I have never seen Into the Wild and I have never seen Wild – somehow I feel the need to make that absolutely clear, maybe because both movies caused a wave of self-finding hiking trips in our generation, and especially the latter resulted in female hiker numbers rocketing through the sky. I‘m not saying that mine is not a self-finding trip, at least up to some degree it certainly is, but I wasn’t suddenly inspired to do this because an actress looked pretty and went on this wholesome cleanse in nature (again: I haven’t seen the movie but it is Hollywood so that’s what I assume it’s gonna be like. My apologies if I’m wrong. Don‘t @me). I did read Hape Kerkeling’s Ich bin dann mal weg, a personal account of hiking the Way of St. James. (though the German Jakobsweg sounds better. More humble. More fitting to the dusty, sweaty struggle). However, that trail doesn’t appeal to me as much. Not because of its religious purpose, I’m all up for that. But I am a mountain goat and love the Dolomites, probably even more than the Alps, and it’s high up there on 10,000ft elevation where I find my inner peace. Every year, my Mum (70 years of age and she can still do it, and I‘m damn proud of her) and I go on a 2-day-hiking trip in the high mountains. It’s our mother-daughter-time and especially regarding our somewhat problematic relationship. We’re getting better and I must admit, 2020 has been a good year in terms of us. Physical distancing brought us closer together emotionally and I am so glad, I just shed a few tears writing that down – but even before, that annual excursion has always been a perfect combination of spending time together, both of us being in our – I believe it’s fair to say – natural habitat, and since hiking is more of a solo-activity anyway, it was often accompanied by a silence, the good kind of silence, where you share more by not talking and we weren‘t force to speak about things we both didn‘t know how to speak about with the other respectively. Wow, wholesome mood this early Sunday morning. It’s true though. Even as we were little, my Mum would take us with her on all her mountain adventures. My brother often opted out (he did go running with her, back when I hated running, so each of us had their mum-sport so to speak) but my Mum and I both hiked and hiked and hiked and took in the scenery, deeply inhaled the fresh air, relished in the physical strains. On our latest tour up to the Chli Windgälle I was already thinking about a multi-day solo-hike somewhere and so I asked her about her most memorable hiking experience. She didn’t even have to think about it. Her immediate response was: The High Sierra. Yosemite Valley. Mount Whitney. The John-Muir-Trail. Conveniently, that had already been on my To-Do-List, and even more so since Free Solo (which I have seen and I urge you to go see it, and I promise, you’ll be in awe). And so, an idea was born, and a more concrete plan formed, and soon, preparations began.