The worldwide Augustana College experience

Harz Mountains

Just yesterday I was hiking through the Harz mountains. Specifically, Michelle (fellow Augie student) and I negotiated trails to reach the summit of the highest peak in central Germany: der Brocken. It stands 1142 meters high and we couldn’t see any kind of view after around 850 meters. It was quite a climb and we took plenty of pictures both on the way up and on the way down. There were streams running down the whole mountain side (I filled up a water bottle with some of it. It tasted like well water. Can’t say I was surprised though. It had an orange tint.). The woods were amazing as well, although I was surprised to find that we could wander off trails and into the woods without too much difficulty. It was not as thick as I had expected. Nonetheless, it took about an hour and 45 minutes of uphill hiking to reach the top.

As I said earlier, we couldn’t see much after around 850 m. The mountain top was completely obscured by fog, and became increasingly thicker the higher we got. There is a picture below of a building at the very top from less than 30 meters away. It was difficult to make out anything up there. Also, the temperature dropped by at least 15 degrees Fahrenheit in comparison to the start of our hike and the wind picked up 2-3 fold. The wind rushing through the trees at what I will call the “fog line” (also illustrated below) sounded like a car was flying overhead. It was remarkable. And fast.

We did a couple smaller hikes the two days before, but nothing measured up to the Brocken, although we did get better pictures from the first one. The Harz is a great place. Wernigerode is a really neat little town and I don’t think I have met nicer people yet in Deutschland. By contrast, about 6 km away in Schierke were the meanest people I’ve met so far. Interesting contrast for two mountain towns so close together. Nonetheless, amazing trip. I hope I can go back.

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