Beiträge

Snow Chaos in Schliersee? Not a Chance

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:

http://firstalm.de

http://www.unterefirstalm.de

 

 

 

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).

 

 

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).