The endless search for sun in winter – hiking & sledding

Living in a valley surrounded by beautiful mountains is very scenic, but it does have its downfalls. In winter we don’t get much wind (bonus), but that also means that we’re often shrouded in clouds, with no wind to blow them away (anti-bonus). But if you know that somewhere up there the sun is shining, all you have to do is jump in the car and drive up a small mountain until you pop out!

See the blanket of clouds… I live under them 😦

So the easiest thing to do to rid the winter blues is to go for a walk up there, in the sun. Take your lover, a few friends or just a good book for the summit and enjoy the view and the quiet crunch of snow beneath your feet. Ok, so maybe calling it ‘hiking’ is a bit rich, most of what I did was purely scenic walking. However, generally it’s an upward ascent and sometimes you find yourself having to climb out of a thigh high snow drift – fun and hard work!

Made it to the summit! We deserve strudel!
Made it to the summit! We deserve strudel!

And generally at some point you’ll find yourself at some kind of winter hut where you can stop, take a breather and enjoy a hot tea, coffee, wine or strudel!

Sledding might not instantly seem like much of a sport, but it does get the heart pumping. We drove 20 minutes up a mountain and simply hired a sled. Being a small town there was no handing over of licence or swiping of credit card in case we didn’t return. I think it cost all of 5€ for a half a day of fun and exercise.

Yes, it is as fun as it looks.
Yes, it is as fun as it looks.

It’s the same as tobogganing in Australia – except you can generally find a much longer run. Just walk up a snow-covered road, enjoying the view along the way, and when you’re sick of walking up, turn around, jump on and fly down, dodging various obstacles and other people on their way up. Repeat.

And before lunch you’re exhausted and ready to curl up on the sofa for an afternoon of reading, watching movies or drinking hot wine and eating chestnuts. Bliss.

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