Seasons can be explained scientifically. The terms perihelion, aphelion, equinox, solstice and apsides may not ring a bell, but they refer to a complex astrophysical system which is responsible for our seasons. March, 21, marks the beginning of spring, June, 21, is the beginning of summer, autumn starts on September, 23, and December, 21,marks the beginning of our meteorological winter.

Not everybody is interested in the complexity of this, which is fine. You may simply comment on a particular season by praising its beauty and advantages. In South Tyrol, every season deserves that praise because the country is beautiful and inviting all year round.

South Tyrol's Alpine world still has clearly marked seasons. We typically see and feel the differences between spring, summer, autumn and winter. Winters may be cold and grim. Spring is a perfumed awakening. Summers can be hot, but our nights (especially in the side valleys) are cool and we sleep well. Finally, a colourful autumn concludes the cycle.

Scientific knowledge about apsides and more is all forgotten about when you actually experience the seasons. You need to see their beauty with your own eyes and feel spring, summer, autumn and winter in heart instead of defining them in your head.

Summer in South Tyrol - Farmers are cutting the grass on steep slopes, hoping to bring the perfuming hay to the barn before the rain sets in. An Alpine climber is carefully feeling his/her way over a steep rock face, glad to reach the Alpine shelter before the thunderstorm.

Winter in South Tyrol - When Jack Frost asks Mother Hulda for a dance, it is winter in South Tyrol. Short days and cold nights characterise the season. Yet, winter is a great season for all Alpinists, thanks to the countless thrilling activities which become possible on snow and ice.

Yay, it's finally spring! Flowers are sprouting, trees are blossoming and turning green again, meadows and Alpine pastures are awakening, appearing from under layers of snow. Crocuses open their fragile, perfuming calices overnight to form a blooming carpet, white and lilac. High up in the mountains, there is still snow. Spring combines the best of both worlds.

Eventually, autumn arrives and Mother Nature outgrows herself, offering rich harvests and wearing her very best dress of gold and red. Bright-yellow larches, fresh and clear air, leaves dancing in the wind, all meadows neatly cut - autumn is beautiful, a last display of nature's greatness before the world goes to sleep under a fluffy white blanket of snow.


Günther Ausserhofer
Mountain guide
Dorfstrasse 29
I-39030 Luttach
Mobil: +39 347 4138336

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