We all know this - the clouds and the fog restrict the view from the valley to the summits. Everything is grey and colors seem to have disappeared. Things turn a little bit black and white.
I am living in the Inn valley, which is kind of famous for being covered under a thick layer of fog and every time I look out of the window and can't see the sun I am wondering if the surrounding mountains are high enough to climb out of the grey veil of dust. I am happy to say they are!
Join me, my girlfriend Kathi and a group of super motivated young skiers of the German Alpine Club on our journey to the over side of this curtain.
Starting not far away from the noisy and stinking Brenner highway we are lucky enough to park our car only few meters above the clouds that already let us doubt about the weather forecast during our drive through the mountains.
We make quick progress and only two hours later we are already in "the zone". A relatively unspectacular, not very high mountain caught our powder-loving and ski-addicted minds attraction - 300 vertical meters of untouched snow, perfectly segmented by little rock formations.
You can imagine: Vibes were high and we did hike for hike, run for run and just enjoyed skiing this beautiful terrain above the clouds.
On the last ascent backpacks were big and bulky again as we were carrying a lot of equipment for what was yet come. We do such a trip every ski season and in German it's called "Wintermärchen" - "winter fairytale"
Actually it is just about spending a night up on a beautiful spot in the mountains during the wintertime. So far it has never been the same, everytime is different and this year we had definitely the best ski conditions so far. And the greatest view, but that's something you will soon recognize.
We digged out a flat spot and wind shelter and tried to stay as warm as possible by eating an interesting combination of tortellini and instant soups accompanied by Parmesan and tea. After a warm meal everybody wanted to get into the sleeping bag and hoped to escape of the arctic cold that seemed to be unstoppable with the sun already having set. Luckily the clouds did not rise up to our camp at 2300 m, so at least the view was incredible.
The night was cold. Extremly cold... but waking up in the morning seemed to be even harder as everything was frozen and covered by frost. You need to put everything in your sleeping bag to be able to use it the next day: camera batteries, boot liners, pants, jackets, everything...
You can imagine that we were just looking forward to feel the first sun rays shining on our faces...
Once more, we were lucky to be just above the sea of clouds and as a result the views were amazing and everybody felt rewarded for the uncomfortable night under the stars.
I love this moment. It is just stunning - for a short glimpse everybody can forget about the frozen toes and enjoy mother nature's beauty.
Starting the day with a ski run isn't a bad thing neither...
Hands down: Making the effort to climb out of the fog is worth it. No crowds above the clouds and a lot of amazing scneries, constantly redesigned by the everchanging sea of clouds. I think these are the most memorable days out in the mountains...