Winterizing your Ride

On the day we moved to Schiersee, as the moving company was unloading our truck to the back drop of the wintery Brecherspitz mountain, I kept hearing one word in German mumbled under their breath…” Schneeloch”, simply translated to English as “Snow Hole”. I think they thought we were absolutely crazy to move from the historic downtown of a city to an old alpine farm house surrounded by trees and mountains. That is not how we saw it at all. We envisioned snowy mornings, sipping coffee by the heat of wood stove and jumping into winter boots to make the first foot prints in the fresh snow.  We are two years into our alpine adventure and Schliersee has not disappointed. Call me crazy, but most days I feel like Alice in a Wonderland.

Our first snow since becoming Schliersee residents, one of our neighbors called us and told us to grab our sleds and come over he would show us the best local sledding spots. Mind you it was a blizzard out and our sleds were ones I had found on a trash pile that I used for decoration but that was not going to stop us from joining in on the winter fun. We did take some mocking from our friend who had what I can only describe as the Ferrari of sleds. It was all sleek and sturdy and he swore you were able to actually steer it. So began our search to find the perfect winter sports car…I mean sled.

On the advice of many locals we were told to go make a visit to the Schliersee Radhaus and talk with it’s very knowledgeable owner Felix Wolf. He was amazing. He took my husband out back to an extra warehouse absolutely full of sleds. He explained to us that the Gasser sled made in Tirol was really a lifetime purchase. Most German families will have a range of sleds from sleds for the baby on to adult sleds. It was a big investment but for us it was an easy decision. We love winter sports but with both of us having joint issues this was a great way for us to have a fun winter sport we could do together.

I felt very much like Goldilocks trying to choose my sled. My husband’s was too big and heavy and others just didn’t fit me right but Felix brought out a young boys sled that was “just right”.  He took our sleds in the back and sharpened our rails and explained to us how to properly store them so we could enjoy them for many seasons to come. Another thing I really appreciated about Felix from Schliersee Radhaus was his emphasis on sledding safety. He didn’t just sell us our sleds he explained to us basic courtesy while sledding and important gear we would need.  He asked us to make sure to always wear a proper skiing helmet. Having enjoyed two wonderful sledding seasons, we have been witness to several accidents where sledders were ill prepared and we are grateful to Felix who prepared us correctly.

Felix shared some of his tips about buying and storing your sled:

  • Store the sled standing up in dry place
  • If you see rust starting on the rails, which is natural, give the rails a good wipe down with course (50 – 80 grit) sand paper and then apply a very light coating of oil
  • To keep rust from forming on the rails during storage cover the metal rails with packing tape
  • ALWAYS wear a helmet
  • Have as much fun as possible!

If you are coming to Schliersee or Spitzingsee for sledding and are ready to commit to your sled. Drop by the Schliersee Radhaus and talk with Felix. Don’t hesitate…Winter is just around the corner. For more information on Felix Wolf and the Schliersee Radhaus:

http://schlierseer-radhaus.de

https://www.facebook.com/SchlierseerRadhaus

 

 

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).