Sunrise at the peak of
1669 m

A moment to myself

My watch vibrates at 6:50 am, but it is another ten minutes before I peel myself out of my sleeping liner and throw back the three layers of blankets under which I slept comfortably warm. It is always an internal battle to stay in the warm bed or get up and out. Ultimately, knowing that my early rise will be more than rewarded prevails. I packed my things the evening before, so I quietly sneak out of the dorm and get dressed in the washroom. Last night I briefly thought about asking Jakob, my roomate, to come with me. In the end, however, I look forward to a moment alone in the mountains. The feeling of complete peace and freedom is something I've been longing for for a while.

My system is not quite up to speed yet and my legs are sliding a little uncoordinated across the icy road in front of the hut. But when I trudge over the softly crunching snow, I find my steady rhythm. There is just about half an hour left until sunrise, just enough time to cover the one and a half kilometres and 300 meters in altitude to the summit. From the hut it is a steep climb up a slope, unfortunately no one created a proper zig-zag track when the snow fell a few weeks ago and the snow is now too hard to do it. So I quickly warm up on the this very direct route up and do well to stow my down jacket in my backpack to save it for the summit. On the horizon the sky is slowly turning red and it is already light enough to walk without a headlamp. In this peace and quiet, where I can only hear my breathing and the crunch of the snow under my snowshoes, I make good progress and soon arrive at the saddle under the peak.

I leave my snowshoes behind on the saddle and put my spikes on instead. The summer path goes directly over the ridge to the summit, which is not ideal in the snow. So I follow the trail to the right past the ridge, through steep, rocky terrain in the forest. Certainly not fun for the inexperienced, but thanks to hard snow and a well-chosen route, no problem for the experienced. I took my time on the hike up, soaking in the arrival of dawn, noticing how the sky was slowly changing colour and a new day was beginning. So I arrive at the summit cross just in time and see the sun rise over the mountain peaks about a quarter of an hour after sunrise. I stand at almost 1700 meters with a view of Lake Tegernsee, the Bodenschneidhaus and the surrounding mountain peaks. In the clear light of the winter sun you can even see the Großglockner and Großvenediger in the south, the highest peaks in the Austrian Alps in the Hohe Tauern National Park. Up here with this view I feel an inner peace that overcomes the restlessness of the past few weeks and gives me the security again that I am on the right path.