Sunday, February 14, 2016

Mobile, but not forgotten

Have been thinking A LOT (several months it seems) about whether I want to upload mobile photos on here or not, but at the risk of letting this blog die off completely, here are some miscellaneous iphone photos from late Autumn until now (minus 3 wonderful weeks in Australia - possibly still to come).

Autumn was a lot of fun - beer festivals, squeezing in as many hikes as possible including an overnight one on a mountain, bike riding until past sunset (road as well as dabbling in mountain biking), parties, and generally enjoying life until the semester got too busy.

Winter came somewhat suddenly, then left, then came again, and at the moment it seems to be making up its mind whether to stay or not. At least it's mostly been one of two extremes - either very snowy or very sunny. To celebrate the first snow, we went on a snow hike through extremely heavy snowfall. I also went on a memorable bike ride on a closed road which ended up being much more icy than expected, but awesome.

I love Vorarlberg huts/ houses.

A big change I've made over the past year is to explore different places when running. I used to just concentrate on clocking up km's, but running has gotten infinitely better by getting off residential streets and up into the hills/ mountains. I'm more or less going grandma-pace up the hills, and not going as far as I might otherwise, but the views, sunsets and new places I've discovered is a fine compromise. 

Skiing season is here! I've enjoyed getting out on my too-long-for-me, 20 euro skis. It's not just skiing itself which I love; it's the whole day I get to spend in the mountains, in (mostly) good weather with excellent company.
Speaking of excellent company: I had to farewell "the other Maddie" today, after she hung out in Vorarlberg with me for a year. I'm so sad she's left, but also thankful for the amazing friend she's been this past year - it would have been very different without her company.

I'm excited for the next semester/ year: writing a master thesis, doing a big project, lots of trips planned, lots of cycling, running and hiking. The thought of its potential busyness is already quite intimidating, but (perhaps after one more week off) I feel ready to tackle it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Clouds & light

Kanisfluh 2044m
One of the Bregenzerwald mountains I’ve always wanted to do, on a drizzly and misty day – hence only two photos. At the top we were in the middle of a cloud so had another completely white view. We were quite a big group and were still getting to know each other (new exchange students) when we did this, nothing like a hike to do that!

Hoher Fraßen 1979m
With a group of 8 lovely boys I hiked through the clouds up to a mountain sitting above the town where I work. I really enjoyed getting to know the Montafon/ Oberland mountains more this year.

Gurtisspitze 1778m
I’ve tried to make the most of the Indian summer we’re currently having (it’s all coming to an end on Sunday when the snow is apparently coming for good) so last Wednesday I went for a mountain bike ride in the morning up to Hohe Kugel (1645m) and in the afternoon went for a hike with Wim, Michel & Taavi up to Gurtisspitze, on the border to Liechtenstein. I found out about the mountain by some Instagram photos of the view a couple of weeks prior. My legs were crying on the way up (especially after some failed attempts at “shortcuts”) but the view with the sun setting was magical.

I just did a clean-up of my SD card and found some memories (real camera photos for a change!) of some more really nice hikes from the late summer. Sorry for the silence on here of late (it’s a new record I think, which is not a good thing). I feel like I’ve done so much since my last post that it’s too much to even try include everything on this blog. I’ll try to catch up.
Life is particularly good at the moment and I think that when everything is going so well, I’m less likely to blog. I’m excited for what 24 will bring. The past year has gone really fast but has been so good.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Up to Shilthorn Mountain (2970m, I can't ever seem to break the 3000m mark!) in the Bernese Oberland (Switzerland) with Allison at the start of my summer holidays. It was a dreamy 3 days, staying in a mountain hostel in Gimmelwald that you can only access by cable car or hiking. We hiked up to Shilthorn on a sunny morning and were greeted by cablecar loads of tourists at the top station (made famous by an old James Bond movie). It was a magical view over the Jungfrau nonetheless with noteworthy strudel at the restaurant. It's always hard deciding whether to take my camera with on hikes and usually I opt for the probably more necessary extra jacket or water bottle – hence it's mostly been iPhone photos on here of late.

Thursday, August 20, 2015


It had only to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles for no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental. It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way.

- from Wild by Cheryl Strayed

I was reading Wild in the evenings during this hike and took a photo of this page on my kindle. It seemed so fitting, perfectly describing my sentiment of walking for entire days. It was a thrill to wake up in the mornings with the sun rising over mountain peaks at the same level. Kallie was visiting from Australia and, being a mountain enthusiast like myself, it was the perfect opportunity to use my new ‘alpine club’ (yes) membership to stay in huts and do a longer multi-day hike in the Rätikon region on the other side of Vorarlberg.

Of course, it's always more than good to come 'home' to Dornbirn. I love the local mountains that I've now gotten to know so well, all the other accessible nature -  rivers, canyons, waterfalls. Also the great people, some who I've only met quite recently but really make me feel a sense of belonging here.