​Looking back on July (2017)

At the end of the month I like to look back on what I’ve done and where I’ve been. On how I felt and what was on my mind. It turned out that my Instagram pictures actually gives a pretty good impression. So, I decided to put them together in a blog post. Here’s July.

Austria

I’m in the clouds. According to the map, there mountains around here. High mountains. And that’s what I’m here for, hiking the Via Alpina, a stunning trail through the Alps. Although I do experience the Alps, I prefer to see them as well. Luckily I’ve got time, so after hiking 5k, I decided to put up my tent and wait for the sun to come. #eatsleephikerepeat

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The Wild One, Me 😉

A friend from Sarajevo gave me this bracelet. She’s got a blog “The Wild One” where she writes about her adventures in BiH and the Balkans. I took the bracelet with me, because it reminds me of her and the importance of friendship. And it makes me feel a bit of a Wild One too.. Although we are miles apart, I feel a connection. When we write it’s honest and sincere. I miss her, but know we will meet again. I’m sure we’re gonna spend more time together. Hiking, exploring, doing wild things 😉

Sweet_muddy_trails
Sweet muddy trails

Sweet muddy trails 😉 These shoes have been through tough times… I believe I hiked almost 2000 kilometer (oefff) and still like hiking ánd the FiveFingers. I haven’t got any blisters, my feet aren’t sweaty, they’re actually strong and steady. Yes, they get tired, but it’s a huge difference with the first 1000K. The hiking paths in the Alps is a bit more demanding, I really have to watch my steps. Stones hurt when you hit them and the mud is slippery as hell. But honestly it makes hiking so much more fun when you feel e-ve-ry-thing!

Germany

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Algäuer Alps, why I hike (mountains)
Allgäuer_Sheep
Allgäuer Sheep

I love sheep, isn’t amazing how different every sheeps “behhh” sounds?! And is there anyone who doesn’t start to laugh while listening to sheep-talk 🙂 #alwayseating

#choosemountains
#choosemountains

I’m in the Algäuer Alps, back in Germany. Apparently I crossed the border, but hey, nature does not know borders and me neither ;-). These mountains actually remind me of Montenegro, near the border with Albania. Rocky and green. Now I think if it, the colours are probably similar, because I was there in the same season. Actually, exactly one year ago I hiked in Komovi NP. But besides the season, the scenery really has many similarities.

Tirol_hiking_via_alpina
Tirol

Sommerbergjöchle , an unexpected extra climb, but wow, what a view! That mountain in the back is Zugspitze, Germanies highest peak, but I’m actually descending to Biberwier (fantastic name for a town). The weather is pretty predictable, rain during the night, sunny in the morning, storm in the afternoon. I like it. Dramatically beautiful skies and short hiking days.

Seebensee_Tiroler_Zugspitz_Arena
Seebensee, Tiroler Zugspitz Arena

It happens that you read about places, see the most beautiful photos or hear the best stories and then it turns out to be mwahhh.. I try to avoid that, but it’s hard, especially with stuff like Instagram.

I don’t like to plan, I do prepare the route a bit, but mostly I just hike and see.

The Seebensee is one of those places I heard and read about. ‘That might be a great spot to camp,’ I thought. Once up there, it was way too early to put up my tent and there were way too many people (and cows). It sure is a beautiful lake and oefff, the Tiroler Zugspitz Arena is absolutely impressive. So no disappointment this time and yes, I recommend going there as well.

Austria

Cairn_Tiroler_Zugspitz_Arena
Cairns

How do you call these little friends in English? Cairns? Or is that French? And what are they auf Deutsch? In The Netherlands we say “steenmannetjes”, it’s funny that I only know the Dutch word, while we don’t have them in our flat country…

#cairn #steinmann #fites #steinmännchen #schdoimennle #steinmanndli #steinmannli

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White fluffy flowers

Ok, maybe someone is making fun of me by telling me that this is a peanut plant. Erdnusse. I can hardly believe that they grow high up in the mountains, but on the other hand, I never really gave it a thought.. It’s a cute flower though, also when it’s just a sweet, fluffy white flower. #cottongrass

View_from_Meilerhütte_via_alpina
View from the Meilerhütte

Yes, I can stare at them for hours. Here I’m almost up at the Meilerhütte, an incredible hike from the Reintalanger Hütte along the Wetterstein mountain range. I’m not sure if you can still see the Zugspitze, but that giant has been on my side for days. It really felt like hiking in an arena. This is the last view before I head toward the other side. Down to Karwendel Alpine Park. First of course I take another break and stare.

Hiking_fivefingers
I’m taking my time

A few days ago I met another Via Alpina hiker, a real though one. He’s not only hiking the whole red trail, no he hikes all five of them. That means 5000 kilometers. Through the mountains! Of course I was impressed, it’s quite something extraordinary to do. Amazing that his body can handle it and amazing that he has the mindset to hike all day, day in, day out. But most of all, I was impressed, because he does what he loves to do. Hiking extreme long distances. He’s not testing himself, he likes to keep on moving. On top of that, everybody is telling him that it is insane and perhaps stupid. Nevertheless he follows his own path. Or paths actually.

Me on the other hand likes to take breaks. I do stare at mountains for hours. Or clouds, sheep, ants, people. I don’t get bored doing “nothing”. I’m a slow one and I love that. Besides, when I have had a long day, my feet tell me to slow down. I listen to them, although I don’t aim to hike 5000K, I do hope that those feet will bring me to Sarajevo 🙂

Loassattel_via_alpina
Loassattel

Finding a place to put up your tent isn’t difficult. Finding a good place to put up your tent on the other hand, is a bit more tricky. Today I hiked from Pfitscher (where I could camp on someone’s land), to Loassattel. It was a cloudy, rainy day and although some guy said there wouldn’t be any thunderstorm, I didn’t want to take the risk, hiking the ridge to Kellerjoch. The day before, in Karwendel Alpine Park, the lightings were pretty close. “You don’t have to worry, the path is not exposed,” some other guy said. Well, when there’s not even a second between the lighting and the thunder, I surely don’t feel comfortable. So, long story short, I took the easy road and found this lovely place. Perfect for camping, flat, good view, quiet. Until the cows arrived… I was on their territory. For a second I was afraid they would destroy my tent. Suddenly they started to run, my tent was not supposed to be there. Ahhhh. Luckily they changed direction and moved away from me and my tent. That night another thunderstorm passed by, but at least that kept the cows away.

Route_to_Rastkogelhütte
Route to Rastkogelhütte

It’s a great pleasure hiking these well maintained trails. Especially near the huts it’s like a red carpet. Yes, it means that you’re not alone. It’s actually kind of hard to take a photo without people in it, but that’s the Alps. My tactic for not getting annoyed by all the other mountain lovers, is observe them. How they give each other a high five when reach a hut and order a beer before they put down their backpack. How they try to figure out which hiking poles were theirs and how kids acrobatically run in front of their heavily breathing parents. It’s great fun. As long as I find a quiet place to pitch my tent, I’m a happy hiker.

Mayrhofen
Mayrhofen

They hurt the eye, ski slopes. Even worse when the mountain is full with closed bars, restaurants and après ski stuff. This is probably what Salau looks like during the winter. So sad. The good thing about bad weather is that I can’t see it. Every now and then a ski lift or cable car pops up, but most of the time I don’t see anything. That also means that others can’t see me… And you know what, while camping on a misty ski slope, I discovered that “Mayrhofen” covered the mountain with free WiFi. 🙂

Finkenberg
Finkenberg

I woke up in the clouds, couldn’t tell left from right. Fortunately I only had to follow a “road” along the ski slopes. Then my route went straight for the forest. Suddenly the clouds started to move, this is what I saw. #hikingviews

Hochfeiler
Hochfeiler

Getting higher and higher, I believe this the Hochfeiler, a 3000 something mountain. I’m always excited when I see snowy mountains, still I don’t feel the need to climb them. I’ll stick to hiking, for now…

Next country: Italy

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Pfitscherjoch (Passo Vizze), on the border
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Alta Via Di Fundres

That’s how you mark a trail 🙂

Today I took a “shortcut”, instead of going down to the village Dun, I hiked the Pfunderer Höhenweg or the Alta Via di Fundres from Engelberg Alm to the Edelrauthütte. I didn’t quite understand why the Via Alpina made a detour on the road that includes a lot of unnecessary descending and climbing. “Maybe there’s a Klettersteig in this trail,” I joked. Well, there kind of was. That mountain pass in the back (Gaisscharte) that’s a tricky one. After bouldering my way up there I seriously had to focus, a 20-30 meter climb down with steel cables and footholds was fun, but surely not easy. I like climbing, so I had a great day. My variant was shorter (in distance), higher and probably much more beautiful, but I do get the detour. These were my slowest kilometers so far, but worth every step.

The Neveser Höhenweg, what a beauty! At the same time it’s sad to see the glaciers disappearing. Well, you can’t actually see them disappearing, but they are. What to say? What to do? A while ago I met a Slovenian artist who’s work is about raising awareness for those melting glaciers. He makes it visible. It’s inspiring how creativity and passion for nature, mountains, come together in his art. There are also people who hike to raise money for a charity. A global warming charity, does that exist? Probably. But then what? What is done with the money? Can money really help? And that’s why I feel sad. It’s all about the money. First we use and ruin nature to make it (money) and then it turns out that there’s no money in the world to repair the damage. So yeah, what to say? What to do?

Up_Rieserferner_Scharte_via_alpina
Rieserferner Nature Park

Here I’m on my way up to the Rieserferner Scharte, at almost 2800 meter. A stranger took this photo of me while I thought he was making a selfie… So, this is me in action, sweating-my-up-in-action. And the great thing is that this guy kept his word and send me the photo the next day. So thank you Christoph!


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