It was already late October when I spontaneously decided to pack my bags and head to the Alps. These would become some rather formative days for me as it was my first time spending the night out in the mountains and experiencing the absolute peace and serenity of watching the sunrise from a summit with a breathtaking view and no other humans in sight. Needless to say, I fell completely in love with this feeling and have been pursuing it ever since.
I arrived in Melchsee-Frutt in the late afternoon and started making my way to the Tannalpsee where I watched the sun set over the lake and the beautiful scenery surrounding it. Just as I was about to leave and go find a spot where I could sleep, the sky lit up one last time and gave me a remarkable reflection made possible by the lake calming down at this crucial moment. I would have already been happy to go home at this point, it had been such a beautiful evening.
My adventure was far from over however, as I still had a couple of hours to hike through the dark to get closer to the next day’s goal of making it to the summit for sunrise. I put down my sleeping pad near a small lake at the foot of Hochstollen, meaning it would be considerably warmer during the night but also resulting in me having to get up at 4:00 am to pack my stuff up and start hiking. The trail soon started to get steeper and steeped as I ascended through the darkness guided by my headlamp. It was my first time carrying such a heavy backpack up a mountain and doing it so early in the morning certainly didn’t help either, but I struggled upwards switchback after switchback. The struggle soon turned into joy however, when I reached the bottom of the ridgeline that would lead me to my goal.
Less than an hour later, I arrived at the top. Completely overwhelmed by the view I had worked so hard to see, I just sat down on a rock for a few minutes to let everything sink in and try to process this experience. I knew then and there the magnitude of the impact this moment would have on my life and sure enough I have been chasing this feeling ever since. And then the sun rose. First faintly, but then more and more until I felt it touching my skin and warming me up. This place is one of my favorites in the Alps, not just because of the beautiful memories it allowed me to make, but also for the amazingly diverse 360°-view the summit has to offer.
I reluctantly left after a morning I’ll never forget and made my way back down the mountain with the biggest smile on my face. I was completely and utterly happy.