Skiing…Like Riding a Bike

Growing up in the Northeast of the United States I learned to ski at an early age and really looked forward to racing down the slopes each winter.  Sadly for the past 25 or so years, I haven’t put on a pair of skis.  This year, after watching everyone hit the beautiful slopes here on Spitzingsee, I was determined to rekindle that old passion.

Truly I was terrified, but determined.  I set my goal for joining a very patient friend on “ladies day,” which is every Wednesday and is 16€.  I figured I would start on a discounted day just in case my skiing was a complete disaster.  Another wonderful deal is their Happy Hour pass which starts at 14:30 and gives you about 2.5 hours of afternoon fun all for 12€.

On the advice of many locals, I rented all my ski gear from the very friendly Ingo at Ingo’s ski rental which is conveniently located next to the church on Spitzingsee.  A complete ski kit including boots, poles, and carving skis were 25€ a day.  There are many ski rental options on Spitzingsee and even at the Intersport in Schliersee so you have tons of options.  It’s a great way to try a range of ski and boot brands to find your perfect fit.

Once I had all my gear, I will admit to shaking with nerves but also with excitement.  I was not going to live another year here in Schliersee without soaring down the snowy mountain sides.  The slopes at Stümpflingbahn were already bustling with life when I found my parking spot and climbed into my gear.

Found my ski bunny girlfriend and after a bit of what she calls “Dutch courage” (warm alcohol drink), we approached the slope. The modern ski gear these days makes skiing a pure delight.  I had to take a pit stop or two on my way down the mountain to breathlessly take in the spectacular views and wipe away a few joyful tears.

This season I have already skied 4 times and loved it so much that I invested locally in my own ski kit.  Many of the rental places will sell last year’s stock, which is lovingly cared for and gently used.  It really is a great deal.  You can also find great deals at Intersport and Sport Fundgrube.

One of our amazing contributors, Ulrike McCarthy and I met for a Happy Hour ski together.  We basically had the entire slope to ourselves and were the last skiers on the mountain.  The weather, snow conditions and wonderful company all made for a perfect ski experience.  We made a little video of our last run.  It was so cool we were able to ski right to our car.

My advice to others who have been waiting to get back on the slopes is to just do it.  Face your fears.  It honestly is just like riding a bike, your body never forgets.


Ski Pass Prices:

Ski Rentals and Schools:

Ski Deals:



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).




Loipen Lovin’

I have never tried cross country skiing, but am totally fascinated by the sport and it’s beautiful trails. Perhaps it will be my new sport for next winter, though I am not sure anyone would like to ski with me since I would need to stop constantly to take photos of all the natural beauty. So in order to give you some knowledgable information I recruited a Loipe Lovin’ girlfriend who kindly share her passion for the sport with me.

My girlfriend, who met and married a German man and came to live in Irschenberg from a warm southern state in the United States, needed a sport she could become passionate about in order to learn to enjoy the long alpine winter months. Winter can be a real challenge to those who grew up without snow. The lack of sunshine alone can be daunting so finding a winter sport that motivates you to get out is very important.

Daily the trails in Schliersee and Spitzingsee are skillfully and precisely groomed just like our downhill ski slopes. What is most incredible is that once you buy your own gear, many of the local Loipen are absolutely free. Yes, you heard me….FREE. Not only do you get incredibly fit doing cross country, you are out in the winter sun, soaking in all that vitamin D. Another great tip about the Loipen in Schliersee is that when the slopes get busy on weekends you can almost guarantee that the Cross Country trails will have plenty of space.

One thing I found really incredible with the Cross Country gear is that it was incredibly light. My girlfriend has a Mini and she just popped her skis other gear right in back. No need for costly roof racks. Also it is possible to rent Cross Country gear at any of our local ski rental places for anywhere between 15€-25€ average price per day. I have been told that taking a lesson is really important to help you get started. Lessons can be found right where you are renting your skis. It is all very convenient.

When you first approach a trail or a Loipe you will notice that there are two different parts to the track. One part has two very carved grooves and one part in the middle is smooth and many times in the snow is a herringbone pattern being created by the skis. There are two types of skiing going on. One is the traditional Cross Country which you move your skis in a smooth forward to back rhythm. The other very challenging type is called Skate Skiing and just like it’s name you ski in that flat middle part of the track in a skating manner. It really looks so graceful when you see someone very proficient Skate Skiing.

I really hope that you will get out and try one of our Loipen and give this beautiful traditional sport a try.

Here are a few of Schliersee’s Loipen:

Hoamatsau Loipe:

Valepper Almen Loipen:

Kirchbichl Loipe:

Information on all Loipen:

Loipen Review:



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).