It had built up over the last weeks. The every day life comes back quicker than you think or want it to. It’s still super exciting in many ways and enjoy most if it to the fullest. But of course there are these little buggers that you have deal with when you are in the real world which don’t exist in trail-life…

Like what? Like you are driving and someone hits you with their truck because they “didn’t see you”. Nothing happened but still you are stuck with the hassle. And other grown-up stuff you have to deal with like phone bills, insurance, bureaucracy and many other things. But I guess that’s also and still part of life. On the trail all these things to be fair are either organised and parked for a while or are also accepted to not be taken care of because you are “in the woods”.

But besides the fact that you have to take care of certain things you don’t fully enjoy I also realise that I will probably have a hard time to “take it easy”. Hooked on the idea of our little startup I am again fully engaged. I am asking myself if I can find this balance of work and free spirit on an day to day basis. Or will I have to go from one into the other extreme and back all the time? Maybe that will be my path.
Anyways. Sitting on my lazy butt, dealing with grown-up stuff and the lacking tangible perspective on the next outdoor adventure was straining me. Time in the outdoors was more than overdue… After a bit of back and forth Michael, a former PCT veteran, and I decided to go into the Black Forest for a few nights to celebrate New Year’s in the woods. Our original plan to cross a few mountains and passes in the alps had to be cancelled due to increased avalanche danger. But the weather couldn’t stop us from getting outdoors!

And guess what – we did it the hobo style! As you can imagine there are rules and regulations for everything in this country. First we slept a night in the van illegally on a parking lot #vanlife😎🤙

 

The conditions could have been a lot better. Temperatures slightly above freezing made for the last few days had made the snow pack all slushy and weak. Whereever the trails had not been used for a while or been prepared it was quite a fight. In the snow waist deep in some sections…


But the views along the way made up for the pain. The Feldsee is a small lake just below the peak of the Feldberg – only partly frozen at this time due to the warm and mild winter.

 

 


The setting along the way was great. We even caught a few sun rays but most of the time the sky just looked dramatic. A glimpse of what we had to expect during the night. But for now – great views. In the distance you can see the Alps which we had to skip on this trip. But as a very famous Austrian philosopher used to say “I’ll be back!”


And then we quickly made it over the highest peak in the Black Forest – the Feldberg. Almost 1.500m and a very windy spot!

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This of course didn’t scare us to do what is right: Hiking in shorts!

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Our original plan to easily kill 30km quickly faced reality. On the one hand side it’s shocking on how much of your fitness just disappears once you only sit on your butt doing nothing. On the other hand the snow conditions made it tough to travel. Sometimes our speed dropped to only slightly more than 1km/h. Also the days are short now and therefore dusk hits early telling you to find a camp spot.

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Which we did. After we got stuck in deep and slushy snow we decided to call it a day and we were hoping for temperatures below freezing during the night to harden the snow for us. Since wild camping is strictly prohibited in Germany the next section of course is completely fictional and has never happened – a story so to say…

Micheal had opted for his bivy sack whereas I brought my Zpacks. We prepared our camp spots at the edge of a forest part with a great view over Freiburg and the flats hoping to be able to see the fireworks at night.

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But after sunset at 16:47, setting up camp and having dinner we didn’t make it far after 19:00. Not really a surprise but still very early for New Year’s. But at the end of the the day it’s just another day on our journey and as long as you did stuff which makes you feel good it’s all perfect. I don’t know but for me it was one one of the best New Year’s I have spent in the last 35 years! My dinner view from the tent – well worth everything:

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The night was tough. The wind turned directions and instead of being sheltered by the hill behind of us it came straight at us from the open side. The wind became so strong that it ripped one of my tent stakes out during the night so that I had to go out to put the stake in again and also secure all the other ones better. We had gusts with more than 60km/h pulling on my tent all night. On top icy rain started falling. Was it worth it? Oh yes! Unfortunately Michael’s bivy sack was not fully water proof so that he got trenched and shivered in a wet sleeping bag all night freezing his butt off in all layers he carried. Since the weather forecast predicted even worse weather it was to dangerous for us to stay out here with a wet sleeping bag. There was no secure way to dry it and another night in a wet sleeping bag was to high of a risk. So we decided to make our way back to the car. Not without passing a pretty winter wonderland with fresh powder snow and iced pine trees everywhere.

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The new and old snow made it tough to make distance. But it was also a hell lot of fun. We waded and partly swam through waist-deep snow sinking in deeply with every step. I don’t know how to describe it but it just felt amazingly good! We were sore already from the day before, my feet were wet and ice-cold since the morning of yesterday (my shoes were frozen this morning) and we didn’t really make any milage. But what can I say. It felt like being alive again. Soooo good!.

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Now back in the real world for a bit planning the next escape. Anyone interested in picking up ski-touring? I wanna go. Please take me!

Do What Make Good and don’t let yourself get stoped by the weather. There is always a way to wear shorts 😎.

Sweet as, brew! Let me know when there's new stuff online!

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