European Wilderness Society

Sleepless nights in the mountains

As a great outdoor enthusiast, I love living in the middle of the Alps in Tamsweg, as for me, nature is never boring. Whenever I don’t know what to do, I just go out for a walk or bike ride, to get inspired by nature.

About a week ago, on a Friday night, I was unable to fall asleep. At 3 am, I was still tossind and turning in my bed. At that time I decided it’s not worth even trying anymore. I got up, grabbed a map and started planning a hike. I dressed up fast, I grabbed some food and at 3.30 am I was ready to set off to Gumma, a 2316 m high mountain.

On the way up

When I started hiking it was still pitch-black, but the sky was full of stars. I could see the Milky way and recognised many constellations. When I lived in a city, such a sky was a rare and precious sight that I am now lucky to encounter often living in a rural area. It always inspires me and reminds me of how small humans are.

My eyes soon got used to the dark so I did not need to use my torch much. Of course, I did not meet a single person while hiking up. However, I met a barking deer, whose sound I must admit scared me a bit. As I was climbing up, dawn was approaching and I could see the red sky on the horizon.

Just as I was approaching the peak, I met two chamois. We looked at each other for a few seconds before they ran away. High in the mountains with just shy wildlife and no people around it is easy to forget about the human world and simply feel as a part of nature.

I arrived on top just around sunrise at 6 am. Unfortunatelly, a mountain on the east blocked my view on the sun for about half an hour. However, I could see the mountains around me turning red. In the distance, I saw the glaciers in Hohe Tauern shining brightly. It’s a shame that they are melting due to climate change, becoming smaller each year.

On the way back I spotted bushes full of blueberries. They were a very nice addition to my dry breakfast of rice waffles on the top of the mountain. Soon I already met the first hikers going up to admire the same view.

Nature inspires

Living in a rural area close to nature inspires me to do nature conservation, as I am so close to what I want to preserve. Additionally, I can also see directly the changes that are happening. For example, I notice clear-cut forests and snow melting on the peaks, where it previously stayed the entire summer. This motivates me to want to stop the destruction as well as share my view of nature and its beauty with other people.

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