with Jolanda Dandl & Caja Schöpf

Small Trip, Big Adventure

Travelling far away is not possible. Holidays are cancelled for the time being. A longing look out of the window. Does wanderlust accompany you every day in your home office as well? At last the fresh wind in your face in foreign places or the childlike excitement of spontaneous undertakings.


Caja Schöpf, ex-freestyle pro and sports psychologist and Jolana Dandl, outdoor influencer and sociologist, two mountain chamois from the depths of Bavaria, have taken up this challenge. True to the motto: Small trip, big adventure!





Free travel, no limits, seeking adventure and being outdoors in the mountains. That has not always been easy in the last year - for many even impossible. What does that do to a person who loves to be outdoors, who needs the challenge and freedom of the mountains?


Either the frustration and resignation increase, or you think solution-oriented, according to the motto "what else CAN I do" and get creative. We decided on the latter. We, that's Caja and Jolana, two mountain girls from the Bavarian foothills of the Alps. We are united by a passion, which we need for sport and balance - the mountains. Even though we are lucky enough to live near/in the Alps, there were also unusual restrictions for us - on top of that we both love to travel. There was a longing for variety, for a bit of adventure, new

impressions and memories that we can draw on and recount in everyday life. In short: new stories that you have experienced yourself and not just seen or heard from others. So we got creative and came up with something that was completely new territory in the mountains. What else is important in an adventure? For us, definitely spontaneity.


So Caja called Jolana at 21:07 in the evening:

Caja: Hey Jolana, what are you doing tomorrow?

Jolana: Actually, I'm already booked.

Caja: Actually"...then we'll change your plans now. I'll pick you up tomorrow morning at

3:30 a.m. and we'll go to the mountains. Sunrise tour to a mountain lake with a SUP on your back?

Jolana: With what? The SUP? (laughs)

Caja: That's right, with the SUP! Short hike, beautiful mountain lake and we glide over the water.

Afterwards you get a Bialetti Cafe in the first sunlight.

Jolana: Okay, I'm in.

Written, done. At 2:30 the alarm clock rang. The effort to get up this time was not so great this time - the anticipation was greater. We quickly got ready, had a bite to eat

and off we go. We meet at the car park. The mood is still subdued, even

even we don't talk much, the light from the headlamps dazzles tired faces.

"Phew the SUP backpack is heavy, haha."

"Yep, there are more comfortable." We both have to laugh. I wonder if this was all a good idea. "OK. Let's go."


The path is muddy at first and heavily trampled by cows that spend their summer on the alpine pasture. In the glow of the lamps we wind our way through a labyrinth of cow pats,puddles and mud holes. Finally the trail turns into a path and we gain height. It is very quiet, we only hear our own breathing and the stones crunching under our steps.

We feel the unfamiliar, extra weight of the boards, but the anticipation lightens the load. On a small hill, a gentle breeze comes up, we stop for a moment, close our eyes and both know what the other one is thinking: that was the right decision. The hair blows cool around our faces and dries the sweat on our foreheads. It smells of damp grass and cold rock. On the horizon you can already see a red stripe - the Eos is waking up.


We continue to climb and soon we see a large expanse in which the moon, rock, stars and clouds are reflected. The mountain lake is beautifully nestled between high rock faces.rock faces. The water is still very dark and smooth as glass. We set down our board backpacks on the shore and immediately start to prepare everything. Change clothes, have a quick drink and then pump up. In the meantime, dawn has already enveloped us in a warm in soft, warm light. We take the SUPs and let them slide into the water. Icy coldness runs through our feet. Better don´t fall in! The lake is so deep and dark that most of the time you can't see the bottom. We paddle together to the middle of the lake. The gigantic rock faces around us are already burning in a deep orange. It won't be long before the sun will rise. We turn and look towards the east, where the big yellow ball is moving in a glistening light is leisurely getting ready for the day. We feel the warmth of the first rays of the sun on our faces - pure happiness. As the SUPs sway in the gentle morning breeze, the soothing warmth of the sun fills us and makes us forget the bitter cold of the water on our feet of the water on our feet. We smile at each other. Breathtaking. The first alpine doles pass over us and welcome the day. Moments in which you forget everything and simply just live, be and be with yourself. We leisurely paddle a few laps in the lake and soak up these and soak up these unique impressions. No matter where our gaze wanders, we discover new and beautiful views where the sun changes the mood of the light. The clouds, the rock faces, the lake in which everything is reflected, the wide view of the Alps and the valley. A breeze blows all the smells into our nostrils again. It smells so fresh, of dew and water, of spicy meadows and cold stone. After a while, however, our feet get so cold, that we have to get out of the water. We enjoy gliding the last few metres across the lake. Then we let the air out, stow the boards and sit down in the sun with our Bialetti coffe and some snacks. It is a beautiful morning. We look out over the valley from which we have climbed and watch the distant mountain peaks. The steam from our café cups dances in the sun. We don't talk much, but enjoy the silence and the moment - each to our own. We are fully in the here and now.


As we set off and strap on our board backpacks, the climb at dawn feels so far away again. In daylight, the path looks completely different. You hear different noises, everything smells different, you talk a lot more and the surroundings have clear shapes. On the way home, we both know that we will never forget this little adventure. Even though it is not easy to get up that early, the way was exhausting and our feet almost froze to death (we should have worn neoprene shoes), it is always worth it in retrospect. The place, the hike and all the sensory perceptions will always remain in our memories. And this memory will always connect us - even if it's not the highest peak or the most most difficult tour. It depends on what you and with whom you share it. But we should also not take all this for granted. If you love nature and want tonnature, you have to respect and protect it. We should be mindful and take a step back. Quiet and protected zones must be respected. To do this, you must also and not take shortcuts or explore cross-country on your own. You leave nothing behind and certainly no rubbish. You have to follow the local and route instructions. You behave quietly and with restraint. Love also means respect and is a give and take. The peace and quiet that is given should be returned.

Text: Jolana Dandl, Pics: Christian Eli Eberl