Earlier this year Johannes Roth of Stuttgart, Germany, became the one-millionth person to tag Passion Passport in a photo. Passion Passport caught up with the aspiring digital media designer to hear more about his adventure.
Where does your #PPOneMillion memory take place and what initially drew you there?
My #PPOneMillion memory takes place in the Alps, in the very south of Germany, near the Austrian border. In the past year, I’ve spent most of my days in Stuttgart. It’s a hectic, dirty city. Having some off time, I took the chance to break out and get out. I was looking for the least crowded yet most photogenic places and paths. Hiking up to the Eissee seemed like the perfect answer.
Describe one unexpected or unforeseen challenge you faced getting up the Eissee.
Only having a 20-year old map, we weren’t sure if the path we were walking was actually leading us to our goal, or if the path still existed. There was poor to no signal on our phones, so we had to rely on ourselves. In the course of time, I realised I pushed through something I wouldn’t have had a year ago. That whole trip was priceless, furthermore personal growth.
If you do this hike again, name one thing you packed the first time you’d leave behind and one thing you’d remember to take.
I’d never ever take fresh underwear with me on an overnight hike again. Sounds disgusting, but you’re sweating like crazy and there’s no shower. It’s just another piece of luggage and it really isn’t that bad! I’d take food and a gas cooker with me again. I was lucky my buddy brought an extra soup. Nothing better than a warm meal after an exhausting day.
You wrote, “We were in pain with every step”. What helped you get through this and carry on?
Two things: I wanted to go up there and take photos. I hoped for the perfect moment in that epic landscape. That was the main drive. Also, at a certain point, we knew, we wouldn’t have made it back to the car in the daylight. There was no other option than to push through. I’m glad we did.
Would you describe yourself as an avid outdoorsman or were you underprepared for the physical toll of the hike?
I’m out a lot, doing all kinds of sports. Yet, I wasn’t prepared for hiking up there with a heavy backpack. I did not expect it to be that exhausting. I had sore muscles for quite some days.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone else planning on tackling this adventure?
Look out for the weather forecast, start early and enjoy the landscape.
Describe your experience in five words or less, GO.
One word will do it: Rewarding.