The forecast for December 10, 2022, was heavy snowfall and I was looking forward to my first mountain hike in snow this Winter ❄️
Sometimes the fog and high clouds cleared a bit. Maybe you can see the trail in the lower right of the image.
At first I called this post "White & White" but on a white background even the snow in the images looks more grayish, so I renamed it to "White & not so White" 😉
My biggest concern was that the road to the starting point of my hike might be too snowy because I didn't have snow chains for my van with me. But I was lucky - it was slightly snowing and the road a bit icy, but my van didn't have any problems climbing the 16.5 km / 10.25 mi long Villach Alpine Road (website) till I reached the big parking lot at an altitude of 1,732 m / 5,682.40 ft ... and I was alone, no other car was there - great 😁
It was 5:30 in the morning and still completely dark, of course, so my head torch was a big help. The trail to the peak of the Dobratsch mountain (2,166 m / 7,106.30 ft) is on a bumpy gravel road and about 8 km / 5 mi long. Because of the usually large number of hikers, it is regularly snow groomed, making hiking easier. I wouldn't have cared because I had my snowshoes with me anyway, but of course it was easier that way. There's also another path, that is nicer and shorter but much steeper and I didn't want to hike it in Winter in the dark.
The snow on the ground was hard and easy to walk on. It was snowing every now and then and the closer I got to the peak, the more windy and colder it got.
Right below the peak there's a high transmitter tower and a mountain lodge that was still closed that morning. But the first room at the entrance is always open for people who need some shelter. I changed my wet shirt in there and had a hot tea before I went for the last few meters to the little church on the ridge above the lodge.
This is the Mountain Lodge on the peak of the Dobratsch Mountain. In the small extension of the house to the left there's a room right at the entrance to have a rest and to warm up.
The windows of the little church have been closed for the Winter.
This is another transmitter tower, a really small one. To the left behind it there's the second church and to the right you can see the summit cross on the peak of the Dobratsch mountain and to the right there's a weather station.
I haven't been lucky with the weather because the sky kept cloudy and the fog and high clouds dense most times, so I could forget the planned sunrise shots. I didn't mind a lot though, because I still had the whole mountain for me alone ... I don't know many things I enjoy more than having a mountain for myself, no matter the weather conditions.
It's not always about taking photos of great vistas, and so I just enjoyed the silence and took some photos of the foggy landscape below and around me and also on my way back down to my car I enjoyed the white and took a few detail shots from icy trees and the few things I saw.
I wanted to take more photos, also photos of the trail, but because all was more or less white on white, you wouldn't have seen much. So, these few more or less minimalist photos here are all I have.
Seems that not many people share what I loved that morning because only a few showed up when I was back at my van.
This post was actually supposed to be posted in 2022, but my wife and I have been in bed with severe flu for the last couple of days and today, January 1st, 2023, is the first day that I'm feeling well enough to be online again and tomorrow we go back to work.
It's 2023 - the New Year has started and I want thank you all so much for your ongoing support and friendship although I'm not so much here and my engagement level has dropped quite a bit.
And I want to wish you all a Happy and Healthy Year 2023 - may all your wishes come true and let's hope that all the troubles in the world will have an end🙏