The team that hikes together stays together. And one Saturday at the end of September, an intrepid group of our outdoor-loving colleagues hit the trails of the Allgäu region in Bavaria.
Their target was the top of the Grünten Mountain; a daunting, bare-headed peak, 1700 metres high and swallowed by cloud. Most of them had hopped on the bus from Stuttgart to the town of Burgberg at the crack of dawn that morning, but they were more than ready to get going.
The path wound steeply upwards, climbing nearly 1000 vertical metres – leading to the Gebirgsjäger-Denkmal monument at the top, before rolling sharply down the other side.
And what a path it was! From the first moment to the last, they battled swirling mist, rain showers, gnarled roots and rolling stones; crossing grassy slopes and navigating leaf-strewn woodland. Even the end of the hike led them through the Starzlachklamm: with its series of wooden walkways and bridges built into a dramatic gorge.
But they were royally rewarded along the way. Breath-taking views of autumnal scenery: painted with flame-coloured trees and frothing, green-blue waters kept their minds off aching muscles. And fuelling up on delicious local eintopf (a traditional stew) wasn’t exactly a hardship either…
Nine hours and a 20km near-loop saw them happily gathered at the end of the hike – tired but eager to come back another time. Luckily for these keen adventurers, plans for future events are already in the works.