This is a photograph of the Marxenkar in the Karwendel mountains in the Alps.

After a very exhausting climb the day before and a very cold night in a bivouac 2400 meters above sea level, I had to descent through this cirque. When the sun rose, I eventually started feeling warm again. There are almost no climbers around in this part of the Karwendel, as there are no marked paths or huts. I had the mountains all for myself that morning. But neither this particular place nor this photograph is crucial. The image is merely an example of this very romantic notion of freedom. And even though this is very kitsch and generic, I am searching for moments like these that make me happy.

For me, it is the mountains where I, rather than anywhere else, can find this feeling. I know them. I like being there. Would I be living by the sea, I might be a surfer instead of a mountaineer and it might be the sunrise over the ocean. But where I live, I have the mountains.

I usually hike alone in the mountains. That always has been an important part of the experience for me so far. The solitude in nature and doing everything at my own pace regardless. Without having to wait or hurry and only being responsible for myself. But I do hope I can share these experiences with my son one day. Surely, that would mean even more happiness then.

– Martin Friedrich