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August 2011 Issue
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Mountaineers’ muesli

Start the day off with the right breakfast and no mountain is too tall. Photo: Mark Banham

If you’re going to do something, then do it well. It’s an idea the Swiss have certainly taken to heart. The little land-locked country has produced some of the world’s best alpinists over the years. Climbers like Uli Steck and Daniel Arnold who virtually jog up routes that normally take days; John Salathe, pioneering Yosemite big-wall climber and the inventor of the piton; and guides like Ulrich Inderbinen who climbed the Eiger 371 times – the last ascent aged 90! How do they do it?

My theory is that it’s all to do with the muesli. Start the day right with a good breakfast and no mountain is too tall. There are endless variations on the Swiss Muesli theme but this is my favourite.

4 cups of rolled oats
1 cup (185g) lightly chopped mixed nuts e.g. Brazil, almonds, hazelnuts, macadamias, walnuts or peanuts
½ cup linseed
½ cup sesame seeds
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup pumpkin seeds
4tb poppy seeds
1tsp cinnamon
½ cup honey
¼ cup canola or light olive oil
1½ cups (250g) of dried fruit e.g. figs, cranberries, prunes, dates, apricots, sultanas, currants, raisins, papaw. Cut any large fruit into chunks

Tip For fresh yogurt to go on top, bring a sachet of yogurt mix with you into the backcountry, mix it in a very well sealed bottle and stash it in your sleeping bag overnight

Special utensils
Microwave and convection oven – you’ll need to make this one before you go!

Combine the oats, nuts, seeds and cinnamon in a large shallow dish. Combine honey and oil and heat for one minute in microwave, stir into dry ingredients. Bake uncovered, stirring occasionally, at 180 degrees for about 25min until lightly toasted. Allow to become cold before adding dried fruit. Store in airtight container.

Serves: 4
Weight: 1.5g
Volume: 1.5l
Calories: 5000
Cost: $12.50
Cooking time: 30min