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“I was in awe of Mathis’s grace and fluidity on what was obviously an extremely difficult climbing sequence,” says photographer Alexandre Buisse of the shot he took of French climber Mathis Dumas hanging upside down in the Mer de Glace ice cave in Chamonix, France.

Getting into place was relatively simple according to Buisse. “It’s a short train ride up to Montenvers, then a short hike down to the glacier level,” he recalls. “It is too steep to put ice screws on lead, especially on hard, old glacial ice, so Mathis aided up the intended route. He then gave the route a few attempts before finally linking it.” Buisse notes that once Dumas started climbing, it was simply a matter of waiting for him to make an elegant move. “I used a studio light to add some fill flash in the shadows, but other than that, I mostly relied on the strong natural light coming from the outside, which created a lovely texture on the ice.”

Reblogged from National Geographic