How a photographer got this amazing mountaintop shot

Getting to this high-altitude research station is surprisingly easy—just take a train.

Photograph by KONSTA PUNKKA

For one year Konsta Punkka traveled throughout Europe photographing Integrated Carbon Observation System research stations, which measure greenhouse gases. The stations tend to be in remote areas of the continent, but no others are as high as Jungfraujoch in Switzerland—or as accessible to tourists.

Ride up a mountain: The Jungfraujoch research station looks rugged and isolated—and it is—but beneath its windswept stones lie an ice palace, a chocolate shop, and the highest train station in Europe. Like the travelers, Punkka rode a cogwheel train from Kleine Scheidegg through a tunnel under the mountain to get there. After he disembarked, he stepped into a high-speed elevator. It shot him up to the research station on top of the peak where he, unlike the tourists, was allowed to bunk with the scientists for four days.

Bundling up: Punkka dressed for early spring in the Alps—in down, fleece, and multiple layers.

More from this series

How to trek to two of the world’s largest known caves
How a photographer captured this bizarre salt island in the Dead Sea
How this photographer got the photo of her dreams

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet