November tends to be a weird month for hiking. Most years, I get soaked by rain at least one time. This year, November surprised me with quite some variance in weather.
5.11. – Typical November
Well, right the first November hike didn’t fail my gloomy expectations. Not only we had to change the plan – our original plan followed the border trail between The Czech Republic and Slovakia, but right now, moving on the border is limited as a preventative measure and raid against human trafficking (mostly refugees from Africa and Arab countries heading to Germany). Figuring out the backup plan wasn’t exactly smooth, as we had to choose a place nearby to keep the travel time and the cost of the trip similar to the original plan. Missing the original plan wasn’t a big deal for me as I not only know the trail but I walked a part of it in September.
And then, the weather. It wasn’t eaxctly rain, fortunately – but it was only marginally better. The dense mist made the air damp and chilly. The humid weather also meant I was more prone to sweating, meaning that despite the chilly weather – around 5°C – I was walking just in a hoodie to prevent overheating until I reached the peak where wind and light rain was added to the mix and I needed to protect myself from the elements on the descent. Which was quite muddy. Thus, I made it through with minimal stops.
Given the poor weather, it’s one of the rare cases when I have exactly zero photos. But it’s a place I’ve shown a couple of times, and will probably return there sooner or later.
12.11. – A bright day
The next weekend, I set out to another nearby place for a relaxing hike. The planned journey had pretty much just one major ascension and then following mostly level and eventually descending trail, so it should’ve been easy enough for mid-November. The day started chilly, as is typical in November, but once most of the clouds were gone, the sunlight seemed to have surprising strength.
I admit I haven’t used a trail from this side of the hill for a long time – most of the approaches were interrupted for almost five years while a highway was being built and it took two more years for the trails to be adjusted. I could’ve started closer to the hills, but the village there has poor bus service, so that wasn’t the best option either.
The path weaves up and down on the way toward the transmitter and chalet on the peak. Just below it is the top station of a chairlift that looks even more deteriorated than it did in 2000…
…which was my first chairlift ride and a story of its own to probably share one day. The need for major repair – last estimated at some 3 million € – of the chairlift is discussed often but, given how little use it sees, there’s no will to fund it. However, ascending the hill with the chalet meant that the deforested slope opened up quite a view of mountains both nearby and far.
The furthest visible peaks being some 125km away (the very back line in the photo above). For November, and temperatures above 0°C, that was definitely a surprise. However, looking towards the lowlands was a different experience altogether, with visibility at 20km at most.
I had hoped to share a couple of views in different directions, but the trail from there on was mostly forested, and when it opened up, the nearby hills prevented far sights. That said, I managed a couple of photos in the later part.
During the descent, I was forced to improvise as the trail was closed due to wood harvest with no prior warning. Well, using my smartphone and sense of direction, I bypassed the closure using paths through the woods, and I was rewarded by a clearing that let me look back at the peak where I started.
The journey home was a bit lengthy as even the destination village had quite poor public transport service, and it sent me on a slight detour unless I wanted to wait two hours for a more direct bus. But, given the nice day, that didn’t bother me at all.
19.11.2022 – A taste of winter
While the previous two hikes were slightly above zero, the third gave us a taste of winter. The last two nights brought a sprinkle of snow and while it melted on the spot in the towns, it lasted in the lower hills.
The low clouds also made quite a spectacle, casting some hills in shade and leaving others exposed to sunlight.
This late in the year (this being the second to last event of the hiking club for the year), the trail was chosen to be quite easy, so most of us could enjoy the scenery. Not just the snow-sprinkled hills but also the snow-sprinkled trees, such as this one at the edge of a village. Though I must say, damn the power wires getting in the way of my pictures…
The views were much better once we were a bit more in the open, though the fact the previous day was a bit above zero and the night was colder meant the forest roads were icy, sometimes very unpleasantly.
Fortunately, the trail eventually led back to the woods, so the ice-covered roads didn’t bother me that long.
After the noon, clouds gathered a bit more, but it was far too late to break my impression of the day. More so when I had enough time to stretch the hike a bit more to get the most from the nice (even if chilly) day.
Well, that’s a look back at my November hikes. Apart from two of them having nice weather, I managed to beat my yearly best from 2019 – back then, my yearly total was at 1054km, at the end of the abovementioned hike, I reached 1066 for 2022. Which, given that I skipped a couple of opportunities in April due to moving and had a break in July due to unpredictable weather, is a surprising development, and shows that I could push it maybe to 1200km/year, if the weather cooperates. That said, the hikes this year were maybe on the longer side, but not too difficult in the other aspects… but I guess that’s something for the yearly wrap-up that’ll come in a month.
For now, I hope your November was nice and that weather didn’t bother you too much. And that with the end of year approaching, you’ll get to enjoy the festive time and some nice weather too.
The snow is so beautiful! Thanks for sharing the photos, Thomas. My family and I don’t get snow where we live, but we have gotten a lot of rain (so, really, no hiking for this month). Hope you’re having a great start to the holiday season!
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Thanks. The snow in November was just a sprinkle. We had a continuous snowfall over the last four days (got to 10cm in the suburbs, probably 25-50cm in the hills) so if weather allows, I’ll go enjoy some snow time this weekend.
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Fun! Watch out for snowball fights along the way lol.
Love the snow, and stunning photos as always, Tom.
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