Jan 14 05
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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.

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