Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Photographic Hike: Two Months and Two Faces of the Schöckl

Last month, in mid-March on the day before Easter, I climbed the Schöckl--Graz's pet mountain--with a visiting friend. It was more of an in-like-a-lion variety of weather: snowy, foggy, and temperatures resting around 0° Celsius. This, however, made for adventurous fun and a good story.

Yesterday, deciding to capitalize on the sunny spring-like weather, I went back out to the Schöckl with a local friend. This time, a month later, the sky was blue, the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and the weather was just right: cool enough to be chilly while stationary and warm enough to be shedding layers while under way.

It was intriguing to see the difference that a month, a little precipitation, and some nice weather can make...

So that behind me?...That's what we're setting out to hike! The Schöckl looks so much smaller from the bottom! (From the summit, there's a surprisingly good view.)

All of these trees were felled in the big wind storm in February. From a distance, it looks like a whole chunk of the mountain was cleared out!

This is a good spot for a sandwich break...no matter what the weather!

Now that the snow has melted, there is sap dripping down from the end of the trunk. (Clearly, this one was cut down, not blown down...)

It was a bit hazy, so it's hard to see the snow-capped mountains in the background. In the wintery weather, it's hard to see anything in the background!

On they way back down from the summit, approaching the tree line again. Apparently the tree line here is lower altitude than the tree line in Colorado.

And here we are! At the summit cross at the south (I think) end of the Schöckl...and who can resist a little fun on the hang glider runway?!

P.S. Just an interesting tidbit to close: Apparently, in 1811, reaching the summit of Schöckl was an expedition that required several days and a professional guide, as there were still wolves and bears that roamed the area back then. Nowadays we don't have to worry about becoming bear food!


emmaline87 said...

Grüß Gott! My name's Emily and I found your blog when I was looking for Graz stuff online. I'm going to be spending seven weeks in Graz this summer studying abroad. I've enjoyed looking through your pictures and posts and it's nice to get some ideas of what to expect when I go (like the cell phone "ban").

Rebecca said...

Servus, Emily! Good luck and have fun in Graz--it's a great city, with a lot of neat stuff to do. I find Graz is a good blend of cultural stuff, university town stuff, and a good starting point for trips/excursions...have a blast!

Bruce said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruce said...

I cant't wait to see your Colorado photos. I am all up to date on your blog and really enjoyed the latest account and photos. Love ya! DAD

Bruce said...

By the way, Flagstaff last night had 10" of snow last night and it was snowing when I left Colorado Springs today (stayed around Monday for a dental appt.) DAD