Monday, December 29, 2014

Snowy Christmas Holidays Day 1

Whew, what a day. Dad had to be saved by the mountain rescue yesterday, as he got stuck in some really deep snow. His full explanation here (141228 Riedberger Horn). I heard about it yesterday evening and after ensuring he was ok and finding out he needed to go back up the next day, offered my help. Wanted to get some fun out of it, too. How many times do you get the chance to walk up the mountain, early in the morning before everybody else with a mountain rescue guide to help.
Dad picked me up at quarter to six this morning and we set of to pick up Klaus, our guide. Got him on the way in Oberstdorg and carried on towards the Riedberger Horn up a pass that you normally have to have snow chains on. As the company has a lot of business to do up there, they are classified as locals who don’t need it, as long as they have 4x4 cars. Reached the bottom of the lift, got all geared up with snow shoes that we had borrowed for this occasion and after a hot chocolate got driven up as near as possible to the top as Tom could get us with his quad. Klaus got taken up first, then me and Dad in the rear. Klaus up front so he could lay the track, as we where the first ones up, then me to harden it and Dad at the end as he was still knackered from the day before. He showed us the trench he got caught in and his touring skies are still in there somewhere, will stay there till spring probably. We reached the top after watching the sun rise on untouched powder snow, to find a biting wind and -15°C air temperature. We didn't stay up there long and picked up the generator Dad had left up there the day before. Reached the mast after another 500 metres and got warmed up in the shade of some frozen trees before getting the generator up and running.
Took a few attempts but we got it running and plugged in to the mast so it could load up the battery’s. Had some tee and cake to celebrate and then went back again. Back up at the Riedberger Horn Tom gave Dad a ring saying that the mast wasn't receiving any electricity. Brilliant, turn back around and after a few attempts got it running properly again. The weather was turning more grey and windy by then, the herald of the big snow storm the weather forecast had predicted for the afternoon. Sprinted back on two broken snow shoes (Dads right and my left), which had occurred somewhere on the way. We got back to the piste and as Klaus had had touring skies and was down a lot faster, he was waiting at the end with the mountain rescue skidoo. Took us both down and after getting everything packed up and the conformation that the mast was charged, took Klaus to Kempten so he could catch the train home.
After a hurried lunch I was rushed back to Nesselwang to get a picture taken so I could apply for an international driving licence in Marktoberdorf for my planned Australia trip. Drove to Marktoberdorf with Johanna, got that settled and on the way back where caught in the middle of predicted snow storm. Proofed interesting, as Johanna has no 4x4 and we where nearly flattened by a truck going uphill near Rückholz.
Reached home, got changed quickly and Johanna drove me near the ski lift where the ski teachers where training for the upcoming New Year demonstration. Skied my part and then went home for some rest before tomorrow.
Dads blog of this day can be found here and more pictures at Picasa.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

First Alpspitze Skiing

Finally it has snowed, as it should in winter. And luckily not just a bit but a lot. A load of traffic jams, car accidents and so on have happened in the area with all the tourists coming to us to ski. And to think we are so lucky and just have to walk for quarter of an hour to get to the lift. Daniel and me left early so we would arrive before most of the people. In the end we where the first on the lift and the first on the piste. Also the first to notice that the piste was full of snow cannon snow. It basically means “snow that will cause an accident due to sudden deceleration”. After we both got down all covered in snow we went right to the top and started of with the real fun of going into powder snow. We spent an hour up there going down next to the piste most of the time.
Once we noticed that there where to many people there we walked back home.
Finally winter is here and it still hasn't stopped snowing.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Day Biking

Merry Christmas everyone. Weather wise it is absolutely sh**t here at the moment. Normally you would expect the Alps to be covered in a few metres of snow, but once again not this year. Third year in a row by now. Last year Dad and I managed to go skiing in tolerable conditions in Oberstdorf, but even they have no snow this year.
So we got our bikes out in 3°C. I picked up dad on the way and after we had got ourselves dressed up warmly set of up towards Sportheim Böck. Had to get rid of one layer of clothes at the bottom already, as we where sweating and the rest was spent biking up and talking about the world. Once we came out in to the open we where nearly blown over by strong winds, but we powered on. To top that we got some snow a bit over the middle station, but it luckily was only a few centimetres deep. Our tyres had no problem. Reached Sportheim Böck and got a Glühwein and some goulash soup to warm up.
Got everything on we had for the way down and we acctually didn't freeze on the way down. The wind had picked up and was throwing snow in our face, but not to much. Met Caro on the way up and had a small chat. All these weird Turnverein people going biking on Christmas day in rainy conditions. Had a stop in the Explorer hotel for a coffee and then went home for a shower and some turkey later. 
Pictures at Picasa, track at GPSies and Dads blog here