Follow us on this insane hiking trip where we testing our endurance constantly diving into the snow and conquering the steep mountain having no special equipment. Also join us for the cosy warm night in the beautiful cabin in the woods where we give you a detailed tour of this wonderful place.
The day started with a beautiful sunny weather and us hiking the well known trail leading to the peak of Puigmal. But this time our goal was to reach the cabin "Refuge de la Matte" hided somewhere in the forest that we found last autumn and decided to come back here in winter. The timing couldn´t be more perfect for this hike. We had the major snowfall and freezing temperatures for more than a week and we thought it would be just a perfect excuse to spend the night in the forest cabin enjoying the winter fairytale.
So we easily hiked the road part of the trail that had the car tracks on it and turned to the forest path with an untouched snow. At first there were some ski tracks but then they quickly dissapeared and our snow fun started. All the time we were diving into the snow but it was nothing compared to what started later. By the way we weren´t wearing any special equipment like snowshoes or skies, because we just don´t have enough experience with them and a little experience that we had wasn´t successful.
So we got to the river quite well, already a bit wet. And then only the steep uphill was ahead of us that we had to conquer in order to get to the cabin. And it is worth mentioning that even without snow last autumn we couldn´t find any marking of the trail that hypothetically exists there. Only relying on our offline GPS map and the marked point that we did for finding this very remote cabin we could determine our location and direction we should go to. And we were always wandering how this cabin was constructed and how all the materials were carried to this remote location, only the helicopter comes to mind considering the very hard or even non-existing trails leading to it.
So right from the start we were falling heavily into snow and we realized that it wil be the crazy hiking adventure. But we weren't going to stop anyway cause we had a goal for a day and we had to do it. Of course when we decided to do this trip we didn't know it was going to be so hard, hoping for having some ski or snowshoe tracks but apparently it wasn't the case so we had to deal with it.
We don't know how many times we fell and rose and rose and fall and our fierceful spirit was about to give up but we did it. We were completely wet and miserable after 3 hours of climbing, our hands and legs were freezing and we regretted not having the ski poles for the support. But nonetheless we did it. And we had the feeling that we did something impossible pushing the human physical limits. But it was a beautiful feeling of accomplishment.
When we got to the cabin we saw that there is plenty of wood already collected by someone that we felt very grateful for. So that we could put up a fire immediately and start drying our clothes and warming up. Then all we did was having dinner and being comfortable and warm putting ourselves to sleep.
The cabin itself is a moderately new construction(was built just 5 or 6 years ago) made out of wood and quite good insulated. We loved the fact that everything inside was wooden - it remained warm for a very long time. All the furniture inside wasn't new but it gave the interior this authentic look and feel of the real forest cabin. It has just about everything you need from axe and saw to the plenty of cooking stuff and food. There were loads of pans and sartens, water, rice, coffee, spices, candles and even the camping gas. So if you were out in the woods with no supplies this cabin would be a lifesaver. The sleeping area is located on the second floor that is the warmest place in the cabin and has a huge amount of space with some carpets and a mat. Also we loved the fireplace that was extracting the smoke quite well and was giving away so much heat at the same time. So in our opinion it is a perfect example and a great role model for all the cabins in the woods.
So we had a very warm night and at first it was too hot so we had to put the fire out. But the rest of night was nice and warm and even in the morning the little fire was still going on. We shooted the quick cabin tour, had our rice with mushrooms for breakfast and then started to think about how we are going to go down this hill on our way back. We didn't want to be all wet again so we decided to use the garbage bags (that was all we had) to wrap up our boots for at least a little bit of protection. So we said goodbye and thank you to the little house that gave us a warm welcome and started to descend back.
The descend back took us half of the time of the way up but we can't say it was easier. It was definetely challenging the other muscles of the body and balance and we probably fell another 100 times and were sliding on our butts a lot. The day was warmer so the snow was quite a bit more slippery. At the time we got down we had lost one mat, tore several things but we thought that it wasn't too bad and at least we were healthy and safe.
It was definetely the most challenging experience we've had so far. These several kms uphill in the snow were more difficult than conquering the peak (that we though was the hardest). So this experience pushed our limits and tested our endurance levels and it will be remembered for the longest time. The brightest memory of the winter 2019.
Watch the full video here: https://youtu.be/deKuG6Ia23s
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