Simply leaving the stress and worries of everyday life behind you. This has always been one of the reasons why people are always setting off to the mountains, a topic that is more relevant in this special year than ever before. After all, the coronavirus pandemic has ruthlessly shown high-tech society its limits. Traveling where we want to go – always a given up till now – is currently only possible to an extent. But vacations at home and trips to the mountains promise just as much recreation and relaxation. Good mountain photos may not be a substitute for the real summit experience, but they fuel it, the age-old and ever-new dream of experiencing freedom high above the valleys of life.
Defeated, unsettled, thwarted, frozen, condemned to do nothing: These are just a few of the feelings associated with the coronavirus and lockdown that we all may have experienced in varying degrees of intensity over the past months. The Covid-19 virus has plunged us not only into a health and economic crisis, but also into an identity crisis. The belief in the seemingly limitless possibilities of a globalized and digitalized age was deeply shaken when international supply chains were suddenly interrupted and borders closed.
The highly mobile mass society, previously an expression of dynamics and productivity, suddenly became a risk factor because it was the ideal multiplier for the virus. “Be patient and wait and see” instead of “everything-always-immediately” was suddenly the motto. Sitting isolated in the booth instead of at the palooza. But now there is also a lot of time to think about what makes life worth living, and also time to return to nature and our roots.
Mountains awaken ancient desires
The mountains were more than a stomping ground for leisure society in this really different summer. They were also a place of refuge where we were able to regain an outlook and inner reflection of our present insecurity (…if one leaves out the crowded mountain huts…). Not only open-air sports like jogging, cycling, hiking, and many others experienced a boom this year, but with the absence of long journeys, the alps also became a valued alternative vacation goal for many.
Additionally, fresh mountain air is not only a bad breeding ground for viruses, but it also blows all kinds of troubles from the head. Such little escapes are great medicine for the body and soul because they clear the mind and let us return to everyday life, strengthened and refreshed.
No matter whether it’s a leisurely hike up a small foothill of the Alps, an exhausting mountain bike tour, an adrenaline-pumping climb in the vertical rock, or simply a quiet, happy pause in front of a magnificent panorama, mountains open up magnificent worlds of experience both internally and externally. They fascinate us because they radiate something elemental, pristine, and wild that we modern people sometimes – consciously or unconsciously – long for because we’ve lost it somewhere on the long journey into the 21st century. “Going to the mountains is going home,” said Scottish American naturalist and environmental philosopher John Muir (1838-1914), the originator of the national park idea and pioneer of the environmental protection movement.
Dreaming of the next mountain summer
Mountains are a place of longing for many people, most especially during difficult times. They are a landscape connected with strong emotions. This makes them not only a destination for adventure-hungry people with fit calves, but also an infinitely varied backdrop for enthusiastic photo hunters. A good mountain photo won’t leave anyone cold, not even the most die-hard, flatland Tyrolean.
And the best thing is: Even those of you who have never breathed the mountain air can feel the fascination of the “mountain” at Westend61 in its various forms, from relaxed to breathtaking to adventurous. Just take a look at our Lightbox with alpine photos, safely from your armchair, without rope or crampons. There you will find lots of colorful wilderness dreams that will help you survive even the darkest winter. And the next mountain summer is sure to come. Are you with us?