Rotwand Reib’n

Friday following work, my colleague Heiner and I left Augsburg for Lake Spitzing to undertake the Municher well-known ski tour called the Rotwand Reib’n. We arrived at night and parked in a lot near our starting point, for 5 Euro the night. We changed into our touring gear, packed our stuff up and headed for the starting point. Usually, the tour begins on a snowy mountain road behind the restaurant, but thanks to the mild weather and a snow plower who took his salting job very seriously, we were forced to hike in our ski boots, carrying our skis. It was several kilometers until the end of the road and start of a snowmobile path where we could finally strap our skis on. Finally were able to make some better time skinning up rather than carrying the equipment! We followed the snowmobile path around and around the mountain. It felt like we had rounded the mountain 50 times before reaching the top of the tree line. We had been hiking for several hours and were rather relieved to see the final stretch leading up the snow covered mountain. An icy wind made our journey more difficult and less comfortable. We passed a few small private huts before the Rotwand hut came into view off in the distance to the right. We were closing in on 9pm and watched as the lights of the hut went out; easily still 20 minutes away. The wind blew the snow so hard that it felt like little pieces of glass cutting away at any exposed skin. I was anticipating our arrival with great enthusiasm! Only a small light was burning in the kitchen as we arrived. We were relieved that the main door war still open considering that it looked like everyone had already turned in for the night. After removing the outer layers of snowy clothing and taking off our ski boots, we knocked on the kitchen door and a hut keeper greeted us. He poured out two “halbe” (half liter) beers. The hut was empty and pretty cold, so after having a small bite to eat, we went to bed. Our room was FREEZING cold! I opted to eat my sandwiches snuggled in my sleeping bag, with 2 wool blankets over me, wearing my 700 fill down jacket! I found it extremely difficult to crawl out of my sleeping bag into the ice cold room the next morning, but we had to get going at some point because I was playing in a hockey tournament that evening in Miesbach. We had breakfast in the chilly dining room where I had to thaw my butter and nutella out on the ceramic oven before I could spread it on bread. We packed up and got back into the cold, wet ski boots. We were surprised to discover that it was actually warmer outside than inside. The sun was shining through some scattered clouds and felt so good! We had to ski down a pretty steep gully to start our tour. Heiner, who is a very strong skier was amused watching me figure out how I was going to tackle the steep section. I hadn’t been snowboarding long yet but longed to have my board rather than skis at that moment. I kind of skidded or slid sideways down the mountain, too chicken to actually ski it. My body doesn’t function athletically that early anyway! My descent “technique” was pretty embarrassing and I realized I would need some momentum make it up the next hill. The further I would make it up the hill, the shorter the skinning up would be. I turned my tips downhill and let ‘er rip… I may have screamed the whole way down and back up, but at least I didn’t fall. A group of touring skiers enjoyed the spectacle that was me on skis. My wild ride ran out of steam at about the same spot the group was putting skins back on. We followed suit to continue up the next hill to a sattle between the Rotwand and another peak. We continued directly back down, rather than spending the 30 minutes to the summit because time was ticking to my hockey tournament. I felt as slow skiing down the mountain as I did hiking it. I really missed my board! After several short descents and ascents, we reached the top of the Lake Spitzing ski area. We skied down the resort trail back to the valley. At the car, I was concerned that I would be absolutely dead for the tournament. I was totally wrong; I still had some energy reserves and even scored the teams 2 goals which lead to 3rd place! Maybe I should hike before every game!

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