Snow on the Pacific Crest Trail

The 2017 thruhiker season seems to be an interesting one according to the snow levels on the west coast. I thruhiked the PCT in 2011 in a similar way above average snow year.
The snow pack lasted much longer than I thought, from Trail Pass after Kennedy Meadows till Sierra City (about 500mi) with very little stretches of dry trail.
You might encounter snow even earlier, up Baden Powel and San Jacinto. This is nothing compared to the Sierras.

This is what I have to share about my experience for the class of 2017:

  • Start late in Campo, and try to enter the Sierras as late as possible.
  • Your progress will be slower than you think.
  • Use every resupply option, you will be happy about every day off the snow.
  • Do not expect dry feet.
  • Surround yourself with a group of good navigators to take turns on navigation.
  • Hike early when the snow is hard.
  • Put on your crampons or spikes before you enter a difficult spot.
  • Use new shoes with a stiffer sole and a good profile.
  • Make sure your poles have snow baskets!
  • Try to cross rivers early or late in the day.
  • Take time to look for a save spot to cross rivers, this is likely somewhere else than shown on the map.
  • Learn to ski on your heels!
  • Take good care and don’t under estimate avalanche danger!
  • If you don’t feel like you can do that after the first 2 days, turn around.
  • Sunblock and very good sunglasses are a must!
  • Forget snowshoes, suncups and going up and down steep slopes are not the ideal terrain for them.
  • The road to Reds Meadow was still closed, also the road to Mammoth.
    We had to roadwalk to Mammoth Ski Resort and took the free bus to town.

The good things about the snow:

  • There will be no mosquitos.
  • Bears are at lower elevations.
  • The Sierras will be not crowded at all.
  • Heel skiing 🙂
  • The adventurous feeling.
  • Water will be everywhere!

Feel free to ask me questions in the comments!





TV Berichte auf ORF und ServusTV

Beitrag von ORF NÖ:

Live im Studio bei ServusTV (ab min.15)


Long-Distance-Hiking in Austria

After having hiked three times across the Austrian Alps on different routes  past summer, I often thought about the difference of thruhiking in Austria and abroad. This article should help future hikers what to expect when hiking the Alps in Austria (and other countries along them).

Austria is a small country with a strong infrastructure



Good to know:

  • The Alps are a busy place especially in holiday time from July to the end of August. There will be no day where you will not run into other people (not the case when the weather is bad).
  • Thru-hiking is not really a thing in Austria, I met only a party of two other long distance hikers in 119 days. This does not mean that no one does it, but chances are low that you run into someone who is going „all the way“.
  • There is hardly an area without mountain huts, most huts offer accomodation and different kinds of food. People who have never been here before call them „Mountain Hotels“
    Most huts are very busy during the season in good weather conditions. If you plan on going from „hut to hut“ you can hike really light, but you will need quite a budget for it and most thru hikers dont want a hike like that I assume. Too many people, too much comfort, too expensive.
    Nevertheless a Mountain Hut can become very convenient and even life saving in bad weather.
  • Camping is technically prohibited, but the law is a bit different in every state. Check the site of the Austrian Alpine Club for all Information about it. So if you want to do a thruhike of one of the longer trails in Austria it will be a good mixture of sleeping in huts, bed & breakfast houses in towns and campgrounds. An experienced thruhiker will probaply carry a tarp and use it from time to time in the few areas where infrastructure is rare or with the permission of the landowner and he might consider a stealthcamp from time to time.
  • Food purchases are fairly easy, most small towns have supermarkets or grocery stores where you can get different kinds of food a thruhiker will get along with. As mentioned huts provide food too, so you will not starve to death anywhere in Austria. Carry enough cash for huts or emergencys. Some huts are equipped for plastic money but those are rare. You can do a box resupply strategy aswell with the general delivery option at post offices. I dont think that is necessary here, but I did from time to time with shoes, maps and some food. You can get along without them or with just a few if you want to ship maps etc..
  • Navigation & Maps: Depending on what you want to do, there is really any kind of information around, guidebooks, maps, GPS Apps, tons of online platforms and resources. I hiked with the guidebooks from the OEAV (Austrian Alpine Club) and the GPS App from Kompass. The guides are not great for a thruhikers need, but show distances, accomodation options and profiles. All the other writen Information in them is more or less useless for the long-distance-hiker. For grocery shops and post offices I did a lot of online research before wich I transfered into excel and brought along the way. I found another app very usefull which shows all kind of local facilties and stores etc gps based with opening hours.
  • The trail network is huge! Do not stick too much on a planned route, there are many alternatives out there which you can take in bad weather or even more worth then the original route. Make your own choices! Trails in Austria are often very technical and rugged, including big amounts of elevaton loss & gain. There are days where doing 50 or more kilometers per day will be no problem for a strong hiker, on others you will hike a full day with only 30km because of the streneous terrain.
  • Be prepared for any kind of weather at all times! I had two major snowstorms, one in July and one at the end of September, starting rain turn into snow at 1800 meters of elevation and above.
    Always be aware of the forcasted weather. Fresh snow, wind and a poor visibility can turn into treacherous and life-threatening conditions very fast.
  • Consider a membership at the Austrian Alpine Club offering rescue insurance and discounts on accomodation in huts.



Resources: Onlineshop for guidebooks & maps Another shop for guidebooks & maps
Kompass GPS-App download on itunes Alpine Club information and membership Online hiking portal with lots of info and online maps Same as above from the Austrian Alpine Club


What else? Feel free to ask me in the comments!



Ultraleicht Trekking Workshops 2017



Sie möchten sich optimal auf eine Weitwanderung, sei es in den Alpen, auf Pilgerwegen durch Europa oder vielleicht sogar dem Pacific Crest Trail vorbereiten? Dann sind sie bei mir genau richtig, denn ich gebe meine Erfahrungen aus über 23.000 Kilometern Weitwandern gerne in meinen workshops an sie weiter!

Der Schlüssel zum Erfolg einer Weitwanderung ist das Rucksackgewicht, lernen sie von mir, wie man mit minimaler und funktionellster Ausrüstung, sicherer, leichter und gesünder ans Ziel kommt!


  • Ausrüstungsberatung speziell im Bereich Ultraleicht-Trekking
  • Trainingstips
  • Mentale Vorbereitung
  • Planung des Abenteuers
  • Navigation mit Karten & GPS
  • Ernährung währen der Tour
  • Umgang mit Wildtieren
  • Draußen übernachten
  • Fotografie & Video
  • Hygiene
  • Richtiges verhalten in der Natur
  • Individuelle Themen

Der workshop findet an zwei Tagen statt und läuft so ab:

Wir treffen uns in Puchberg am Schneeberg/Niederösterreich zu Mittag, packen unsere Rucksäcke und wandern gemütlich etwa 3 Stunden durch die umliegenden Wälder, zum Übernachtungsplatz. Dort wird weiter auf die Schwerpunkte des Programms eingegangen und später werden wir unser Camp für die Nacht einrichten.
Wir lassen den Abend am Lagerfeuer mit Essen und Getränken ausklingen und verbringen dann die Nacht in unseren Zelten und Tarps.
Am nächsten Morgen werden wir nach dem Frühstück den zweiten Teil des Programms folgen und wieder zurück zum Ausgangspunkt wandern.

Individuelle Termine sind auf Anfrage möglich!

Anmeldung unter:

Der workshop ist für bis zu sechs Personen ausgelegt. Ich biete auch individuelle Beratung über Skype oder Telefon an. Die teilnehmenden Personen müssen keine Vorkenntnisse mitbringen. Eine kleine Ausrüstungsliste wird von mir erstellt und per e-mail verschickt.

Fragen jeglicher Art beantworte ich gerne per e-mail unter matthiaskodym(at)

Post hike/race/adventure depression (and how to deal with it)

*I am not an expert/therapist on this topic**Seek professional advice if needed*

All things come to an end. A very common quote when it comes to ending something. But what does that actually mean to the adventurer or athlete?
Having spent most of my time in the past years with thru-hiking and ultra-running and being also involved in the community, I have heared about the topic many times and I have been there myself.

You catch yourself staring into the blank, you are tired of normal life. You wish you where somewhere else and that your trip would never have ended. You encountered so many inspiring/weird/surprising things during your undertaking, that it is hard to step back from it. You have seen so many places in a short amount of time, that you can not name them all. You have  made a ton of new friends along the way.
Finding back into normal routines, lived by so many of us can be hard. You actually dont really want to come back, because you have seen so much from various angles that this normal life sounds not really fulfilling. You pushed yourself to the limit for months to get to your goal and suddenly…. it is all over!

Hiking a long trail  can feel like you have been in an pararell universe for months, you feel a deep connection to things you never thought about. You become an observer of what is going on around you but without really being a part of it. All you care about is the trail, your feet, watersources & postoffice & supermarket opening hours.
Sometimes you think about the comforts of home and relaxing on a chouch all day. You dream about  eating endless amounts of food and browsing the internet or just simply doing nothing at all. You will be looking forward to get home again from time to time.
And once you are there after a while…the feeling of accomplisment vanishes and you are back at the starting line feeling not that special after all. Thru-hiking broke your heart! (have a look at Carrot Quinn´s book btw)



Advice for novize long-distance hikers & everybody along 

  • Do not think your adventure will change your life in first place

It might and it will somehow, but this can take month or even years. Dont look for something you might not find out there. Good things will come to you no matter you look or dont look for them.

  • Pay attention from the beginning that your adventure will end

Being away for six months from daily routines, while your are on your thruhike  may sound like a long time but time flies and your trip is over faster than you might think when starting out.

  • Take your time!

Your adventure took months or longer to complete! Accept that it will also take time to come back from it.

  • Keep yourself busy by doing something

Start working soon after it again, think about a  hobby (something you wanted to do for a long time), do sports, continue your training, keep hiking, do smaller trips in your area, go for walks;

  • Write or give speeches

This is a great way to receiptulate your endeavor, people are more eager to hear what you have accomplished than you might think. Dont think about an puplisher of your book or article first, just write it! Learn how to take photos and videos, document your adventure and organize presentations in front of an audience. In doing so you might generate money which will help to fund your next thing.

  • Talk to your friends and family

Let them know about your feelings, they will understand which will help you in your process.

  • Try to let float your findings and knowledgements in daily life

So you found out that thruhikig needs a lot of patience and generosity from strangers? Be patient and generous in your daily life. It will affect your surroundings.

  • Do not take yourself too serious

I have learned that  „laughing it off“ can be a great thing to get rid of stress during your undertaking. Instead of falling into a hole where everything seems  hard and impossible, take it easy and laugh about yourself and what you are doing! I mean it can be really ridiculous to hike the length of a country or run 100 miles! Laugh about it!

  • Involve yourself and give back!

Help local trail clubs to maintain trail systems etc, in doing so you can connect yourself in a social way.

  • Plan your next „big“ thing (or a smaller intense one)

Not because you want to get away from something, do it because you can and because you just love to be out there.

  • Be aware that there is nothing but „the now“

This will help you to understand things a bit and be gratful for them. You have achieved something which brought you here, the now. Work from there on. Step by Step like on your journey. Future will come no matter if you think of it or not.

  • Eat well!

Get your blood tested and check your vitamin levels and trace elements. Low Iron & Vitamin D3 levels could be a reason why you dont feel very well.
Cut down on sugar and junk food and prepare fresh healthy meals. Start to  eat fruit and vegetables daily.


Have you encountered „the post-hike blues“ yourself? What did help you along the way? 



ALTRA Lone Peak 3.0

Altra, die vergleichsweise junge Marke aus den USA bringt mit dem Lone Peak 3.0 den Nachfolger des bereits im Ultralauf und Fastpacking Bereich sehr beliebten Modell 2.5 auf den Markt. Die wesentlichen Neuerungen sind  das überarbeitete Obermaterial und die etwas stabilere Ferse sowie eine stärkere Griffigkeit der Sohle. Der Schuh ist dem Konzept von Altra durch die weite Zehenbox, Zero-Drop (0mm Sprengung) und dem hohen Dämpfungskomfort treu geblieben und findet seine Fans daher in erster Linie im Ultratrail und Weitwander Bereich.



Was macht den Lone Peak 3.0 interessant?

Die breite Zehenbox die dem Fuß unter langer Belastung genug Platz bietet und damit ein reiben und übereinanderschieben der Zehen verhindert.
Die Zero-Drop Konstruktion, die ein natürliches und ökonomisches Laufen über den Vor- und Mittelfuß ermöglicht.
Die starke Dämpfung die auch nach Stunden am Trail die Gelenke und Muskeln entlastet.
Der Schuh verfügt über eine Rock-Plate die im oberen drittel der Sohle verbaut ist, dadurch „frisst“ die Sohle Steine und Unebenheiten und verhindert dadurch das Umknicken des Fußes.
– Der Lone Peak verfügt über eine gute Befestigungsmöglichkeit, genannt Gaiter Trap, für Laufgamaschen. Durch eine Metalöse an der Schnürrung und einem Klettverschlussstreifen an der Ferse. Perfekt für die Gamaschen von Altra oder Dirty Girl Gaiters.



Wer sollte sich den Lone Peak 3.0 genauer ansehen? 

Ultra Läufer die bis zur 100 Meilen Marke und weiter hinaus wollen
Schwerere Läufer
Menschen mit breiterem Vorfuß
Läufer die ein natürliches Laufgefühl suchen aber dabei nicht auf Dämpfung verzichten möchten

Wie läuft sich der Lone Peak 3.0 eigentlich so?

Trotz der starken Dämpfung ist dennoch ein Gefühl für den Untergrund vorhanden, für schnelle sehr technische trails würde ich allerdings zu dem Modell Superior von Altra greifen, dieser hat weniger Dämpfung und läuft sich direkter und wendiger. Wie gesagt der Lone Peak ist der Schuh für die langen Kanten und ich freue mich schon darauf ihn für diese einzusetzen.



Wie lässt sich die Größe mit anderen Marken vergleichen?

Die Größenangabe bei Altra ist etwas seltsam, der Hersteller gibt bei US 11.5 die EUR 46 an, was meiner Meinung nach einem 45.5 entspricht. La Sportiva beispielsweise gibt US12.5 für EUR 46 an, dies passt mir perfekt mit einer Daumenbreite Platz nach vorne.

Was könnte verbessert werden?

Der Schuh wiegt 360g (pro Schuh) bei Größe US 11.5 das sollte etwas leichter gehen!

Und sonst so?
Der Lone Peak ist als Damen- sowie als Herren Modell in vier verschiedenen Farben erhältlich. Weiters bietet Altra auch eine Wasserdichte (NEOSHELL) Variante an.

Mit freundlicher Unterstützung durch Laufsport Mangold Wiener Neustadt.