Image Alt




This news has deeply shaken all of us who have accompanied him on the North-South Trail, whether on his blog, or on the trail to be allowed to be his hiking companions for a short time.

Most got to know Radusel when he announced in the forum in April that he wanted to walk the NST northbound. A necessity due to Corona, as he was from the Ravensburg area and wanted to avoid a long train trip to the northern trailhead, which at the time would have been an adventure in itself due to the different Corona regulations.

Already with his first forum posting his friendly and helpful nature was shown, he put online for the general public a possibility to make the county borders usable for GPS, so that the respective applicable Corona rules can be observed county-dependently. Shortly thereafter, shortly thereafter, he ran.

His first start on April 2nd to the southern trailhead, he had chosen Langenargen near Friedrichshafen, went thoroughly wrong, because he was inexperienced and ran four large blisters, so that he had to break off again just one day later. On top of that, he had packed too much into his backpack; and wrong shoes came on top of that. How do I know all this? Because he reported openly and honestly about it, did not take himself quite so seriously as “Schlaubischlumpf”, in any case did not hide behind his inexperience, but had the courage to admit that he was a beginner in the matter of hiking. That alone made me like him right from the start! But not only me, I think – no: I know! – the whole community felt that way about him, perceived him as an open and honest person with whom one likes to exchange ideas and whom one would like to meet.

He made the second attempt on May 7, which led him to the northernmost terminus of the NST on Sylt on May 9. So now Radusel would start the NST southbound! Many were surprised and a little scared when the rain gave him a wet sleeping bag the night before he reached the starting point. Each of us knows people who would have given up at this point at the latest, in the cutting wind and cold rain – not so Radusel! He went on and reached the starting point of the NST in the morning of May 9.

His inexperience was soon put to rest! Everyone who followed his reports immediately recognized how skillfully he found campsites even in bad weather. But Radusel not only found campsites and water sources, he also noted the GPS locations for the hikers who followed. Again, his willingness to help was evident, and he was always happy to give!

Then came Hamburg and the cell phone theft, which led to Radusel having to take a forced break and doubting whether he could carry out his plan, because he felt he would not be able to finish the NST this year. Had he given up? Or even let it get him down? Not at all! A week later, he was back on the trail and taking the Heidschnuckenweg under his feet. What a terrific attitude.

Radusel took every opportunity to talk with other hikers. That’s how the meeting with FlOw and 2F-hiking happened, who write about their encounter with him:

“Between Celle and the Steinhuder Meer we were walking quite disillusioned through the monotonous appearing landscape, when after hours without human encounter we caught sight of a figure in the distance. Since she disappeared as we approached, we assumed that our paths would not cross.

Fortunately, we were wrong. From a wooden bench Radusel rose. Especially because of his backpack, known to us, but unusual for the German hiking scene, we got into conversation. He offered us the bench for a break, because he just wanted to continue walking. But then he pulled out his sitpad and took a seat on the grass next to us.

We chatted about our trails, life outside, what it’s like as a long distance hiker in Germany. We were impressed that Radusel had so courageously set out as an unprepared solo hiker.

He described some things with ‘g’schmeidig’, which has since become a new part of our language usage for us NRWers. In passing, Radusel told us that for him, a mowed verge on a road/trail also sometimes serves as a sleeping place. For us, who prefer to sleep unseen, a contrary notion. Since then, when we see small stretches of grass suitable for a one-man tent, we say with a smile, ‘This would be a good place to radusel.’

Mutually, we have followed our hikes since that meeting, cheered along and stayed in touch. How we would have liked to meet him again. We miss his footprints and even weeks later we think from time to time, for example, ‘We can recommend the sleeping place to Radusel.’ Then we realize again that he will not pass there again.”

Anyone who read his footprints carefully soon noticed a certain loneliness that Radusel felt on the trail. In May, his former schoolmate had to return after just one day because her equipment had not been suitable for the bad weather. When he met a random hiking companion, he was noticeably more cheerful, adding a special touch to this time on the trail. When he met the hiker Frau.immer.weiter, who was also on the NST, he wrote of how he was swept along by her, and ran a course record two days in a row:

“Relentless with me, the dear soul! Time flies so now! It’s a nice change not walking alone.”

Frau.immer.weiter writes about her time walking together with Radusel:

“It was on a day with good weather, I had just gotten back on the trail after a short time at home and was walking quite elated. Shortly after, I saw a hiker with a solar panel on his backpack a little further ahead. At some point we were right on and it turned out to be Radusel. We immediately struck up a conversation and decided to continue walking together.

After some initial gear talk, the conversations about the days spent became more and more profound. We walked together through a piece of the heath and were glad to be able to experience this wondrous landscape with someone. After a few days, we realized our pace didn’t quite match and we parted ways. We kept in touch and met again after a few days in a youth hostel.

When we had recovered a bit there, we decided to start running together again, because in company it is once again so nice. And since we already knew each other, it was almost like meeting an old friend again! We had a really nice time together, laughed a lot.

I was especially grateful to him for helping me to make a decision, because I had to decide for myself whether to continue walking the North-South Trail or to leave it. He never tired of listening to me, and still made me laugh over and over again. I look back on the time we spent together, and I am quite sure that there are some things I will never forget:

  • when we came face to face with a herd of wild boars
  • how we were eating in the heath
  • how we stood in front of the unfortunately closed Dinopark and had a good time with the T-Rex.
  • All the conversations together, the silence together and the laughter together.

But even during the second time walking together, after a while we noticed that the rhythm was different. So we said goodbye in the certainty of a reunion. We were both determined to meet again. Unfortunately, everything turned out differently. I’m really glad and grateful to have met Radusel along the way.”

How open Radusel was with his mood and feelings could be read when he wrote in early July:

“Last post, motivation below zero… then a penguin comes along and saves the day. Yesterday I had such a great evening! I was picked up by Xeroxus from the trail and was then really spoiled by him and his wife!”

A few weeks later he met Xeroxus again, who accompanied him from Marsberg:

“A great companion! Just fun when a five-minute break then goes an hour after all. An experienced thru-hiker who has done more miles than I might come close to on the NST. But you can’t measure accumulated experience by that, after 30+ years. The ability to put everything you’ve experienced into words pictorially is just incredible. And it’s so much fun just to listen to.”

Xeroxus writes the following lines about their time together with Radusel:

“When you were on the Weser hiking trail about 20 kilometers from us, we picked you up and pampered you a bit. I knew how good a shower, dinner and bed do when you are on the road as a long-distance hiker, because at your age I had also been on the road for half a year with a backpack and hiking boots.

You told us about your experiences, I contributed mine as well. It was a great evening with you, two bottles of wine long, and we could sit outside until late in the evening. After a hearty breakfast I took you back to the trail. I watched you for a long time as you hiked up the mountain into the forest. How I would have loved to hike with you. But you had offered me to accompany you for a few days.

We met in Marsberg and hiked through the beautiful Sauerland. I will never forget our camp on the forest meadow on the Diemel River, right next to a spring with clear spring water. Our conversations went on until late in the evening.

The next day we bathed in the Diemelsee and there was also coffee and cake, which Birgit brought us.

I have come to know in you a kind and sensitive person, humble and friendly. Your sensitive heart and your love of nature became visible through your beautiful landscape photographs. In your travel descriptions your modesty and your quiet wit were expressed. Many followed your hike with great curiosity. If I had a question, it was you who called back immediately.

We had only seen each other for four days, but you had left a familiar impression. I still can’t believe that I can’t accompany you again for a few days on the NST. There are things in life that are beyond comprehension, including the fact that this must be my very last greeting to you. Micha, I will not forget you.”

Both his depressed mood and his joy literally sparkled out of his reports. And he never forgot to thank his trail angels! So also to Iris, who was allowed to meet him only briefly, meanwhile listening to him talk about his past life, which had ended forever after an accident. But also heard him talk about the hope for a new future, and perceived his desire, how much he was looking forward to meeting other hikers of the NST, with the Wandermaus or the Grends he was trying to catch up with.

And of course he wanted to meet Soulboy, whom we all know as the initiator of the NST.

At the end of the second day, when Radusel moved on, he wrote on the blog:

“Was so super nice of my trail angel Iris to pick me up from the trail on short notice, and immediately took care of me in a touching way!”. The next day we continued on the trail and I was allowed to sleep with her for another day. I had not expected that. Thank you so much!”


Just two days later, the meeting with an NST hiker worked out after all! EvaM writes about her encounter with Radusel:

“I experienced Michael as a very friendly, gentle young man, who at first glance I would have thought was young and inexperienced. However, I quickly realized that this was not the case. The beauty of it was his genuine and humble nature.

He had already walked about 1300 mi, and didn’t see that as a great accomplishment. He had sewn some of his own equipment, which I marveled at. For him, his creativity came naturally. He had found many small ingenious solutions, which I found impressive, and in the process I noticed how thoughtfully he had prepared for his hike.

When we met in person in Hann. Münden, I found his calm and attentive manner very pleasant. Our encounters were characterized by the rare combination of respect and humor.

Rarely did I hear any platitudinous, phraselike words from him. He spoke as he was born to speak, but he was always attentive to others.

When I hiked three days with him on the Westerwaldsteig,

I could not walk fast due to foot problems. So he walked behind me the whole time so that I could set the pace and the breaks. Only when a thunderstorm was breathing down our necks and we still had to go over a hilltop to get to a shelter, he overtook and picked up the pace. That was very helpful in this situation.

So there are many little incidents that I like to think back to. When we arrived at the first refuge where we wanted to spend the night, he first took over the “hut care”. The hut was heavily overgrown with blackberry vines, which is not so good for the sleeping mats. So he energetically freed the hut from wild weeds, blackberry vines, mini trees and cleaned the floor of coarse gravel without long to torch or talk around. 

At Marienthal Monastery we sat for a long time in the late afternoon in the monastery garden. There was no haste or impatience from him that we had to move on to find a place to spend the night. We enjoyed the time and our conversation until we both felt we wanted to go on. There were many good conversations between us and also many moments when we could be silent in harmony. And we were also able to name that to each other, to enjoy being able to talk and be silent with each other.”

Radusel appreciated the encounters with Eva, writing about them:

“But more beautiful than the city was the meeting with Eva! Hardly arrived in the YH, she already waited for me! What a coincidence.

After I had settled in, it went off into the city to the Italian. Had a great meal and was able to make an even nicer acquaintance. Yesterday then still in the forest botanical garden been. Since we both but had hoped for more! Ancient trees, unfortunately only a few signposted, so that one went out with the same knowledge as purely.

The parting was difficult, would have liked to continue hiking with her!”

Radusel hiked and hiked, ever southward, taking it one mile at a time, reaching NST’s Half-Way Point on August 10.

In the middle of the week, no one could be found to surprise him here, and so Radusel spent that day and night alone on the trail.

But he was not forgotten, because on his blog we celebrated him as best we could!

A week later, Pura-Vida and BonnGiorno did provide a party on the trail, a gathering that Radsuel was very excited about! The two write about it:

“He had already made the halfway point of the NST and we wanted to honor this achievement and get to know the person behind the great pictures. We spent the evening together at the hut eating, drinking and chatting, celebrating the success so far.

An evening that also made us reflective. The respect for the Rheinsteig, the homesickness and the anticipation for the future after the NST were clearly noticeable. Radusel was nevertheless confident and optimistic about what life still has in store for him.”

The day after, Radusel tells of the wonderful evening he spent with Pura-Vida and BonnGiorno. But also about his longing and desire for home, which led to the first tears flowing. To be able to write about his feelings shows the true strength of a person! The longing in him was strong! The Rheinsteig cost him a lot of strength, even if he described it humorously:

“Continuity, after all, conveys a sense of security, so it’s again very nice to be able to take the tried-and-true crouching position under my umbrella.”

When the problems with the air mattress were added, the bad weather did not want to end, his strength was nearing the end, he decided to take time out, get vaccinated and hike with the Wandermaus to Haldenwanger Eck. On the way to Lindau, however, it quickly became clear that his foot was not yet ready for the mountains. To spare the foot, Radusel therefore chose the standard route and surprised Wandermaus at Haldenwanger Eck, about which she writes:


“I descend to the corner. From above I see the stone populated. Two bikes are standing there and three people. A hiker is just beginning the descent.

When I reach the bottom, a cyclist asks me if I am the hiking mouse. Then the scales fall from my eyes! I throw off my backpack and sprint after the hiker. Behind the pasture fence I see him running below and call after him. He turns around – and recognizes me!

We sit at the border stone for quite a while, as long as the sun warms us. The summit book gets another entry from Radusel. Since Radusel has no sleeping equipment with him, he takes a look at the customs hut. We clean as best we can and air through.”

The next day, after Birgsau, Radusel said goodbye to the Wandermaus, who had taken him into her heart from the beginning of the journey and accompanied him. At the farewell on Saturday she took him in her arms and said:

“You have grown so much on this path. You will master the path – and above all life.”

It was not to come to that. On September 7, Radusel passed away on the Rheinsteig. But the wandering mouse was right! No one can better express how much he grew on his way than he himself:

“Until now, my journey seemed like a matter of course: I set out to do it, so I’m going to do it, no matter what. Only today have I understood what a privilege it is to be able to do something like this once in your life. What a dimension the whole thing actually has! And yet it only consists of small fragments. About 1600 km! Unimaginable! And yet I’m already overcome with melancholy at having to leave this perfect world again.”



Hike on!

Die Initiative Nord Süd Trail hat sich zu einem ausgedehnten Netzwerk entwickelt, das aus ehrenamtlichen Helfern, erfahrenen Fernwanderern, Wegpaten, Youtubern und Wanderführern besteht. Da wir nicht an einer finanziellen Vermarktung des Weges interessiert sind, liegt das Hauptaugenmerk weiterhin auf der Etablierung des Weges.

Post a Comment