New Year in Germany

We left Chamonix on Monday evening and headed over to Germany, via Switzerland, to visit our friends in the very small village of Todtmoos-Au in the Black Forest.

Schwarzwälder ski-tour up the Spießhorn

On Tuesday the plan was to go for a quick ski tour up the Spießhorn…

We had asked Rebecca if we needed crampons, ice axes and harscheisen, but she just laughed. This would be a fairly easy stroll over the rambling hills of the Black Forest with some of the team taking snow shoes.

Setting off for a ski tour up the Spieβhorn in the Black Forest
Setting off for a ski tour up the Spieβhorn in the Black Forest
Thorsten striding up the Spießhorn
Thorsten striding up the Spießhorn
Mina hiking up the Spießhorn on her snow shoes
Mina hiking up the Spießhorn on her snow shoes

Spieβhorn

The Spießhorn ski touring team!
The Spießhorn ski touring team!
Mathias snow-shoeing up the Spießhorn
Mathias snow-shoeing up the Spießhorn

The day was beautiful and we had a wonderfully sociable time. We spent a couple of hours heading up hill before having a feast of sausage and chocolate at the summit. In the distance we could see the Swiss Alps hanging above the valley mist.

Thorsten and Mina enjoying a slice of sausage on top of the Spießhorn!  :yum: :yum:
Thorsten and Mina enjoying a slice of sausage on top of the Spießhorn! :yum: :yum:
Spießhorn summit achieved!
Spießhorn summit achieved!

And then came the descent. Not all powder, and a few rocks on some slopes, but it was great to cruise down some easy angled slopes.

Then of course, after the ski-touring comes the cake. But not any old cake, we got the largest Schwarwälder Kirschtorte I had ever seen. We did have to share it between 14 people! But each slice was still massive!

:yum: A whole Schwarwälder Kirschtorte for the team! :yum: (Or maybe it's just for Pete?)
:yum: A whole Schwarwälder Kirschtorte for the team! :yum:
(Or maybe it’s just for Pete?)
Schwarwälder Kirschtorte
Schwarwälder Kirschtorte

New Year’s Eve Celebrations

After Schwarwälder Kirschtorte came preparations for New Years Eve Dinner.

Copious amounts of alcohol was consumed, schnapps and whisky exchanged, and of course fireworks were let off.

The New Year's Eve dinner table
The New Year’s Eve dinner table
Fireworks
Fireworks!
Rebecca and Laetitia with New Year sparklers
Rebecca and Laetitia with New Year sparklers

The night ended with an artistic display of sparkler waving.

!!! Happy 2014 !!!
!!! Happy 2014 !!!

Cross Country Skiing

On Wednesday we decided to have a go at cross country skiing. I’ve seen this in Cogne, and Terry and Vikki, Rachel and Richard, and Fiona have all had a go, so it was about time we tried it.

It wasn’t the easiest thing to get used to, and we had a huge laugh at the various crashes, but we quickly moved onto the black track. The trails ran through very beautiful but fairly easy ground. Up-hill and the flats were easy enough, it was the down-hills that were scary and that’s where most of the crashes happened.

Our cross country ski touring teacher, Michael
Our cross country ski touring teacher, Michael
Who said cross country skiing isn't dangerous?!
Who said cross country skiing isn’t dangerous?!
Pete and Michael cross country skiing in the Black Forest
Pete and Michael cross country skiing in the Black Forest
Laetitia striding out on the black graded cross country trail at Bernau
Laetitia striding out on the black graded cross country trail at Bernau

A couple of hours later we made it back to the start and ordered a well earned goulash soup.

Pete, Henri, Michael, Rebecca, and Laetitia enjoying a spot of lunch after cross country skiing at Bernau
Pete, Henri, Michael, Rebecca, and Laetitia enjoying a spot of lunch after cross country skiing at Bernau

We really enjoyed our few days with great friends. Thanks to Rebecca and Mathias for being such wonderful hosts. Ski touring and cross country skiing were two great ways to view the beautiful Black Forest.

4 thoughts on “New Year in Germany”

  1. The ski tour up the Spieshorn was great fun, and maybe quite a unique venue for those from Blighty? 😛
    Then, what a great way to see in the New Year! Great friends, yummy food, plenty of alcohol (especially for me! 😳 ), loads of fun, creative sparkler-ing (it took many rehearsals, attempts, and accurate orchestration to get the “2014” effect right), and fireworks! :star: No wonder my head hurt so much on New Year’s Day – the falling thumps to the ground while cross-country skiing felt all the worse for my poor headache. 🙁

  2. Yeah, cross country is great fun, until it gets steepish down hill. Then Val’s gentle words of instruction, ‘Stick yer arse out more’ come echoing back as the skis run away with you 😳

    On a different plane, Arend is going out with Everett on the World Cup trails 😎

  3. I just don’t understand why cross country skis don’t have more effective edges? Even a thin lightweight metal strip. With these there would be so much more control and therefore surely more speed (esp. around the corners), and I would also guess more effective faster skating…

    Perhaps Everett, with his experiene, knows why?

  4. Medal edges add too much weight to XC racing skis but they are standard on light touring skis, which Amy and I will use tomorrow to ski into Skoki Lodge. On groomed (not icy) XC trails they are a detriment because a somewhat rounded ski edge has a smoother release of the ski from the snow surface. Indeed, I once saw the coach of an elite XC skier rubbing the edges of new skis on the verge of an asphalt road because the skier was unhappy with the way they felt when step turning. Alpine skiers also “detune” the tips and tails of new skis for the same reason, I believe.

    Arend and I may not be allowed on the World Cup trails at the Canmore Nordic Centre today because they are closed for the Olympic trial races which start tomorrow; today is an official training day. Bad timing for us recreational skiers who just want to experience these fabled trails (the site of the 1988 Olympics XC races).

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