The mountaineer

Here’s a looong and not too funny story for you. A photo-buddy and I visited Bavaria in the autumn of 2014. A trip to Germany’s highest peak Zugspitze was of course on the Itinerary. We planned a sunrise shoot from 3000m, and as the 12 hour technical climb in pitch darkness wasn’t tempting, we arrived at the lift-service well before the first ride of the day. Of course we met a few climbers setting out at dawn and we already started to feel a bit weak as we headed for the ticket-line. It turned out the first service was for employees only and despite my extreme charm, I didn’t convince the lady behind the ticket-counter that our photography-mission was the most important thing she would encounter this year. So, a few minutes before sunrise we boarded the next service and up we went. A dense fog was lying at the foot of the mountain but we knew that the peak was all clear. As we ascended from the fog we were greeted by the first rays of the sun. Too late to the peak! Now, photographing from a cable-lift is not my regular modus-operandi. I cranked up the iso and got as close as possible to the window to avoid reflexes. Close to the top, I suddenly noticed two men standing on a small ridge. They must have climbed during the night, or spent the night on the ridge. Hmm…made me feel like a total looser. We should, of course have climbed. At least I said that out load in the comfort of our heated car. I shot the image above as well as I managed. Technically challenging from a swaying cable-car and compositionally…well.. there wasn’t many options as you may understand. But if the insult of seeing the climbers wasn’t enough, I suddenly noticed that they were only in T-shirts! In 4degC sub-zero and chilling winds! Oh dear, what ever these guys were made of , it didn’t make me feel young and strong. I mean, having passed 40 with pride (better than the alternative..!) I still love to hike and even climb, but man, I felt like a total whip. As soon as we came up, we took a couple of images (which btw turned out to be crap) and hit the bar for a morning-weissbier to numb the pain. I don’t want to think about it anymore.

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