Sunday, September 2, 2012

Hiking and Carving

So Tirol is mountains, and mountains want to be climbed, or hiked at least. We did actually a lot of hiking (every other day was the deal we made with the kids). Ani and Pascal, although they wined at the start of every hike, did well and after a while they got into the swing of things. Or longest hike was almost 5 hours, and the hikes were always up the mountain.

On thing I found relaxing to do during the hike was to carve a walking stick. No elaborate carving here, just what they call whittling. I would carve off all the bark down to the fresh wood. It smelled nice the newly uncovered wood. After a while I would try and "fix" gashes in the stick, and the most ambitious I got was to carve the top of the stick all round so as to fit the hand better. Sounds dumb and boring, but I kind of liked it. Anika carved a stick of her own too (although not while hiking). Pascal got in a couple of whittles, but as he's only seven he still needs a little more supervision so as not to get hurt.

The other thing about hiking I noticed was why do people climb mountains. Out our hotel window we had a nice view of a mountain peak. In bed I could watch the clouds disappear and the mountain peak appear, or the clouds slowly wrap around the peak like pulling a blanket around your chin as you settle in to sleep. Watching this was fascinating, and these mountain peaks take on a certain life and personality. So if you lived here the thought of wanting, no needing, to climb to the top of these mountains would be as natural as wanting to swim in a lake on a hot day. It just seemed so obvious to me that I wanted to climb the mountain, that it seems unexplainable to think one would not. Any ways all this to explain why (Sir Hillary who climbed Mt. Everest?) who said the reason why we climb mountains is because they are there. What seems like a curious thought is really the most obvious thought that anyone would have. Cool.

Ani whittling.

Pascal with his stick.

Ani with her stick.

Papa with his stick.

At the beginning (thanks to a Seilbahn).

A mini glacier! Really slippery!

The mini glacier.

Everyone had his/her own backpack and proper hiking shoes.


Ani carving, Mama resting.

Pascal at a high mountain lake.

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