How does plant life spend the winter?

In winter, “living in the mountains means adapting or disappearing*”. This duality is particularly true for plants. And in matters of survival, mountain plants are like warriors, “able to suffer without dying” as the botanist Henri Gaussen liked to say. Let’s observe the thousand-and-one survival strategies of mountain plants!

The cold, the snow, the wind, the gradient: do you think those are main challenges facing high altitude plants each winter? You are forgetting the rocky ground, the short amount of sunshine on the north facing slopes, dizzying temperature changes on slopes exposed to the sun, and also solar radiation so intense that it becomes toxic. And of course the risk of being trampled, eaten and picked. Not to mention not being able to move to improve their living conditions!

Faced with this avalanche of obstacles, plant life uses quite stunning survival strategies. To see the beautiful creativity of alpine plants when they switch to “survival” mode, go on page 29 of the 10th issue of Hiking on the Moon!

Illustration fleur hiver

© Lydie Perret, Quechua Graphic Designer

Illustration fleur hiver lydie perret

© Lydie Perret, Quechua Graphic Designer
Edelweiss montagne hiver

© Anne-Sophie Blanchet, Quechua Material Designer

Nathan - mountain flower
© Nathan Pirtz


* Maxime became the title of a documentary by Laurent Cistac (Aster), with the help of the Écrins National Park ( in 2009



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