It’s -18’C on clear indigo twilight, your nose is sticking together and upon your first step outside the car your fingers begin to burn and ache. As you gather your gear you have moments of doubt but the knowledge of the overwhelming joy of racing down the snowy track in darkness, motivates you.
The snow loudly crunching under your feet and enthusiastic laughter off in the distance, you begin your climb. Sled tied to your back pack or your waist to make the burden easier and shoe spikes for traction on the snowy surface. It may be only a 2.2 kilometer walk up from the Kurvenlift parking area but it was in these conditions my husband and I decided to do our first night run from Untere Firstalm.
When I described this to my friends and family back in the US they thought we had to be crazy heading out at night in extreme winter weather, but honestly if you prepare right. It can be a wonderful adventure. Doing a nice small hike like this to a cozy location like Untere Firstalm is a perfect way to ease you and your family into hiking and sledding. There is nothing better than seeing the warm lights spilling out of the windows on a winters eve and hearing laughter and music and knowing you are just a few icy breaths from a warm drink. This year I have been introduced to hot chocolate with Rum called a Lumumba. But I have to admit my favorite is the Jägertee, which is a very strong alcoholic beverage made by mixing overproof rum with black tea, red wine, plum brandy, orange juice and various spices.
Once you have warmed yourself up a bit, inside and out, it is time to get your gear back on. For Untere Firstalm I would recommend wearing a good headlamp if it is not a full moon evening. On the evening we did our run there was no real moon light but the bright white snow was reflecting quite a bit and our headlamps were quite helpful. Obere Firstalm has lighting along their run for night sledding and it is Obere Firstalm where you can rent a sled. Rental sleds are 4 euros and you have to pay for them inside the restaurant but pick up your sled outside from an out building. Obere Firstalm is a simple walk up a serpentine path from Untere Firstalm if you don’t wish to carry your own sled up the hill. This is great if you decide last minute to go sledding.
Either sled run is perfect for everyone in the family to get on a sled and have a great time. They are very easy to navigate with the perfect about of gentle turns and slow inclines. Nothing at all terrifying and a great place to get the sledding bug.
Both Obere Firstalm and Untere Firstalm are wonderful places to visit set in absolutely stunning location. During the day or in the evening their very friendly service and delicious food and drink make it the perfect destination for the whole family to have fun.
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).