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Black Forest - Day 2 : Schauinsland

We woke up on top of the mountain. After we got dressed and eating our breakfast of 10 cookies each we continued the route. We walked up through the forests, where we encountered our first deep snow. Bram got flashbacks to his previous hike. We stopped at a stream to make soup. Instead of my petrol stove I had brought Esbit cubes, which are a lot lighter and 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.

esbit stove

Bram with the Esbit stove

esbit stove

Bart with the Esbit stove
 

It took half an hour to make two cups of soup, but we had time enough so didn't really mind. Just out of the forest we took these photos:

hiking near Eckhof

Near Eckhof

winter hike in the black forest

Checking the map

hiking near Eckhof
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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. The waterproof pants were very useful, as they don'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 atop a view tower on top of the Schauinsland.

Grand ballon in the distance

The Grand Ballon, which we had climbed last year during our 100 cols tour and Bram also visited during his hike in the Vosges. It was around 60 km away.

view from Schauinsland

Village near the Schauinsland

Feldberg in the distance

The Feldberg, tomorrow we would climb it from the left side of the valley.

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View straight down towards our gear

solar observatory on schauinsland

The solar observatory on the Schauinsland

view from schauinsland
view from schauinsland

There was no direct path from Schauinsland to the Feldberg. We had to find our own way. When we tried to take a shortcut to a larger road we sank into the snow up to our knees. We also got some in our shoes, fortunately we didn't get blisters.

 

We passed the sun observatory and needed to cross another snow field. It was tough to get through with our 15 kg backpacks. The top layer of the snow was frozen, but the part below it was not. 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. We tried to walk towards the Feldberg as good as possible. There was soft, deep snow everywhere. We reached some bifurcations in the road and weren't sure which way to go. The only way to be sure we actually would end up at 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 slide down the mountain. We raced down until Bart suddenly noticed a stone ahead of him. As it didn't seem a great idea to slide over that he stood up. Now he was running down the mountain at 20 km/h. He could barely stay upright but eventually managed to sit down again without getting hurt.

 

Now we were confident we were heading in the right direction we made some more soup using my stove. We had brought a lot of one-cup-sized bags of dried soup, but hadn't brought many of the same flavor. As a result we made 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.

At night we just camped somewhere along the path. There would be nobody there anyway, especially not before we would get up. The warm soup really hit the spot.

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Route of day 2