Transhumance in the Alps (and more)

Every year in June and September a unique and amazing sheep trek is taking place between Schnalstal (southern side of the Alps) and Vent (northern side of the Alps).


This trek runs over a distance of about 44km and about 4000 altimeter in between 1 and 2 days, depending on the starting point. It is really absolutely fascinating and amazing. The sheep climb up to a pass higher than 3000m and trek down a glacier to arrive at their summer pastures. Weather is notoriously unpredictable in early June and there is still lots of soft and wet snow in the mountains.

I wanted to cover this for years, but this year it worked out, the weather however was not very inviting. The resulting pictures however show a dense, archaic atmosphere and the hardship for the involved people and animals.

For us, it was quite an untertaking as well. We waited for the sheep in a valley leading up from Vinschgau, southern Tyrol, getting up at 4:00 in the morning, climbing 800 altimeter, rushing down in pouring rain (and saving a chinese tourist, who was lost, but thats another story...), hopping into the car, driving down to Meran, driving up to Timmelsjoch to the northern side of the Alps in such a dense fog I never had in the mountains before, driving down to Gurgl and up to Vent again. After some quick food we started the trek up to Martin Busch Mountain Hut (2500m) to spend the night in the "Winterlager", again in rain and mist. We arrived there around 10:00 in the night. Thomas (Willers) and Heidi were already there, giving us a warm welcome....

After a short night we got up early, walked up to the glacier in dense fog, not knowing at which place the sheep will walk down the glacier exactly. Only for a few minutes the fog lifted, we spottet the trek, rushed to the next suitable spot for filming and photography.

Check out the pics to get an impression. We think it was worth the effort, it is really a very special experience, especially in such weather conditions.

We guess we will back back in September, when everything happens the other way round.....

and more.....

I was quite busy during the last months focussing on my favourite places in the northern Alps during late winter, spring, and summer, Munich not to be forgotten. The next pics are a sample collection in random order. for the poeple interested, I included the place names: Schlosspark Nymphenburg, München; Karwendel valley Eng, a lake near Mittenwald, Bavaria, Vent in Tyrol, Reichenspitze in NP Hohe Tauern and Eckbauer near Garmisch-Partenkirchen