Beiträge

Warm Drinks and Bitter Noses

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.

 

 

 

http://www.mondscheinrodeln.de

http://www.untere-firstalm.de/oeffnungszeiten.htm

 

 

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).

 

 

 

Family Friendly Sledding Locations

Each winter I am asked by visitors to Schliersee where can they find real accessible “Family Friendly Sledding”.  So this year I thought I would put together a small list of places I have discovered and tell you a little about each location.

Albert Link Hutte:  Located in the center of Valepp Almen which is just behind the Alte Wurzhütte in Spitzingsee.  It is not accessible by car but is a very easy walk.  For Albert Link you need to bring your own sled but the location gives the whole family tons of options.  Not only has Albert Link plowed their own small sled run, in Valepp there is a beautifully groomed Loipe for Cross country skiers as well as many tow bars for Alpine skiers as well.  Parents tell me they find this to be a perfect location for family sledding. I can tell you their Kaiserschmarnn is out of this world. Remember that Mondays are Albert Link Hutte is closed. https://www.davplus.de/albert-link-huette

Alt Spitzingsee Strasse: This is the old road that use to take you up to the village of Spitzingsee and is now used for moving cattle and hiking.  In the winter months, when there is enough snow in the valley Alt Spitzingsee Strasse is a great family friendly sled run.  The one downside about sledding here is the lack of parking.  You need to plan that out if you decide to sled this hill.  A great easy way to enjoy this location is to take turns or have a designated driver who drops the sledders off at the top of Alt Spitzingsee Strasse and then picks them up at the bottom near the Joseftal waterfall.  This is a very gentle slope and great for learners.  Hiking up or dropping off both are a lot of fun.  And for your Apres sledding fun, make sure to go around the corner and enjoy some of the amazing homemade cakes, warm drinks by the hearth at Cafe Brunnhof.

http://cafe-brunnhof.de

Pfannilift: https://youtu.be/P9QMalIc1gM

Located just up the street from the Fischhausen-Neuhaus train station. This simple little hill much loved by visitors and locals alike if the perfect stop for your littlest snow bunnies.  On one side of the hill you have a tow bar for a beginner ski slope and the other side is a gentle slope for sledding.  Also provided here is a Loipe for Cross Country skiers.  All this and an amazing view down onto Schliersee. What more could you ask for on a day out in the snow.

http://www.maier-schmotz.de/skilift.php

Obere and Untere Firstalm: https://youtu.be/Pxp5xijnyl0

Both of these locations are just perfect for everyone in the family.  It is a simple gradual hike of 2,5 kilometers from either the Kurvenlift parking or from Spitzingsee saddle. Obere Firstalm rents sleds for 4 euros per sled and you pay for the rental inside the restaurant.  Untere Firstalm does not rent but it is easy to bring or own or to carry the rental sled down to their run.  You can’t go wrong with either location for food and drink and the proprietors are warm friendly people.

http://www.untere-firstalm.de

http://www.firstalm.de

Schliersee between Westenhofen and Hausham: Just before you arrive in Schliersee on the right side of the road between Westenhofen and Hausham there is a hill.  On any snowy day it will be full of joyful families sledding.  My colleague Ulrike McCarthy wrote a great article on this location.

https://magazin.schliersee.de/schlittengaudi-auf-dem-kirchbichl/

Schliersbergalm: https://youtu.be/D081YQjK5fs

Last but not least is Schliersbergalm. One of the most spectacular views in all of Schliersee and a simple hike up or you can take a cable car.  It is a very sunny location so sledding might not always be possible if we do not have a lot of snow in the valley.  It is a gentle slope down the hill with lots of turns.   Great food and drink and one amazing view is all provided.

https://www.facebook.com/Schliersbergalm/

 

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).