Full Moon Rising – Mont Salève


A simple plan: cycle up Mont Salève to see the Moon rise. Sunday night met all the requirements:

1) A full moon.
2) A “moon rise” occurring soon after sunset.
3) Perfect weather.
4) My local mountain has a great lookout.

The moon would rise from the south, thus over Mont Blanc and the Alps, and I was uncertain how long it would take to appear over them. So my plan was to reach the summit an hour after the rise time.

I cycled up the steep north-west side of Mont Salève. It’s the same side that the Steel Wheelers cycle every Wednesday evening. If you want a challenge, you’re welcome to join.

For details of the five road bike routes up Mont Salève see here. For the mountain bike routes see here.

The crazy-steep hairpins are wooded and it was after sunset, so this the view behind me (note, I am IN this photo):

As I arrived at Col de la Croisette, above the tree line, the moon was clear in view. Thus, I could have arrived earlier. But, it was spectacular. I continued on to the lookout.

I reached the lookout and tried various photo settings and setups, and soon realised that I have absolutely no idea how to take an in focus, up close photo of the moon – especially with my favourite portable camera. I’ll do a little research for next time. Regardless, some of the photos turned out OK.

Note, many of these photos used a long exposure. No issue with a bike and a tripod. But when I am in the photo I needed to stay very still. Sometimes I did well, sometimes less so. 😉

I soon realised that any shots of me moving/cycling were impossible:

That is Mars top right !

Me standing still pretending to pedal

I have taken endless sunset photos from Mont Salève, it was fun to finally try some moon rise photos.


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Happiest while cycling uphill.


  1. Good plan and good execution, and it’s definitely Mars – it’s been very prominent the last couple of months. Would be impressive to get some more planets, Saturn has been close to Mars recently too (about the same distance again and direction as Moon-Mars).

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