After the less successful ski-touring trip couple of weeks back I needed a successful adventure! I just felt the itch for doing something new more and more. Now it was the time. I knew right a way what I wanted to do. I have been thinking about sleeping in the mountains during winter for some time now, but somehow we have kept it to rather simple day hikes instead. Considering that last winter we did not even hike and considered winter just a skiing season we have really moved our limits. I have now realized that It is very nice to hike in the winter and it is a complete different experience from any other time of the year.
The perhaps hardest part of planning this hike was finding a perfect destination. We needed a peak that was accessible with public transport, that was not too crowded, that we had not hiked before and that was “hard” enough for a long day hike. Another thing we needed to consider was the avalanche risk and we needed a destination where it was easy to rent snowshoes (We were to late to rent something from DAV in Munich, but if you plan a head this is the best and cheapest option). Finding a such a destination was not easy. I was about to give up actually, but luckily Elias took over and found the perfect destination for our adventure – Feldernkopf 2071m.
This was a hike of firsts – Made and Elias doing stuff they have not done before.
- This was the first time I camp outside during winter
- This was the first time I hike with snowshoes
- This was the first time I use a stow to make pancakes
- This was the first time I put up a tent on snow
All in all we learned so much during this adventure:
- Snowshoes are not so awesome for hiking steaper hikes (perfect for less steep hikes), but they are awesome to go down hill with.
- Plan two hours for setting up the camp. We used 1 but it would have been nice to have one more hour just for looking at the sunset.
- Store your shoes inside the tent not outside in a bag.
- Store all your food inside the tent so it will not freeze during the night.
- Take your time when making the flat area for the tent on the snow. The more time you use the better you will sleep 😉
- Secure the inner tent the most, otherwise it will start gliding down the hill (We learned that the hard way).
- Take extra pars of socks with you, at least 2 extra pars for the night (You need the grandma stuff)!
- If it is cold sleep with cloves on, I did not do that but next time I will so that you have more flexibility when choosing a sleeping position.
- Thermos is nice to have, even when you plan to boil water, so you can store the warm water you boil. When it is could outside the water gets cold faster than you think.
One thing to think about before you head out to a winter hike is that it is not always easy to find the path. The regular markings were almost never visible, but luckily we were able to follow the skitourng tracks. It is also a good idea to find a hike were you can see the peak from the beginning so that it is easier to orientate, or even better, take a GPS with you.
The hike was “only” 900 m climb. This was yet another thing we discovered 900 m climb in snow can not be compared to 900 m climb during summer. Yes we had quite heavy bags with us but we needed 6 hours to climb that 900m. In other words we were glad we had the whole day.
When it comes to food the possibilities with a stow are endless, but my advise is to keep it simple. It may be cold on the top, you may be hungry and tired so you should plan to make something easy and fast. The easiest thing is to buy some of the dry food meant for hiking, but if you feel more adventurous then that, you could make dinner at home and just warm it up on the stow. We had something like chilli con crane with us and simply heated it. We even had homemade guacamole and cheese with us 🙂
For breakfast we made pancakes with apple jam. (Elias wanted bacon but we never got so far as frying bacon. The pancakes would have gotten cold in the mean time so we dropped that). In addition to this we had tea and coffee with us and some fruit, homemade granola bars, sandwedges for the lunch and a chocolate. It was more than enough food and we ended up bringing some of it back home.
I already mentioned extra socks, we also had extra change of clothes for seeping. The moral here is that more is better. You can never quite know how cold it will get during the night and the worst thing I know is to freeze, so have more clothes with you that you think you will need and prioritize wool and layers.
All in all this truly was an adventure. We learned a lot and experienced a lot. It was heavy and we needed to push ourselves mentally. But it was sooo nice to have dinner and watch the sunset. And to wake up and make pancakes and look at the mountains. We were also lucky with the weather so the last 300 height meters we had amazing views.