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Vosges - Day 3 : Snow

I woke up alone in a pile of snow in the middle of nowhere.

winter hike in france
winter hike in france
winter hike in france
winter hike in france

The view was beautiful and it was nice to wake up alone in nature. This was one of the reasons why I had decided to go on a winter hike. I tried packing everything on top of my bivy bag so as to not lose anything. I had read stories on the internet about the possibility of my shoes getting frozen. It was pretty odd to see this in real life. My high, leader shoes were rock solid. I couldn't get in passed my toes. Eventually it took over an hour to get them on and even then it hurt just wearing them. 

As I hadn't eaten enough the last few days I wanted to make soup. It turned out the matches I had kept in my waterproof jacket had gotten wet, likely from sweating. Fortunately I had also packed a magnesium stick, but I couldn't find it anywhere. I figured it had gotten lost when the custom officers checked my luggage. For now I just ate some cookies instead. 

 

There was still a lot of snow, but it got less later on. However, there was a lot of ice on the roads which made walking difficult. I also found a few rivers to refill my water bottles and managed to call home.

walking in the vosges
walking in the vosges
frozen river
sunrise in a forest
frozen river
frozen river

After a long walk I reached a larger road near a reservoir.

waking in the vosges
vosges
frozen lake
frozen lake
PC209095.jpg

started to get pretty hungry and thirsty (and in hindsight should have taken a break). The route went up a steep hill. I came across some of the open, snow covered places I would encounter more later. The snow was super fine which made it difficult to walk through, especially uphill. I felt really warm but it wasn't easy taking off clothes in the deep snow. I think the last 500 meters took me over an hour. When I reached the top I saw a few people cross country skiing, besides a few cars those were the only ones I had seen the entire day.

Soon after it already started getting dark and less steep, which also made it cold. After a few hundred meters I started to feel nauseous. Most of the food I carried required cooking, which I couldn't do because of my wet matches and lost magnesium stick. Instead I ate some dry granola. I felt tired, thirsty, hungry, and sweaty. I was only half a kilometer away from the road, but this was still one the most remote part of my hike. Because of the cold I considered putting on my insulated blanket. Then I remembered! I had stored my magnesium stick with the heat blanket. 

There was no good camping spot in sight so I just pitched my bivy bag on the path and melted some snow. That took a lot longer than I expected. Next I wanted to make some macaroni, but discovered the 'mix for macaroni' I had brought was only mix for sauce. I also carried pancake mix, however, that would take forever to make in this cold. I mixed some more granola with water and apple sauce powder. It tasted horrible, I think the snow contained a lot of pollen from the local pine trees, but at least I had something warm to eat. 

A lot less hungry and tired I went to bed, tomorrow I will figure out how best to continue.