My wife had plans for a wellness weekend, but I was craving some alone time in nature. So, while she took the car, I decided to embark on a hiking adventure through the mountains. The plan was simple: she would drop me off at a hikers’ parking lot, and I would make my way home on foot, immersing myself in the stunning scenery along the way.
As I set off on my journey, I felt a sense of joyful anticipation. I was well-prepared for the trek with all the necessary equipment: micro spikes, poles, snowshoes, warm hiking trousers, layered jackets, plenty of water and snacks to keep me going. The weather was a perfect mix of blue skies and low, feathery clouds, with a blanket of snow covering the entire trail. The crisp, fresh air was invigorating, and I knew the temperature would only get colder as I climbed higher towards the peak.
Despite the solitude, I felt a deep sense of connection to nature as I walked through the quiet and serene wilderness. The only sounds were the crunch of snow beneath my feet and the occasional chirping of birds perched on nearby trees. As I continued on, I realized that this journey wasn’t just a physical one, but a mental and emotional one as well. The solitude and stillness allowed me to reflect on my thoughts and emotions, and I found myself lost in deep introspection. It was a truly meditative experience, one that I will never forget.
The beginning of my hike was picture-perfect, with blue skies overhead and just a few fluffy clouds moving in. It was a moody and atmospheric start to the journey, and I couldn’t have asked for anything better. There were only a few other hikers in sight, and I relished the feeling of being almost completely alone in the wilderness.
As I continued on, the trail became icy and snowy, and I was grateful for the micro spikes that I had brought along. My warm hiking trousers were a bit cumbersome, but I knew that I would appreciate them later on when the temperatures dropped even further. I pulled up the legs of my trousers for a bit more comfort – after all, the mountains are no fashion show.
I had been warned by a friend that a part of the trail was prone to small avalanches, but I assumed that they must have already come down. And I was right – I crossed the remnants of the avalanches with caution and respect for the power of nature. After a while, I found myself completely alone on the trail. The only sounds were my own footsteps and the occasional call of a bird in the distance. The stillness and solitude were almost overwhelming, but I embraced the moment and allowed myself to become fully immersed in the experience.
As I walked, I felt my mind and body begin to relax and unwind. The stresses and worries of everyday life melted away, and I was left with a deep sense of calm and contentment. The meditative qualities of the hike were becoming more and more apparent, and I was grateful for the opportunity to disconnect from the world and connect with nature.
After tackling the first steep section of the hike, I soon emerged from the forest and onto a forest road. The snow was compressed underfoot, creating a pristine white pathway that stretched out for around half a kilometer. On either side of me were snow covered meadows and large mountains, and I caught my first glimpse of the summit of the peak I was aiming to reach. Its cross stood proudly marking the top, and I knew that I would be there in less than an hour. Despite the distance, the summit still looked small from where I stood, about 300 meters below. But the sight of it made me smile, and I felt a renewed sense of energy to continue on. I made my way across the snow-covered plain, taking in the breathtaking scenery all around me.
Soon enough, I was back in the forest, making my way up another section of the trail. As I neared the top, I encountered a few hikers coming down, wrapped up in thick, warm clothing. It felt strange to see them all bundled up when I was heating up from the exertion of the climb. But I knew that I would need to layer up soon enough as the temperatures would be colder at higher altitudes in chill winds. For now, I focused on the next leg of my journey and the beauty of the nature surrounding me. The peace and solitude of the mountains were my only companions, and I relished the chance to experience it all alone.
Reaching the summit was a familiar feeling, having been there multiple times before. But each time was different, and this particular day was no exception. As I approached the top, I found myself right on the upper edge of the clouds, giving the whole scene an ethereal and mystical mood. The air was hazy and the sky alternated between shades of blue and white wisps of clouds. The wind was chilly, and I added another jacket to my layered ensemble for extra warmth. Despite the cold, the view from the top was simply breathtaking.
After a quick snack break, it was time to move on to the next waypoint. I knew that the descent would be a bit challenging, but I was ready for it. I felt invigorated by the beauty of the mountains, and my meditative state helped me stay focused on the present moment. As I made my way down the mountain, the snowshoes and poles came in handy once again. The trail was slippery, snowy and icy in parts. But with each step, I felt more confident and at ease. The solitude of the hike was therapeutic, allowing me to clear my mind and find peace in the quiet of the mountains.
As I continued on my journey, the trail became increasingly remote, and the snow grew deeper. The lack of visitors made the scenery even more serene, and I found myself taking a few moments to appreciate the beauty of the snow structures created by the wind. However, as I entered a forest road covered in deep snow, I realized that I should have put on my snowshoes earlier. Finally, I decided to take the time to put them on properly, and it made all the difference.
The path took me along the north side of the mountain, where the sun never reached. The temperature dropped immediately, and I found myself in an absolute winter wonderland. For the first time, I experienced a situation where everything around me had a slight blue tint. It was a stunning sight, and I took some photos to capture the moment. I walked on until I reached the next waypoint, a saddle between the peak behind me and the one ahead. It was a welcome respite from the cold, and I took a few moments to rest and gather my thoughts before continuing on my way.
As I continued along the trail, I found myself stepping out of the shadows of a steep slope that rose over 400 meters high. It was a relief to finally be in the sun, but the next ascent through the heavy, soggy snow was unexpectedly exhausting. I knew that soon enough, I would be back in the shade again. When the shade did arrive, it did not disappoint: The snow was knee-deep, and it was better to use my snowshoes to make progress. The chill wind was biting, but the untouched snow was beautiful.
It was arduous to move through the snow with my snowshoes, but the experience was worth it. I decided against climbing another summit and instead took a quick break to change my clothing after emerging back into the sun. Little later I found a small spot without snow near a hut and considered buying a snack, but I decided against it to avoid encountering other people. The meditative silence I had enjoyed for hours was too precious to break. Instead, I took a short break to enjoy the view and prepare myself for the final leg of the hike.
As I sat during my break, taking in the beautiful scenery, I couldn’t help but reflect on the journey so far. The hike had been an incredible experience, both mentally and physically challenging. It was amazing how a day alone in the mountains could provide so much clarity and balance. Eventually, it was time to get moving. I knew this trail well, having ridden it many times on my bike, but walking and snowshoeing made it feel like an entirely new journey. The valley which I was descending into wasn’t the most visually exciting, but I was grateful for the time to focus on my own thoughts and make progress towards home.
After a 7km long and strenuous journey, I finally left the valley and walked along the street for the last 3km. As I arrived home, my mountain boots were soaked from hours of snowshoeing, and I was indeed a bit exhausted. However, the feeling of happiness and fulfillment from the day’s adventure was immeasurable.
In total, the hike lasted pretty exactly 8 hours (about half of it in snowshoes), covering 25km with an elevation gain of more than 1000m. It was truly an unforgettable day and an incredible journey of self-discovery.