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Black Forest - Day 3 : Feldberg

In the morning it was pretty cold again, it seemed to get worse every day. Before we left we made some more soup, this time beef-chicken-chocolate-pine needle flavored. It gave me a sore stomach. Wearing our hats and gloves we continued and ended up at a little bridge.

walking up the feldberg

A bridge on the Feldberg
 

The path we were following wasn't easy. It was narrow and covered with ice. I slipped a few times but didn't fall. The higher we got the deeper the snow became. Fortunately the people before us had compacked it. Despite the sub-zero temperatures Bart felt so warm he walked up in his t-shirt. If he would get pneumonia he at least knew why. We again lost our directions. After some guessing we ended up on the route again, there was also a shelter and a little stream.

a stream in the snow

An ice cold stream

shelter on the feldberg

A shelter covered in a deep layer of snow
 

We passed another snow field which was covered in animal tracks. The type of snow here also differed from that on the Schauinsland. There it had been spherical ice particulates, here it consisted of a layer of ice crystals which made a clear sound when we stepped on them. Those were just two of the many types of snow we encountered. We wondered if there were people studying snowology.

 

It was extremely quiet on the plain. We stood there fore a few minutes to listen. We heard nothing except the wind and the blood running in our ears. We hadn't seen anyone the entire day. Bram took his camera to take a picture. Right then we heard "roetsssssssssssssjjjjjjjjjjjj" and saw a skier entering the field. He stopped right in the middle and stood there for over 10 minutes. When he left we could finally take a photo.

schauinsland from the feldberg

View towards the Schauinsland

Snowfields on the feldberg

The skier on the otherwise deserted field

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Bart

The next section was the toughest of the vacation. The summit of the Feldberg was still a few hundred meters higher. The path we were following went steep uphill through 50 cm deep snow. After struggling for over an hour we finally made it to the top.

view from the feldberg

View from the Feldberg

view from the feldberg

The Alps in the distance

view from the feldberg
deep snow on the feldberg

The snow on the top was more than a meter deep

feldberg
feldberg in the winter

Bram

snow on the feldberg
weather station on the feldberg
weather station on the feldberg
hiking up the feldberg

Bart

winterhike up the feldberg

Bram

lighthouse on the feldberg
panorama of the feldberg
tower on the feldberg

We walked towards some tower with the Alps in the background before descending again
 

From the summit we walked towards the white tower in the pictures above. There was a ski slope nearby which we followed downhill. We tried sliding down again, but that didn't work this time... except for Bart but that wasn't voluntarily. In the valley we wanted to buy some food. As a kind of oasis in the snow a food stand emerged. After eating our first warm meal in three days we walked around a bit. There were only hotels. It was getting late, around 5 o'clock, which meant we could walk for another hour before it would be too dark to continue. We picked a small path that ran along the Feldsee, a small lake. To get there we needed to descent even further, there was so much ice we had a hard time staying upright. The lake looked nice, especially now it was frozen. 

frozen feldsee

Feldsee 1

feldsee in winter

Feldsee 2
 

After the Feldsee we kept plowing through the snow for another half an hour. Eventually we reached a cross-country skiing path. We heard something that sounded like a strange bird, but it turned out to be the poles of two skiers scratching the snow. It would be dark in 30 minutes, but it wasn't clear those people also knew that.

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There was a huge amount of snow next to the path

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The cross-country skiing path

twiligt in the forest

It was getting dark
 

Everything was covered by snow, so we needed to sleep on top of the snow once more. We walked off into the forest and trampled a large enough section to pitch our bivy bags. It was already pretty cold. Cold enough to keep our Jagermeister at a good temperature.

jaegermeister in the snow

The snow was warmer than it was outside

bivy bag winter hike

Bram's bivy and sleeping bag

bivy bags for winter hike
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Quickly putting on some warm clothes
 

At night it wasn't warm, especially because we were sleeping on the snow. It also snowed a bit during the night. I had put my shoes in a plastic bag inside my sleeping bag, so they wouldn't freeze. When I went hiking last winter that had happened a few times. Every night we spent about 14 hours in our tent, but only slept a few of them. The remainder was spent by being awake and trying not to get too cold.

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Route of day 3