Just go and overcome your laziness!

Since you have decided, like Hamlet, "to be" instead of "not to be" (otherwise you would certainly not be reading this), the next important question is "to do or not to do?" It is much easier to just exist and go with the flow (i.e., "not to do") than to overcome one's laziness and to do something. For example, nature photographers or mountaineers have to bring up the energy to leave their warm and comfy bed (or sleeping bag) in the middle of the night, when it is dark and cold outside. If the weather is bad or uncertain, the activation energy required to overcome one's comfort may seem almost unsurmountable.
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Snow, fog and rocks in the "Kreuzberge" (Chrüzberg). I was visualizing a scene like this all along our hike on the ridge and in the fog. When we arrived at the spot with this view, I only managed to take one single photograph before the fog swallowed the whole scene.

For a family of five, the number of "free" weekends is very limited. Last weekend was such a rare occasion and therefore we had planned a trip to the mountain Hoher Kasten (reached by cable car from Brülisau). The summit of Hoher Kasten is the starting point for a beautiful panorama hike that brings you in 3-4 hours of ups and downs, and after many breathtaking views down to the river Rhine, Germany and the Austrian alps, to the mountain hotel Bollenwees

Unfortunately, the weather was, like so many times this year, not perfect. We hesitated whether to leave or to stay at home and not everybody was looking forward to the prospect of hiking in the rain. When we arrived in Brülisau, rain was pouring down and no mountain was visible. However, after a picnic in the car it had cleared up and we decided to take a chance and boarded the cabin of the cable car. 

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For a short moment, the clouds and fog cleared and revealed the rocky summit of the "Altmann" - and a beam of light also passed through the clouds to "complete" this photograph.

Our gondola soon disappeared in a dense cloud and all the way along our hike on the ridge we could only imagine, but not actually see, the beautiful view. We only caught short glimpses of the breathtaking view when holes in the dense soup of fog formed. However, the lush vegetation and bright alpine flowers, covered with rain drops, were compensating for the lack of a view and accompanied us all along the way. Also due to the inhospitable weather conditions, less hikers were en route and we obtained a room at the Bollenwees on short notice (often this guesthouse is booked weeks in advance). The quietness was probably also the reason, why two alpine ibex, still in their winter fur, grazed next to the hiking path (two hikers in front of us alerted us of their presence).

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Two alpine ibex, still in their winter fur, in the Alpstein massif. The two animals were busy devouring the fresh leaves and hardly took notice of us, even though we were only about 10 meters away.

There are many pictures stored in my brain that I will keep as good memories of this trip and the photographs above show three actual photographs that I managed to take as well. I even think that conditions like this, with quickly changing weather conditions, moving clouds and appearing and disappearing views and beams of sunlight, can render the experience of such a trip much more memorable and "special". My conclusion and advice is thus to always try everything to overcome one's laziness and to do "something" irrespective of the weather - it is (almost) always worth it!

2013/06/30 by Florian Freimoser
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