The Hiking Trip of a Million Views

Anne Bonfert

The story about a windy day high up in the alps

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  • Credit: Anne Bonfert

I’m walking on a thin trail between two mountain peaks. On the left and right of me, cliffs are leading down into the valley. The wind is pushing me to one side. The path is still slippery from yesterday’s rainfall. My face is burning from the cold.

Yes, it has been a tough hike. But it was a wonderful day. Those views we got offered today were simply breathtaking. The trail challenging but fun. Nature presented itself from the adventurous side. The wildlife up here was shy but impressive.

Let me take you with me on this day full of adrenaline, sweat, hard work, and endurance.

“Going to the mountains is going home.” — John Muir

To skip the boring part of the mountains and avoid walking up on a tarred road we started the day by taking a chairlift. As soon as we got off the lift we could feel the wind. Despite the predictions of no precipitation for today, we will experience a cold day. We’re not even on the top yet and can feel the wind already.

I decided today against my warm hiking jacket and chose instead of the windbreaker. Not sure if this was the right choice. I’m doubting the fact it will block these stormy gusts. But for now, I am warm since we are moving fast into altitude.

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  • Credit: Anne Bonfert

Every other step I take a break to catch my breath. And enjoy the view. I did not expect that. To get such breathtaking views on today’s hike. The snow is mostly gone only some high mountain peaks still show some white. But still. The views are amazing.

The sky is covered in clouds and it doesn’t offer the best light for landscape photographs but my GoPro is still doing an amazing job. With very little work on brightening up the shot, I am impressed with the outcome of it.

Due to the strong wind and lack of sunshine not many people make the effort of climbing this mountain. Despite being surrounded by mountain pine trees we felt the wind at the top. We only took one or two pictures before we moved on.

The trail continuing from the peak is perfect for adventure lovers and adrenaline enthusiasts like me. Leading along the crest of the mountain ridge it forces us to walk on a small path next to steep slopes.

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I enjoyed this path. But looking at the selfies I took along the trail it doesn’t seem like it. Or let’s say it shows that I was struggling.

“It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” — Sir Edmund Hillary
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And then we see them. A herd of chamois. Chamois are goat-antelopes living in the high alpine mountains of Europe. Getting to winter they have to eat as much as possible to get through the tough months of cold weather up here.

We counted almost 30 of them. Just above the tree line, they were grazing on a piece of grassland.

Having my camera out of the bag already I take the chance and take a few scenic shots. The mountains on the horizon look impressive in this weather. Looking at those peaks I always wonder who are those kinds of people climbing such a mountain.

They must be strong. Mentally and physically. People climbing peaks made out of cliffs must know what they are doing. They most probably have been doing it for years and years.

But most importantly they must love it. Only when you love a sport like that you will manage to do such incredible achievements in nature. And in life.

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When reaching the third peak on this mountain ridge we decide to head off the crest. The wind is too strong. We can barely stand upright.

And like from one moment to another the sky clears up entirely. From grey covered in clouds to a shining blue sky. The weather up here high in the mountains can change within minutes. In both directions — good or bad.

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It’s getting warmer and the legs become weaker. The wind took a lot of energy out of us. Now, I feel the pain. Since we’re out of the danger zone now the body slowly relaxes. That means the feeling of pain comes back.

All those muscles who were tensed up for so long start to complain. But that doesn’t matter. We continue enjoying our hike. The views distract our minds and the trail over roots and rocks keeps us awake.

I hear an airplane. Such a rare become sound. I would never have looked to the sky before. Just because of hearing the sound of a plane. Growing up next to an international airport this sound was something continuously pushed in the subconscious mind.

But things are different now. Months of no or very little air traffic taught me how to filter out this sound again. And there am I. Standing on a mountain looking up in the sky.

I even make the effort to take out my camera. I put down my backpack and look through the viewfinder. Click. A shot of this jet flying across the clear blue sky. The air must be pretty moist up there. Judging according to the bright condensation trail.

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A few more steps to go and we see the car. Parked in the parking lot. We take our shoes off and cool down the feet in a fresh mountain streamlet. What a feeling. My feet are back alive again.

This is what life is about. Doing things. Experiencing feelings. Being in nature. Going on adventures. Letting the adrenaline pumping through the blood. And being alive.

Because those memories I’ve made can’t be taken from me.

“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain!” — Jack Kerouac

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I am a traveler. Photographer. Writer. Teacher. Skydiving instructor. Adventure enthusiast. Nature lover. And fell in love with the African continent. My stories go around travel, nature and all kinds of adventurous activities.

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