Couple swapped the U.S for Germany ‘to be near the most beautiful mountains in the world’


A couple who relocated to live out their dream in the Alps reveal pictures of their new life in the mountains, where they have so far hiked hundreds of summits – including 50 peaks in one year.

Christine Madeux, 26, and her husband Scott Madeux, 29, packed up their belongings and moved from the U.S to Bavaria in Germany ‘to be close to some of the most beautiful mountains in the world’.

Four years on, the couple, from Indiana and Minnesota respectively, say they ‘haven’t looked back’ and have so far climbed more than 200 summits across the Alps region.

Their most memorable ascents include Germany’s highest mountain, The Zugspitze (9,718ft/2,962m), and Bishorn in Switzerland (13,630ft/4,153m). They also enjoyed a ‘jaw-dropping’ sunset hike on Austria’s Gamsjoch mountain, which rises to 8,045ft (2,452m) above sea level.

‘We love living in the Alps for countless reasons, but our favorite would have to be that we truly never worry about being bored at home,’ Christine told MailOnline Travel.

Christine Madeux, 26, and her husband Scott Madeux, 29 (pictured), moved from the U.S to Germany 'to be close to some of the most beautiful mountains in the world'. Here, the couple are pictured on the Allalinhorn mountain in Switzerland

Christine Madeux, 26, and her husband Scott Madeux, 29 (pictured), moved from the U.S to Germany ‘to be close to some of the most beautiful mountains in the world’. Here, the couple are pictured on the Allalinhorn mountain in Switzerland

Christine and Scott, from Indiana and Minnesota respectively, said they 'haven't looked back' since moving to the Alps where they have so far climbed more than 200 summits. This picture was taken during a hike in the Italian Dolomites

Christine and Scott, from Indiana and Minnesota respectively, said they ‘haven’t looked back’ since moving to the Alps where they have so far climbed more than 200 summits. This picture was taken during a hike in the Italian Dolomites

The couple love living in the Alps for 'countless reasons' but their favourite is that they 'truly never worry about being bored at home', Christine said

The couple love living in the Alps for ‘countless reasons’ but their favourite is that they ‘truly never worry about being bored at home’, Christine said

Their favourite summits 'by far' are those they have tackled at sunrise and sunset 'when the sky ranges from deep blues and purples to brilliant orange and pink', Christine said. Here, they are pictured hiking in the Alps at sunrise

Their favourite summits ‘by far’ are those they have tackled at sunrise and sunset ‘when the sky ranges from deep blues and purples to brilliant orange and pink’, Christine said. Here, they are pictured hiking in the Alps at sunrise

‘There are dozens of pristine lakes to swim in the summer, skiing right out our doorstep in winter, and thousands of mountains to climb year-round. Every time we head outside, we realise we’ve barely scratched the surface of places to explore.’

Christine, an adventure wedding photographer and Scott, a software engineer and wedding videographer, met while working in Alaska and have lived in mountainous areas across the American West.

But despite all the incredible places they have travelled to, Christine said she had ‘still never forgotten’ the time she spent working as a nanny in Germany and living near the Alps.

In December 2019, inspired by her fond memories, the couple relocated from their home in Idaho, U.S, to the German ski-resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria.

‘After realising extended travel in the Alps without an income wouldn’t be possible for us, we decided the best way to experience the region together would be by taking jobs out here,’ Christine explained.

‘So that’s exactly what we did.’

Christine and Scott enjoyed hiking so much that they decided to launch their own photography business - Made in the Mountains, helping couples to create and capture 'an awe-inspiring elopement experience' in the Alps

Christine and Scott enjoyed hiking so much that they decided to launch their own photography business – Made in the Mountains, helping couples to create and capture ‘an awe-inspiring elopement experience’ in the Alps

'Every time we head outside, we realise we¿ve barely scratched the surface of places to explore,' said Christine, who is pictured here hiking in Chamonix, France, with husband Scott

‘Every time we head outside, we realise we’ve barely scratched the surface of places to explore,’ said Christine, who is pictured here hiking in Chamonix, France, with husband Scott

The couple took this picture while hiking in the Appenzell Alps, Switzerland

American Christine, pictured on Munt Pers mountain in Switzerland, was inspired to move back to Germany after her time spent working there as a nanny

LEFT: The couple took this picture while hiking in the Appenzell Alps, Switzerland. RIGHT: American Christine, pictured on Munt Pers mountain in Switzerland, was inspired to move back to Germany after her time spent working there as a nanny

Shortly after moving to Germany, the pandemic struck, putting a halt on international travel and many social events. But that did not deter Christine and Scott, who kept busy by hiking. Pictured: Scott climbing Piz Trovat mountain in Switzerland

Shortly after moving to Germany, the pandemic struck, putting a halt on international travel and many social events. But that did not deter Christine and Scott, who kept busy by hiking. Pictured: Scott climbing Piz Trovat mountain in Switzerland

Shortly after moving to Germany, the pandemic struck, putting a halt on international travel and many social events.

But that did not deter the couple, who kept busy with hiking.

‘It quickly became one of our only activities to fill the time outside of work,’ Christine said.

Christine and Scott relocated to the Bavarian ski town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, pictured

Christine and Scott relocated to the Bavarian ski town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, pictured

'There are dozens of pristine lakes to swim in the summer, skiing right out our doorstep in winter, and thousands of mountains to climb year-round,' Christine said. Pictured: The couple hiking Kre¿uzspitze mountain in Germany

‘There are dozens of pristine lakes to swim in the summer, skiing right out our doorstep in winter, and thousands of mountains to climb year-round,’ Christine said. Pictured: The couple hiking Kre​uzspitze mountain in Germany

Christine and Scott have completed many hikes near their home in Germany and are able to explore several mountains in Austria, Switzerland, and the Italian Dolomites, which are no more than a few hours away. They took this picture while hiking Lagazuoi mountain in the Dolomites, northern Italy

Christine and Scott have completed many hikes near their home in Germany and are able to explore several mountains in Austria, Switzerland, and the Italian Dolomites, which are no more than a few hours away. They took this picture while hiking Lagazuoi mountain in the Dolomites, northern Italy

In 2021, the couple completed 50 peaks together, then again in 2022 and again in 2023. This image was taken on their trip to the Canton of Uri in Switzerland

In 2021, the couple completed 50 peaks together, then again in 2022 and again in 2023. This image was taken on their trip to the Canton of Uri in Switzerland

During the pandemic, hiking 'quickly became one of our only activities to fill the time outside of work', Christine said. The couple took this shot while hiking in Germany's Ammergau Alps

During the pandemic, hiking ‘quickly became one of our only activities to fill the time outside of work’, Christine said. The couple took this shot while hiking in Germany’s Ammergau Alps

‘Some time in the spring of 2020, I suggested to my husband that we should try and hike 50 different peaks in the Alps that year, without the assistance of cable cars.

‘While many took place around our home in Germany, we also were able to hike a number of different mountains in Austria, Switzerland, and the Italian Dolomites, which are all within 30 minutes to a few hours of where we live.

‘In 2021, we completed an additional 50 peaks together, then again in 2022 and again in 2023.

Some time in the spring of 2020, Christine suggested to her husband that they 'should try and hike 50 different peaks in the Alps that year, without the assistance of cable cars'. They took this picture of Swiss hamlet Meglisalp during one of their hikes

Some time in the spring of 2020, Christine suggested to her husband that they ‘should try and hike 50 different peaks in the Alps that year, without the assistance of cable cars’. They took this picture of Swiss hamlet Meglisalp during one of their hikes

Peak of perfection: This stunning picture was taken at Grimsel Pass in Switzerland

Peak of perfection: This stunning picture was taken at Grimsel Pass in Switzerland

Christine and Scott took this picture while hiking Jochberg mountain in Germany

Christine and Scott took this picture while hiking Jochberg mountain in Germany 

The couple snapped this shot while exploring Italy's Parco Naturale Tre Cime

The couple snapped this shot while exploring Italy’s Parco Naturale Tre Cime 

‘So in total, I’ve now hiked and climbed over 200 different summits across the Alps.’

Christine said one of the most rewarding parts to hiking mountains is ‘having a space to go and just be inspired by the outdoors’.

She described the experience as ‘almost meditative’, despite the challenges.

‘The wind might be blowing and the temperatures freezing, yet somehow it’s still peaceful,’ she added.

Christine said the 'combination of exercise, beautiful views and a chance to find respite from the day-to-day busyness of life' is what makes hiking 'addictive'. Pictured: The couple trekking in the Italian Dolomites

Christine said the ‘combination of exercise, beautiful views and a chance to find respite from the day-to-day busyness of life’ is what makes hiking ‘addictive’. Pictured: The couple trekking in the Italian Dolomites

Christine climbed Switzerland's Garde de Bordon in 'misty 2am conditions' to catch the sunset at its 10,860ft (3,310m) summit. This picture captures the moment

Christine climbed Switzerland’s Garde de Bordon in ‘misty 2am conditions’ to catch the sunset at its 10,860ft (3,310m) summit. This picture captures the moment

The couple took this sunny image on a hike of Neunerköpfle mountain in Austria

The couple took this sunny image on a hike of Neunerköpfle mountain in Austria

Christine said one of the most rewarding parts to hiking mountains is 'having a space to go and just be inspired by the outdoors'. Pictured: Hiking Schönkahler mountain in Austria

Christine said one of the most rewarding parts to hiking mountains is ‘having a space to go and just be inspired by the outdoors’. Pictured: Hiking Schönkahler mountain in Austria

Their favourite summits ‘by far’ are those they have tackled at sunrise and sunset ‘when the sky ranges from deep blues and purples to brilliant orange and pink’.

Christine said there is ‘something powerful about knowing your legs can power you upward 1,000, 2,000 or even 3,000 vertical metres in a matter of hours’.

But it’s not all about reaching the top, she added. ‘The combination of exercise, beautiful views and a chance to find respite from the day-to-day busyness of life makes it addictive.’

The couple captured this breathtaking image of Seebensee Lake in Austria while hiking

The couple captured this breathtaking image of Seebensee Lake in Austria while hiking

In the longer term, Christine dreams of climbing the Weisshorn, which reaches an incredible 14,780ft (4,506m), in the Swiss Alps. This picture was taken on one of her previous hikes of the Gaishorn summit in Austria

In the longer term, Christine dreams of climbing the Weisshorn, which reaches an incredible 14,780ft (4,506m), in the Swiss Alps. This picture was taken on one of her previous hikes of the Gaishorn summit in Austria

This image was captured by the couple on a hiking trip in the Bernese Alps, Switzerland

This image was captured by the couple on a hiking trip in the Bernese Alps, Switzerland

This atmospheric photo was captured by the couple during a hike on the Austrian side of Schesaplana mountain - which borders Austria and Switzerland

This atmospheric photo was captured by the couple during a hike on the Austrian side of Schesaplana mountain – which borders Austria and Switzerland

The couple captured this picture of a chamois while hiking in Tannheimer Tal, Austria

The couple captured this picture of a chamois while hiking in Tannheimer Tal, Austria

Christine also recalled climbing Switzerland’s Garde de Bordon in ‘misty 2am conditions’ to catch the sunset at its 10,860ft (3,310m) peak.

Atop the summit, we were rewarded with what can also be described as the most awe-inspiring of views,’ she added.

‘We stood above the clouds and around us were 360-degree views of towering 13,123ft (4,000m) peaks, cascading glaciers, and steep valleys beneath.

‘Add in the warm glow of the rising sun and it made the tour nothing short of epic.’

Christine and Scott enjoyed hiking so much that they decided to launch their own wedding photography business, Made in the Mountains, helping couples to create and capture ‘an awe-inspiring elopement experience’ in the Alps.

The photographer and videographer duo capture off-the-beaten-path weddings, whether that’s an elopement ‘on a glacier’ in Switzerland or ‘exchanging vows in the craggy peaks of the Italian Dolomites’, according to their website.

So what’s next on the couple’s hiking bucket list?

Christine said there is 'something powerful about knowing your legs can power you upward 1,000, 2,000 or even 3,000 vertical metres in a matter of hours'. This picture was taken on their hike of the Mat¿terhorn in the Swiss Alps

Christine said there is ‘something powerful about knowing your legs can power you upward 1,000, 2,000 or even 3,000 vertical metres in a matter of hours’. This picture was taken on their hike of the Mat​terhorn in the Swiss Alps

The couple captured this magical landscape while hiking Wallberg mountain in Germany

The couple captured this magical landscape while hiking Wallberg mountain in Germany

This picture was taken by the couple during a hike of Vorderer Tajakopf mountain in Austria

This picture was taken by the couple during a hike of Vorderer Tajakopf mountain in Austria

‘Our list of “must-do” mountains is ever-growing,’ Christine said.

‘But in 2024, we’d love a chance to climb Piz Palü (12,800ft/3,900m) in Switzerland’s Bernina Alps and possibly Mont Blanc if the glacier is in good shape this summer.’

In the longer term, she dreams of climbing the Weisshorn, which reaches an incredible 14,780ft (4,506m), in the Swiss Alps.

But there is one problem for Christine – she has a fear of heights. And this peak is described by Alpine Guides as ‘one of the most difficult 4,000m peaks’ with ‘delicate rock pitches and steep snow climbing’.

I’m not sure I’ll ever summit that one due to my fear of heights,’ Christine said. ‘Believe it or not, after 200 peaks, I’m still fairly scared of heights and exposure.’

Christine said the couple's list of 'must-do' mountains is 'ever-growing'. This picture shows them hiking in the Bernese Alps, Switzerland

Christine said the couple’s list of ‘must-do’ mountains is ‘ever-growing’. This picture shows them hiking in the Bernese Alps, Switzerland

The couple took this picture while hiking on the German side of Aggenstein mountain, which is also partly located in Austria

This image was captured by the couple while hiking the Grimsel Pass in Switzerland

LEFT: The couple took this picture while hiking on the German side of Aggenstein mountain, which is also partly located in Austria. RIGHT: This image was captured by the couple while hiking the Grimsel Pass in Switzerland

Christine and Scott captured this snowy scene while hiking Geigelstein mountain in Bavaria, the region of Germany that they now call home

Christine and Scott captured this snowy scene while hiking Geigelstein mountain in Bavaria, the region of Germany that they now call home



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