Hi, I’m Miss Mountain Tatjana
“Childhood memories, angry faces, ‘A 100 bottles of beer’ and something Canadian!” I’m Tatjana, a goofy beta, loving my active lifestyle, new to climbing and eager to embark on an adventure. I’m happy to be part of Mister Mountain, sharing a curiosity for the outdoors. Certainly not as an expert, but I’m learning everyday. My goal is to be an enthusiast in life by hugging, embracing and becoming passionate about life. Lukewarm is no good. Do you want to know how I got to meet the Mister in my Mountain? Keep reading and find out! Love!
Land of the silver birch
Home of the bever
Where still the mighty moose
Wanders at will
As a kid my mum and dad took my three younger sisters and me on various hikes in the mountains of Austria. It actually started with my grandpa and grandma going to the same guesthouse in Obsteig, Austria every summer and every winter for several decades. Hiking during the summer, cross country skiing in winter times. They loved it! When my grandma passed away when I was twelve years old we started to go to that exact guesthouse as a family. And we loved it too. From the friendliness and cosiness of the guesthouse, to the beautiful scenery of the Sonnenplateau and the quality time away as a family being active and outside. Some days, when my grandpa joined us on our hikes, we walked on the senioren rundwanderweg, and played all sorts of “I spy”-games along the way. On other days we ascended the more strenuous alpine steigs soaking in the beautiful views and devoured our eier mit speck lunches at the huts.
Obviously being kids we didn’t always want to go hiking or be active for that matter, but since we were supposed to be on a family holiday none of us was left behind. Almost every day at least one of us was cranky and had to be forced to put on hiking boots and go on the trail. We tried to distract each other with games, songs and candy. I stopped counting the times we sang ‘A 100 bottles of beer’! Nonetheless, I’m sure my mum and dad had to endure countless acts of ranting, angry faces and tears of each of us. Those holiday pictures didn’t look particular cheerful, Haha. In retrospect I feel so sorry for my mum and dad and am truly happy that they kept on taking us to that beautiful place.
I remember one particular hike from when I was about fifteen years old. The entire family, including my grandpa, uncle, aunt, niece and nephew, as well as friends of my parents and their two kids, hiked up to the Marienbergalm, like we did every summer. During lunch my grandpa told us about a trial further up that would lead to another hut, the Lehnberghaus. It sounded like quite a pretty trail and my mum, dad, uncle, aunt and my parent’s friends decided to go for it. My grandpa would take the smaller children back down and go to a nearby swimming pool with them. Being the “older” kids the daughter of my parents’ friends and me decided to tag along. From my grandpa’s story it sounded like an easy hike, from which the trailhead could not be missed. Oh boy, were we wrong about that! We started the hike without a map and missed the trailhead completely. As we were descending towards the town on the other side of the mountain we figured something was wrong. We had to turn around and look for the trailhead again. Once we found it my friend and me were cranky and bloody angry with our parents for taking us on a hike without a proper map. The parents tried to cheer us up and told us we were almost there. Little did we know we were yet to come across a giant scree slope, called Hölltörl (which sounded like “Door of Hell” in Dutch at that point) and had to scramble down to get to the Lehnberghaus. I remember crying for being scared and totally exhausted by the time we finally got to the hut, it being closed by then, but the memories of this hike stuck with me like paper to glue. I cherish this memory, because of it’s a great value for family jokes and “remember that time at the Hölltörl!” exclamations, and because of the adventure. We did it together!
These family hiking memories are the best! Like that time in Germany when my mum realised she had to buy a new washing machine, because we’d been walking in the rain for half an hour and washing soap came oozing out of our jeans’. Or that time in France when we had to knock on all our neighbours’ doors to collect newspaper to stock up our shoes, because they were soaking wet from walking in the rain all day. And that time in southern Spain when we hiked in a riverbed and tracked an entire family of pinecones along the river and made up the adventures “family Pinecone” would encounter on their journey. I’m so blessed to have these family memories and been introduced to hiking and the outdoors at such an early age.
When I went to Uni we stopped going on these family hiking trips. I got interested in other aspects of life and enjoyed trips to beaches of Spain and Bulgaria. But the memories stayed.
In January 2014 a big turn came. It required a teary breakup for me to realise I’d been neglecting both mind and body. I started running to relieve stress and be alone with my thoughts for a while. At first just 5 k a time at a slow pace, but after a while the distances became longer and the pace faster. I felt great, strong and ready to take on the world. The time spend running outside started healing both mind and body. The healing continued by going on a solo trip to Ontario, Canada.
After visiting friends from a internship abroad I embarked on a guided canoe trip through Algonquin National Park. My guide, a strong, Canadian guy, was full of stories about mountains, the outdoors and bear encounters. Humming the silver birch song the group spend an amazing three days in the outdoors, camping, cooking, hiking, paddling, building campfires and spotting wildlife. Aside the non-comparison, my guide’s mountaineering stories, he’d been a guide on ascents on the Aconcagua, totally made me recall my family holiday memories.
I’d been working on a better physique for some time and just started to benefit from it. To make sure I’d keep on the right track and make even more progress I started searching for a new, more challenging, adventure the minute I got back from Canada. I found my challenge in an expedition to the summit of Mont Blanc.
I embraced this challenge and became passionate about it. Getting ready for an ascent to the summit like Mont Blanc requires both a physical as well as a mental preparation. To get physically prepared I started swimming, continued running and signed up for high intensity interval strength training. I exercised up to 6 times a week, feeling both strong and confident. The mental aspect was a whole different party though. Even though I’m not afraid of heights in particular, I do am anxious about ridges. Since part of the climb would be a 600-meter ascent on rock I decided to get introduced with indoor climbing.
Are you an enthusiast in life? Join us!
Lots of love tatjana