The Icy Daredevils of Schliersee

This is how Wikipedia describes “Skijoring (pronounced /ˈskiːʃɜːrɪŋ/) is a winter sport where a person on skis is pulled by a horse, a dog (or dogs) or a motor vehicle. It is derived from the Norwegian word skikjøring meaning ski driving.”

 

How would I personally describe it? Gritty, loud, bitter, daring, fascinating and utterly unforgettable.

 

When winter is JUST RIGHT here in the valley and we get the perfect amount of snowfall, you will notice one of our local Fischhausen farmers starting to prepare a snowy racetrack in the middle of one of the fields. He might have to prepare this track more than once in a year simply loosing it to warming temperatures but build it repeatedly, he does.

Here is a little excerpt from an article by Sebastian Grauvogl of the Merkur

 

„Just like all the 62 teams who duel in the skijoring behind motorcycles on the 400 meter long snow race track in Fischhausen. It will be launched in seven classes – including 125 and 250 motocross, 500, and side and side drive cars. Up to six teams compete at the same time. If you accumulate the most points in three preliminary stages, you can make it into the final. Already for the 11th time, the MSC is exhibiting the motorsport spectacle on the meadow next to the Pusl Autohaus. Since 1997 it has been canceled a few times because of lack of snow.“

 

I don’t know if I would call the weather we had “perfect” for my first experience with Skijoring in Schliersee, more like “not fit for man nor beast”. Despite the near blizzard conditions, contestants and spectators arrived in droves. Motorcyclists, skiers, pit crews, and spectators all huddled together in anticipation of the day’s races.

 

The bright colors of bikes and riders, the grinding and revving of gears and the smell of exhaust is all so incredible in contrast to the purity of the fresh white snow. My heart was racing the entire time, as I am sure many others were as well. Racing that day were teams of motorcyclists and skiers in teams that started with just two people and lead up to teams of four or five with everyone hanging on for dear life as they sped around the icy track blowing waves of snow in their wake. They offer excitement, chills, and spills. The announcers are also not kidding when they suggest you stand at least one meter from the track. This photographer had to learn that lesson the hard and cold way. I must say, the snow bath was totally worth it!

 

So keep on the look out for the posters and billboards announcing the next skijoring event. It is all up to the weather the date but it is normally around February and it honestly is something to be enjoyed by young and old.

 

This year at Jan, 29. … don’t miss !

 

 

Laura Boston-Thek Laura Boston-Thek

American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).