Winter camping in Stierva

From Feb 15 to 17, there was a great weather forecast so I could not resist joining a trip organized by Flo. Who could resist when there was promised to build and sleep in an igloo!

Starting point for the hike. The conditions were perfect, and probably the worst danger was getting sunburned.

Four people (Flo, Robert, Philipp, and Silvano) went already on Thursday, we (Martin, Alina, and Oscar) joined on Friday. We started in Stierva at 1380 m altitude and our task for the whole day was to reach the campsite at 2000 m.

Martin, Oscar (touring skis) and Alina (splitboard). I used just snowshoes

When we reached the camp, others just started building the igloo. As Martin and I were supposed to sleep in it, we joined the work. Surprisingly it is quite tricky even for six people to hold it before you close the structure by the top snow block.


Others build the base “tent” already on Thursday. Flo had experience with it from Silvester mounaincamping.

We were finished with the sunset and ready for dinner (the meals we had were all gorgeous for mountain food - thanks to all the chefs). After dinner, we went for a short hike in the moonlight.

Moonlight together with snow makes hiking possible without a headlamp, and the night views were somehow mysterious.

Our camping site. (I am enjoying my new camera, this picture is using ISO 6400 and was shot from friends shoulder for a 1.3-second exposition. Full picture shows massive noise reduction on sides.

On Saturday, the plan was to learn crevasse rescue, try self-rescue, do some yoga and go for a longer hike. Surprisingly, we spend so long with training (and eating :D) that we almost skipped the yoga and we went for a shorter trip, for a sunset. Which we eventually missed.

Crevasse rescue training - rescue others (picture by Robert).

Crevasse rescue training - self rescue.

I wanted to try the yoga in the snow. So this is snowshoes headstand. The first attempt directly on snow, ended by my head crushing the ice top layer.

Using bag as mat helped - to get more spectacular fails :D.

The second evening hike.

We missed the sunset.

Igloo lamp!

On Sunday, I had to leave in the morning, so there was really no opportunity for proper yoga. But I enjoyed learning so many new skills, and I was surprised, how nice it was to stay for a weekend at such high altitude without safety concerns (I started searching for more such areas).

Sleeping in the tent felt colder to me, but both occasions were pretty warm. My hole is on the right, next time I need an extra long one!

Icy snow, a lot of old tracks - conditions, where snowshoeing is by far faster than skiing :D.

Written on February 19, 2019