My mountain rituals

Published by Elena Feresin on

My hikes diary

Diari di montagna

For my friends, I am “the stamps one“.
My mountain ritual is to look for a new stamp in every mountain hut or peak I visit.
This also leads to my second ritual, the very one that inspired the creation of this blog: writing the thoughts that follow each walk in a pocket notebook with a floral cover and gold details.

A “blog” that started before I was born

The first entry in my personal summit diary dates August 14, 1990, about ten months before my birth. The author is my mother.

My parents divorced a long time ago and I find it almost difficult to imagine them together, yet once upon a time, the grumpy highlander with a heart of gold who answers to dad’s name and my mom’s delicate and caring soul wandered together around. the Alps.

Dad, who is from Gorizia, has mountains printed inside. Even today, if you talk to him, it is likely that he will tell you about some adventure in the mountains ranging from his glory days as an Alpine to the last trip on his beloved mountain bike. Mom, from Udine, is an apparently calm person, but inside she has a tangle of thoughts that often find the only way to unravel on a piece of paper.
When they met, he immediately took her to the places of his heart and she poured her emotions and her experiences as a neophyte between the lines of this little book that is now mine and is filled with the hikes that Stefano and I do.

There are many pages that make me smile.
My first hikes on daddy’s shoulders.
His short notes in which the words are placed in a column as in a stone tower.
The first page I wrote, where I complained that they had taken me to the Rifugio Calvi and not “where Heidi’s house is” (the hut before arriving at Rifugio Giaf).
Years of emptiness in which the mountains were a very hated enemy.
Finally, the recovery in 2016, when, with a broken heart, the bristly landscapes to which I had rebelled so much were a home in which to realign myself and find refuge, protection, and happiness.

From paper to virtual

That diary, a bit like me, is the exact result of my parents’ passions. Mountains and writing. Diligence and carefree.

The notes I write are less accurate than the blog posts. There are rarely names, height differences, or geographical coordinates. The summit diary is the place I write about my feelings, cherish my progress but also the dark moments when fear takes over.

The blog is a way to echo my ritual that would still live even in a world without the internet.
In my stories, I will try to take you with me by letting you experience every breath, every sensation as if it were yours.

Mountains are made of emotions and rituals

Panorama del bivacco bianchi

I believe that mountains are much more than a peak reached or a new path explored. The mountain is a spiritual, endemic experience. Mountains are emotion, and it is this emotion that, much more than photos or the didactic description of a route, creates that sense of belonging and community that is breathed in every panting “hello” among the pebbles of a mule track.
It is the small rituals that are transmitted from parent to child, the small anecdotes, the apparently most negligible gestures that give life to a passion that can remain dormant even for years but that sooner or later reappears.

What are the rituals that ignited your passion? Which ones keep her alive? Which ones will you pass on?

Elena Feresin

Categories: Mountain Stories


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