2011-10-09

Winter is coming

To quote Game of Thrones: "Winter is coming". I had planned an ambitious hike for today, covering 3 peaks and a long ridge in between. I wouldn't even reach the first one. The weather forecast predicted some amount of fresh snow for the weekend. In reality winter launched a full force frontal assault. There were around 15cm of fresh snow even in the valley. The peaks in the area received more than 80cm (!) and it just kept coming while I was slowly plowing my way upwards. Stuck waist deep in the stuff, wet to the bone, with zero visibility and more than 8 hours to go I decided to call it quits and turn around. And a good decision it was too. If going up was difficult going down proved to be even more so because now you'd start to slip and slide. I was glad that the terrain was still relatively easy and forgiving.

Aside from the snowflakes falling gently and my own steps crunching in the snow it was absolutely silent. This made it even more startling when huge branches would suddenly give in to the weight of the snow and come crashing down. I witnessed a small avalanche on the opposite slope later - another reason why it was probably wise to turn around. The snow was wet, heavy and not properly settled yet. From my limited understanding dangerous avalanche conditions.

~10km, ~800m elevation gain/loss, turned around at ~1600m. Now I have snow shoes on my shopping list ;-)

Photos here







BTW, for reference, this was last week in Germany (26°C):