Winter is definitely here. It has come so fast that I almost didn’t realize! We were enjoying a long and beautiful autumn and suddenly, the cold came. And with it, all the colors started fading so quickly that I almost didn’t have time to glance at them… Now the temperature hardly reaches 5ºC, it’s foggy most of the time and you can feel the cold in your bones…

I had to go to the mountain to realize that the winter is here and there’s no going back. Last weekend I went to Sankt Martin, in canton St. Gallen. It is a very small village in the Calfeisental valley, dating from the 14th century. Just a few scattered wooden houses and a very small old church at the end of a remote deep valley covered by turquoise Gigerwaldsee (Gigerwald lake) and pines and massive mountains all around… Is is as idyllic as it sounds! Nowadays, this little village is used as a berggästhaus, a mountain restaurant and tiny hotel, open only during summer and early autumn. But the rest of the year, the area is nearly isolated, the roads are not maintained and the risk of avalanches forces hikers and visitors to avoid the area…

When we went there last weekend, snow hadn’t made yet presence in the region. But winter did indeed arrive. With all the mountain refuges and restaurants in the area already closed for the winter season, we were the only ones visiting the area. We could feel the solitude even before we arrived to the valley. We were surprised by the cold as we didn’t bring all our winter hiking clothes, so we decided to make it a short hike around the lake. It was really cold… The frost covered all the valley, that looked as if everything had a sugar coating. The water falling from the rock wall at the side of the road was frozen, and huge icicles were forming on the rocks. The whole valley had a blue hue, contrasting with the sunny peaks of the mountains, that looked very orange in contrast, and it seemed as if the sun was rising instead of it being already midday. And when we arrived to the isolated and lonely Sankt Martin, it looked like the tiny village was frozen, as if the time had stopped in the 14th century… It was such a beautiful sight!!

Even if it was a super cold day, I had a really nice time capturing the little details of this frozen landscape… The small leaves covered in frost, the frozen little pond in Sankt Martin, the icicles I found along the trail. I took photos until my fingers were so cold that they started to hurt! But after seeing this gorgeous location, now I’m wondering how it will look when the snow comes (not sure if I could visit it then, there’s a huge risk of avalanches in the area) or when the green color and the alpine flowers return to the valley in summer… This is for sure a place where I will return many times in the future!

For now, the hiking season of 2018 is over… But I’m so looking forward to the next one!! In just a few weeks I’ll be putting on my winter hiking boots and exploring white landscapes again… I can’t wait!!

Here are some photos I took during that cold morning and last hike of 2018… I hope you like them!!

Sugar coated leaf. Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 70mm f/2.8 1/200sec. ISO100
Icicles. Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 39mm f/2.8 1/100sec. ISO100
Frost. Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 70mm f/2.8 1/100sec. ISO100
Sankt Martin in Calfeisental. Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 24mm f/11 1/15sec. ISO100
Gigerwaldsee. Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 70mm f/11 1/30sec. ISO100
Sankt Martin in Calfeisental. Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 24mm f/11 1/100sec. ISO100
Gigerwaldsee. Canon EOS 5d Mark IF 24mm f/13 1/200sec. ISO100


Leave a Reply