The New Year, 2019, began with an amazingly extreme snowfall of several meters. “Snow chaos” or “schneechaos” was the hashtag that the press gave to the storm, but for the Schliersee locals, it meant we had just scored gold for this season’s winter fun.
This part of Germany does such a great job of snow safety and snow preparation that with simple precautions any mount of snow can truly be wonderful. Once the “all clear” was given, everyone was able to joyfully head out and explore the deep, fresh powder.
After work one evening, three of my snow loving girlfriends decided to introduce sledding to one of our crew. Due to avalanche risk, we discovered the sled route from Obere Firstalm had not been cleared. This discovery thankfully did not stop our plans, at this time of night, the snow-covered road, Kratzerweg, that goes to Untere Firstalm has little to no foot traffic or vehicles, so coming down the same route would be very safe and possible.
With sleds in tow, we began our snowy journey. We were absolutely astounded by the unimaginable height of the snow. The walls they created, climbed on either side creating a feeling of walking through a snow tunnel. All the well-known views were unrecognizable. It was truly magical. Seeing the roofs of the little cabins along the way, heavily blanketed of meters of snow, made them all so inviting.
Breathless and chilled, and banging the snow from our boots, we entered the warm and welcoming interior of Untere Firstalm. As the weather changed outside, we cradled mugs of our steamy reward in our bitter hands. Our cozy visit was cut short as we realized a fast-moving snow storm was rolling in. So back into our wintery duds we jumped and back into the freezing weather we sped.
As the sun set, the snowstorm threatening and the winds building, we quickened our pace up the hill on the road that connects Untere and Obere Firstalm. You can only rent sleds from the food counter at Obere Firstalm so up we went. The sound of ice pellet like snow dancing across the snow walls in the wind gusts motivating us.
Once we all had our sleds, and a few bits of advice were shouted above the roar of the storm, we wasted no time heading back down the mountain. With the joyful sound of continued laughter, we soared. The steep snow walls on either side of the way gave our newest sled enthusiast a feeling of great security.
As always, the fun ended far too quickly, and we were once again shivering in our cars cheering on the heater and the defroster, chalking up another day filled with wonderful memories.
To Plan your own adventure, check out these site:
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).