“The secret of the mountain is that the mountains simply exist, as I do myself: the mountains exist simply, which I do not. The mountains have no "meaning," they are meaning; the mountains are. The sun is round. I ring with life, and the mountains ring, and when I can hear it, there is a ringing that we share. I understand all this, not in my mind but in my heart, knowing how meaningless it is to try to capture what cannot be expressed, knowing that mere words will remain when I read it all again, another day.”
― Peter Matthiessen, The Snow Leopard
Continuing a story from the previous post.
After meeting a sunrise and spending the last morning by Kleiner Daumer, it was time to pack my stuff and move forward. I mentally thanked the hut for letting me spend two nights there, but to be honest I was happy to leave it... I looked last time on the lake. What a place it was to stay at for those couple of days!
The path went up, next aim was a Laufbichelsee, lake situated at 2012 m. A landscape changed quickly and abruptly from green meadows to rocky walls. Huge stones were thrown everywhere. First time in my life I was among this kind of mountain structure. And I loved it. Every movement required a lot of power and attention, as the path was mostly going through those big stones, thus it was a scrambling up and down rather than the walking.
No worries about the blue tape on my dog's paws, it was just for protection against sharp stones.
A lake itself was hidden between high stone hills, and not even visible from the path. Just nearby the lake I found a tiny plane spot with grass, where I could set a tent. Wow, that was a place to live at! A big minus which is good to take to an account was that the only available here creek, indicated on the map, completely dried out. So I simply had to use a water from the lake, luckily it was fine. And I drank a raw, not boiled water, too.
It was calm and cozy here, a very different feeling than in the hut by a previous lake. I felt myself totally protected and on the right place.
Soon the sun went down. My dogs were already sleeping. But I kept sitting on still warm stones, observing that serenity. A silent, powerful stillness of the rocks around, so severe and majestic! You are either in love with the mountains or you are not. As with love to a person, there is no switch on/off button. And if you are, you will simply need to come back here again and again. I don't think I could ever explain it in words, it doesn't even need an explanation. Here you feel a real, honest, raw and deep understanding of what is life, learn how to trust yourself and your way, how to neglect small unimportant things but keep and cherish important ones. There are only very few of them in fact.
I woke up at about 4 a.m. Had a tea and breakfast, left my dogs in the tent and started my climbing up to the Grosser Daumen peak, my main purpose of the trip.
Few times before I got questions - if I'm not afraid to leave my dogs in the tent like that, what if something would happen with me on the way?... Well, first of all, I leave them for their safety, as I don't often know how complicated is going to be a trek, especially in the night. And it's one thing to be responsible for myself, another one is to keep an eye also on the dogs. Also, if something would really happen, then what's the difference if they are with me or in the tent if I couldn't help them then anyways? And, when I leave them in tent or a hotel room, I always leave a big bowl with water and a note - 'In case of my death or heavy injury, concerning the dogs, please contact...' And details of my two contact persons. I think it's the most safe way for the dogs, and more safe for myself as well. As I can focus then on the trek and photography, keeping well in mind that two beloved creatures, dependent on me are waiting.
The path up was very sharp and narrow, and rocky. But I felt so much power and inspiration. Climbing up took about 1 h. and it was still dark. Just before the mountain top on one plain spot I saw a small cross silhouette. I decided to step closer to see what is that cross about. And... in the dark shadow I noticed a little amorphous motion and a somber voice from a cross down said: 'Servus'! I jumped back so artfully and skilfully that if any kangaroo would observe me from aside, it would die with envy. I started to stare into the darkness and finally saw two sleeping bags, when a darkness with sleepy voice asked me what time it is. Doro and Simon! I met them a day ago near Engeratsgundsee, one very light couple. They mentioned they wanted to spend a night on the mountain top to meet a sunrise there. But what a place they chose to sleep at! Very...peaceful one indeed...
It was getting lighter. Wow, I climbed Grosser Daumen, 2,280 m! Or, as we say it: mountain let me to climb it this time.
It was cold and windy. Doro and Simon were sitting on a big stone in their sleeping bags, smoking and chewing homemade pie. Twenty years old, with a lot of plans, with shiny eyes. I talked to them, looked at them and recalled those times when I was also twenty something, going with friends for the first times to Carpathian mountains in Ukraine. With no money, no good equipment, with heavy and simple food, but feeling so happy and full of hopes. We had nothing, but the whole world was ours. And we were all sitting for all night long by the tent, near the fire (yes, in those wild times it was allowed to make a campfire in Ukrainian mountains), drinking wine and singing songs with guitar (yes, there were morons, dragging guitar for 30 km on their back, along with the backpack). What to the hell changed since those times?!
A sunrise interrupted my thoughts. Maybe not so much changed in fact? Here I am, on a mountain top, with one insane beautiful couple meeting the sunrise.
Here is a view of where I came from: view on a part of famous Hindelanger klettersteig.
Ah, yes, here was almost no mobile connection too, but I was still able to send messages. Yes, I'm alive!
Well, time to go down... I thanked the mountain for letting me on, and for letting me leave, said good buy to Doro and Simon (as they called themselves for me - German kids) and went back.