Black Forest - Day 2 : Schauinsland
We woke up on top of the mountain. After we got dressed and had our breakfast of 10 cookies each, we continued the route. We walked uphill through the forest, where we encountered our first deep snow. I got flashbacks off my previous hike in the Vosges. We stopped at a stream to make soup. Instead of my petrol stove I had brought Esbit cubes, which are a lot lighter and, in contrast the petrol stove I brought last year, do work at cold temperatures. The first set of cubes we brought were from our friend Stefan, who still had them from his time in the military twenty years ago. We struck the first match, it went out. The second one as well. The third one stayed on, but didn't light the Esbit cube. Neither did the next one. Eventually we drenched the cube in petrol and pilled paper on top. Everything burned except the cube. We realized this was likely because they were 19 years passed their expiration date. Fortunately we had brought new ones as well. Those worked right away and a few minutes later we had hot soup.
Bram with the Esbit stove
Bart with the Esbit stove
It took half an hour to make two cups of soup, but we didn't mind. Just out of the forest we took these photos:
Checking the map
Hiking uphill in the sun was pretty warm
We walked over a few asphalt roads and soon could see the Schauinsland mountain. That had a lot of snow on top. It was time to put on our gore-tex pants. These waterproof pants were very useful, as they didn't freeze or get wet like jeans. Because of their camo-prints people did look a bit strange at us. I also wore a green jacket and had a green cover around my backpack. Bart wore a green hat and camo-print gloves. It seemed better to not suddenly shout something like 'two beers' or 'merry christmas' in Dutch. The following pictures were made from the view tower on top of the Schauinsland.
The Grand Ballon, which we had climbed by bike last year during our 100 cols tour. I had also climbed it during my hike in the Vosges. It was around 60 km away.
Village near the Schauinsland
The Feldberg, the next day we would climb it from the left side of the valley.
View straight down towards our gear
The solar observatory on the Schauinsland
There was no direct trail from Schauinsland to the Feldberg, so we had to find our own way. When we tried to take a shortcut to a larger road we sank up to our knees into the snow. We also got some in our shoes, but fortunately didn't get any blisters.
We passed the solar observatory and needed to cross another snow field. The top layer was frozen solid, but the snow below was fluffy. We would take a step and as soon as we shifted our weight would sink in up to our knees. On the other side of the field we lost our directions. The only sure way to reach the Feldberg seemed to just walk there in an as straight a line as possible.
The rest of the descent went well, but was very slippery. I suggested to sit down and just slide down the mountain. We raced down until Bart suddenly noticed a rock ahead of him. As it didn't seem a great idea to slide over it at high speed he stood up. Now he was running down the mountain. He could barely stay upright but eventually managed to sit down again without getting hurt.
Now that we were sure we were heading in the right direction it was time to make some more soup. We had brought dehydrated soups, but almost all portions were in different flavors. As a result, we ended up making tomato-chicken-chocolate-soup. It was not bad, mostly because there was not much chocolate powder in it and the chicken had only a mild flavor.
The warm soup really hit the spot. At night we simply camped somewhere along the trail. There would be nobody there anyway, at least not before we would get up.
Route of day 2