Setzberg und WallbergFebruary 8 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 3 °C
Sunny Saturdays are amazing. This one has another hike and new friends. Garnot I met on couch-surfing, a website for .. Couchsurfing. He likes hiking and the outdoors. So do I, so we match well.
After his surprise invitation on Thursday night, I am excited to meet him. All I know about him is that he's got a good sense of humour and he checked my fitness level before officially inviting me for today, which I used to take as slightly rude, yet now I take as a sign of a good hiking guide.
I arrive a the Hauptbahnhoff early, knowing there's an hour train ride ahead means I want a coffee to take with me. I love train rides for the fact that you can have a coffee and a nice chat before the hike - and rather than have a nap like last time, I choose a quick coffee stand and pay too much for a cup and head over to the meeting-spot.
When I arrive, Garnot is unmistakable: tall and looking for someone. He's laughing as I arrive, shouting "I found him!" to a group of strangers who he just invited to come along, thinking one of them was me ;) He brings me round to meet Conny, who is joining us today. Both are full of smiles and trying to figure out how much German I speak - or don't. They're both full of questions as we board the train, and I am too. They joke and make fun of each other, themselves, and me as we ride to Tegernsee, and it feels a little like coming home. There's a way of making fun of yourself, and your friends, that emerges here and it reminds me of favourite moments of home with friends on our way to, from, or on an adventure. I smile.
The train arrives late, and Garnot is checking his watch. The bus schedule is tight, yet it appears we will still reach the one we need - until we are actually at the bus stop and we realize the one we want doesn't run today!
Luckily there are many paths to the mountains. We get on the bus that many others are getting on, and many people have snowshoes or cross-country skis with them. We must be getting on "a" right bus.
Garnot tells Conny and I to sit and relax. He checks his phone looking for a plan B. Always in Germany is there a Plan A and a Plan B or more! Sometimes even a Plan Z. Garnot decides on the new plan, and by the time he tells us what it is, it's time to get off the bus and start walking.
The sun is shining brightly today, and at our stop only two other people get off. They carry sleds, not snowshoes, and head out first and faster than us. After a few minutes we put on snowshoes, even tho the trail is clear and well-trod. Garnot teaches how to use an avalanche-machine. The LFZ searching device, in-case someone is covered in an avalanche. There's low risk today, but Garnot says it's better safe than sorry. After wandering with Franz in a straw hat and beers, I think this is a bit elaborate, yet I also have no idea where we're going.
Turns out we're taking the steep trail up. It hasn't been trod on at all, and it's so steep walking is as if we are hiking stairs, stairs in 2 or 3 feet of snow. We pace ourselves well. I practice my German and my listening yet many words are lost on me, yet the times I do understand Conny and Garnot are smiling and laughing at my jokes. It's hard to tell a good joke when you talk like a 3 year old, but it works. Strangely, the few Bavarian words I know come out clear and are entirely unexpected - shocking the two northern Germans I'm hiking with.
After a few lost paths and sunny pauses, we reach a saddle along a ridge. We hike the ridge to Setzberg where we lunch. As always it is beautiful, offering a view of Tegernsee that everyone envies. When we finally reach the top, my legs are ready for a rest. This is my third day of sport with packed lunches. I wonder if I'm eating enough when I do this much sport, yet as long as I'm moving I have little need for food.
We hike more, to the ski lift and butte at Wallberg, where many people enjoy the sunshine after arriving without hiking. assisted with the help of the lift. We gaze at a police helicopter parked nearby, yet have important things to do here: get a refreshment and enjoy the view.
After our pause at the butte, we head down, yet Garnot takes us to the steepest slope, and proceeds to run down as if skiing with his snowshoes. Conny is quick behind and I follow, laughing as I fall with style down a mountain. Garnot calls out to make sure I'm ok, to find out if I've done this before. I call back, shouting happily that I have no idea what I'm doing and that it's so much fun.
There's much more to the day, yet right now I have to head out as I'm late for a coffee. More later!Read more