In Summer 2015 I entered the VAUDE VISION photo contest. My shot was certainly not the most colourful photo I’ve ever taken but it captures a very special moment.

After one month of public voting the first barrier was overcome: my photo “Inverted Footprints” was voted on 5th place and had reached the top 20. The jury which consisted of professional photographers and marketing folks voted my picture number 8. As a prize I got a book with the top 20 shots, my picture was showed in Welt-der-Wunder but most importantly I got new Vaude skitouring pants – I’m excited to wear them at my next adventure 😀

“The photo was taken on March 12th 2014 at 4:35pm in Norway while ascending the highest mountain in Scandinavia – GaldhĂžpiggen (2469m) in the National Park Jotunheimen.

That was the first Ski tour in my life. In the morning we started from Spiterstulen, the mountain cabin where we stayed, and faced a 1400m climb to the top. The weather conditions were getting worse every hour, wind got up, fog was rising, the sun was hiding behind the clouds and I struggled with my new equipment. We were all alone on the mountain. I had to climb over rocks with ordinary ski boots while carrying the skis on my shoulders. I sweat blood and tears, then even lost one crampon and tried to get it back – without success. I was a nervous wreck and shortly before surrendering.

Then suddenly the fog lifted and I was stunned by these bizarre shapes in the snow which I had never seen before – inverted footprints. I got down on my knees, took my camera and captured this unique moment. Once again nature had found a way to cheer me up. All the exertions from the hard ascent were forgotten at once – I climbed the last 100 meters to the top easily.

Back in the mountain cabin we learned that a group of Norwegian soldiers climbed the mountain two weeks earlier. So during the last two weeks all the snow up on the mountain was blown away while the compressed snow of the footprints stayed and formed those inverted footprints.

When I look back on my time in Norway I learned that nature has always a card up it’s sleeve: out there is far more than only colorful sunsets and white beaches, even in the most hostile places one can find uniqueness and beauty.”

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