Ich schwänze fur BergenFebruary 13 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 5 °C
Franz sends a text on Tuesday night - another hike with Ooli for Thursday morning! As always, I say yes. A good hike can only happen with good weather and school can happen during bad weather, so I decide to take another "Fridays for the Future" and improve my quality of life. Between Franz' text and our hike, I run Wednesday and again the morning of the hike.
After my run, I meet Franz on the corner, and drive through traffic to meet Ooli. There's lots in Munich this morning. It's a bit unpredictable, I'm told. It takes longer to get through town and Franz makes up for it on the Autobahn, where there is no speed limit. We reach Ooli only 2 minutes later than expected.
We head towards Tegernsee. Always to Tegernsee! There are so many mountains and beautiful hikes here. And Tegernsee ( and Bad Wiesse) always look adorable. Today the mountains are clear and beautiful even from the car. Driving through the towns always reminds me of fairy tales. I often wonder how many pictures good 'ol Walt took to make his American Disney cartoons so reminiscent of German villages.
This time we drive past Tegernsee and into the mountains. The snow here is beautiful - it's still fresh on the trees. When we stop, the parking area, trees and trail are all covered in fresh snow. No one has been up the trail since the last snowfall and the blanket covering the mountain takes my breath away before we even start hiking. Ooli jokes that I need to take the lead. The young strong man should carve a path in the fresh snow. I agree and jump to it!
Here at the base of Rosstein, the snow is already deep. There is no path and quickly the snow creeps deeper and deeper. I find steps by tripping on them as I walk up the hill. Soon the joke is that we're now hiking in our boots through snow deeper than when I had snow-shoes last week with Garnot - only it never ends! We hike and hike. We lose the path many times and I am constantly asking "Wechles weg? Richts? Links?" and always Franz is behind me point the way.
Ooli comes behind, making sure we don't fall or lose our way. Maybe he's just taking it easy, but either way I push on. The snow is sometimes up to my knees, and several times I stumble and must crawl along. I get a few tips from the experts and try to stay where the snow is more shallow but somehow I always find just the right place to sink in. Luckily my steps show the others where to step (or not step) and we make it to the first hut at 1400 m - but it's closed! We've gone up 6 or 700m, and still have at least 400 more to go. After a short break we continue on. Walking for me is now is more like wading through water, trying to balance on wet spaghetti instead of my usual strong legs. When I stop thinking of it and take in the view all my exhaustion vanishes.
We reach a false-peak on the way to the top, yet black storm clouds arrive before us. It's still 30 or 40 minutes to the top, and the clouds get darker as we stand looking at them. No one wants to be caught in 1 meter of snow with hours to hike down while it starts snowing - so we pause and head back to the closed hut. We can see the peak as if it's close enough to touch, yet today it will stay out of reach.
The peak is one of two - Rosstein and Buchstein. Between them is a small saddle where Tegernsee hutte sits. It's also closed, yet I can only imagine the view. Just a few weeks ago we were on Fockenstein and this hutte was pointed out to me - and here we are with it in view! It's sad to turn back, but my stomach rumbles and my spaghetti-legs scream for rest. I regret my morning run.
We find a nook behind the closed hutte we passed earlier. There's a sliver of sunshine and a pause in the wind where we can rest and snack. As we rest, the clouds begin to disappear and we debate turning back again to reach the peak. Time has moved on without us, unfortunately, and no one thinks there is enough time to go up and return before dark. Instead we pause a little longer and head down.
There is a most beautiful bench in the sunshine on the way down. We pause again for water and to soak in the sun here, where there is no wind. It's so delightful that Franz and Ooli take the opportunity for a short afternoon nap. Today, I can't help but join in.
We pass by other hikers - two women who are loud enough for a crowd. This is the new topic: hikers that refuse to enjoy the silence. It makes us laugh as we mourn how we did not reach the peak. When we reach the car, we all check our devices to see our distance. I am disappointed until Franz admits that leading the entire way through fresh snow is hard work, and that we would not have made it so far without me in the lead.
It's a good compliment, reluctantly given, from Franz. Today I'll take it.Read more