Hiking in Finland

Climbing, bikepacking, skiing & packrafting in the north

The 5 Biggest Mountain Lies

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Just 20 Minutes to the summit? Yeah, right.


When you’re out hiking and backpacking with friends there come these times on the hill where you or someone else is starting to not have fun anymore. It’s too hot, the summit seems far away, you’re sweating or are soaking wet from the rain. That’s the moment someone usually utters one or several #MountainLies - a lie to keep you motivated. If you’re an active Hiker and outdoors person you probably have heard some of these said. Here’s the five most common lies uttered on the mountain.

Behind that hill is the summit

This is the mountain lie I have told several times myself. But then things conspired against me and, well, the summit wasn’t behind that hill - and also not after the next one, and next one, and next one. When Motivation is low and the summit the goal, this is the lie you will most likely hear. It keeps people going, but the summit - it never is behind that hill, but more likely another good hour of steep hiking further away.

Almost at the summit

This is the steepest part

The trail is steep. Steep as in, you’re using hand and feet to actually be able to move upward. For your friends with the DNA of an ibex this is no problem at all, but those who lack these genes are sweaty, angry and want to turn around. Because climbing up this near vertical trail just is no fun. This is the steepest part, it gets easier after this section is what you’ll likely hear then. But it doesn’t get flatter - at least not for long. With some luck you’re going to encounter a bit further up the “trail” a section which is even steeper. Lucky for you that it’s not raining, right?

Lago di Sorapiss and a wonderful scree field

It’s not going to rain today

This Mountain Lie you usually hear in the morning while you’re sitting at the breakfast table or at the trailhead. The clouds look more black and menacing than anything you’ve seen before in your life - and wasn’t that thunder you heard there in the distance? No, it’s not gonna rain today - usually followed by the sentence That’s what the weather forecast promised. If you’re still sitting at home and have a good book along - heat up the stove, grab a second cup of coffee and read that book while your weather-forecast-trusting friends will be soaked to the bone.


The sun comes out in a moment

When you did believe your weather-forecast-trusting friends and went hiking with them in the rain, after you’re soaking wet and you are angry that you believed the membrane’s claim to “Guaranteed to keep you dry” your friend with the undying trust in the weather forecast will proclaim that the sun comes out in a moment. This usually means you will continue to be hiking in the rain and clouds until you’re back at home, when indeed the sun might come out before it dips behind the mountains. After all, a moment is a very brief amount of time which can stretch to many hours.

Sunrise on the Kanisfluh!

Only 20 minutes till the Mountain Hut

You’re hungry and have no power left. All you want is a hot cup of coffee and a delicious plate of Kaiserschmarrn. You’ll voice this situation to your friends, and prompt comes the reply from the mate up ahead on the trail: “Only 20 minutes till the Mountain Hut”. You continue hiking, savouring already that delicious food in front of you, and in just twenty short minutes you’re able to sit down and enjoy it. After fifteen minutes of hiking you get light doubts - there’s no hut to be seen anywhere. Another five minutes later it dawns on you that it was not in a life-time 20 minutes to the next hut, but more likely another hour.

Schronisko Ornak

More Lies

Know some #MountainLies you have heard yourself countless times? Leave your Mountain Lies in the comments or post it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the #MountainLies Hashtag!

Disclaimer: Thanks to Andreas from Gipfelfieber.com for the inspiration and allowing me to adapt his article to English. Read the Berglügen Artikel auf Deutsch.