It’s been 4 days back, but I still have to think every day about our once-in-a-lifetime experience. Rainer, Stephan, Werner and me, four MännerMitÄhre, started out on in Ehrwald at 1,200 meters to climb Germany’s highest mountain: The Zugspitze (2,962 meters). All pictures of the tour here on Werner’s and my Flickr-sets.
This tour was a far cry from a spontaneous mood of the day. The idea came up some three months ago during a joint beergarden evening. My feelings towards the project were ambiguous in the beginning as I never claimed to be overly sportive, I’ve never been. By contrast, it is safe to say that the other three comrades are “machines”: ski-tours, triathlons, mountain-biking as regular their pastimes. Hence, the last three months to the very date were for me (not for them) filled with intense preparation: running and whenever possible climbing up some mountain which would stand in the way. The other guys called this my “angst-training” :-)
In the bottom line, the fitness came to be just enough to master this tour which for me has been the most strenuous thing I’ve done since the army almost 20 years back. But it was equally one of the coolest, most rewarding things I have ever done. The physical strain in combination with the effect working one’s path step by step higher, witnessing the vegetation withdraw and the landscape resembling that of the moon till finally reach the summit, is one thing.
The true spirit of the mountain, however, derives from the collective will to make it together. From the necessity to rely on each other in case of any incident. And from cherishing the moment once you made it up to the summit together.
When Werner right there pulled out his flask with the apricot-schnapps and passed it along, it was one of those rare honest MännerMitÄhre-moments in life. In comparison to plenty of networking-events I do attend, this setting was entirely devoid of any mutual commercial interest or a hidden agendas, but entirely dedicated to our honest comradeship.
I believe the world needs more MännerMitÄhre. Us four will be back for a mountain-tour latest next year, whereas our starting point Ehrwald should be renamed into Ährwald ;-)