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Vosges - Day 4 : Le Petit Ballon

While packing my stuff I made soup and ate some more granola. It again tasted strange, almost like gasoline. I felt better after a good meal but the snow was still very deep and soft. I definitely wasn't prepared to walk through such deep snow. I took some pictures to show how deep the snow was (and accidentally put my camera on sepia mode).

snow in the vosges
snow in the vosges
snow in the vosges

arrived at a national park that was officially closed this time of year. It was very pretty, at first it was just a normal forest but higher up it turned into a thick pine forest.

winter hike in the vosges
winter hike in the vosges
winter hike in the vosges

got some more water at a nearby river. The higher I got the less trees there were and the more snow, fortunately it was more solid here. Eventually I reached Langenfeldkopf where I took a break to enjoy the view.

vosges in winter
Langenfeldkopf
petit ballon in winter
langenfeldkopf
langenfeldkopf
Langenfeldkopf

The path went downhill before going up towards the Petit Ballon. It was very steep and I again felt hungry.

statue on le petit ballon
view from le petit ballon
view from le petit ballon
view from le petit ballon
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weather station on le petit ballon

At the summit I saw a town exactly on the other side of the mountain. There was also only one road going down. I started descending, which took longer than expected. My knees started to hurt. After a few hours I arrived in Lautenbach where I looked for a store. There was only a pizza stand and the local bank didn't accept my credit card. I guess it was pretty dumb not to carry more cash, but it did add to the adventure. The nearest ATM was in Buhl, which was 10 km in the wrong direction.

I still had enough granola and cookies for a few days so decided to only buy a can of coke and then walk to Munster. After a few kilometers I made it back in the forests. There were again enough rivers to quench my thirst. Most of the forest consisted of backyards of the local houses, making it hard to find a place to sleep. After a while I found a secluded area that was not on private land. It was the first flat piece of ground I had seen during my entire hike.

wild camping in the vosges
wild camping in the vosges
wild camping in the vosges