STUTTGART – For many people, breezing down the snow-clad slopes on skis or a snowboard under a dazzling blue sky is great for getting into the winter spirit. But many more adventures await you at the ski slopes in Baden-Württemberg. The following overview will tell you where outdoorsy folk and adrenaline junkies can find their ultimate thrills in all kinds of weather.
Powered along by animals: Ride with huskies over the Swabian Alps
If you’ve always wanted to ride on a husky sled, you’ll be pleased to know that you don’t need to go all the way to the Arctic for it. Siberian huskies also reside in the Swabian Alps. Near Bartholomä, dog lovers can be taken on a tour through nature by the sled dogs, whether it’s snowy or dry. But it’s best to hold on tight because these huskies can pick up considerable speed under the right steering. Once the pack tears off and moves through the wintery alpine landscape to make a fresh tailwind wisp around your nose, the drudge of everyday life quickly becomes forgotten.
Not for the faint-hearted: Snow kites in the Black Forest
Go up on the chairlift and down on skis, almost anyone can do that. But those of you seeking more adventure can glide up instead by snow kiting. This involves being drawn along on your skis or snowboard by the wind as if you were surfing. If the wind is strong enough, it works just as well up- as downhill. The wide treeless peaks and gentle slopes in the southern Black Forest are particularly suitable for outdoor adventuring. It’s easier if you’re a skier or snowboarder, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t have previous experience. There will be a course giving instruction on the all-important basics on weather, wind and equipment.
Extreme tobogganing: sledging thrills on the Feldberg summit
The longest sledging track in the Black Forest starts up on the Feldberg summit. From here, you go speeding down into the valley over four kilometres. After one kilometre and 150 metres up, the Todnauer cabin presents an inviting place to stop off. It’s then another 400 metres of sledging fun all the way to the valley station. The more adventurous of you might like to start out from the Feldberg summit, the less daring of you can start from the Todnauer cabin. Adequate equipment and previous tobogganing experience are recommended in both cases.
Swap the sled for a bike: Downhill through the snow
Think you can only cycle in summer? Not here in the Black Forest, where special snow bikes await winter sporting enthusiasts. They look like BMX bikes, just without wheels and pedals. But their short skis make them glide really fast on the snow and ensure an extra adrenaline kick when you ride down into the valley. At the ski lift of the Darmstadt cabin at Seebach by the Black Forest overpass, you can rent bikes for free if you present a snow-or ski-bike licence. In the Oberkirch which is only a few kilometres away, pleasure cyclists can set off for a ride on an E-Fatbike through the winter Ortenau.
Cross-country adventuring: Snowshoe walking in the Allgäu
You can scale hills dusted white with snow on paths off the beaten trail and trudge down into pristine valleys: On snowshoe tours in the winter months, keen hikers can explore the snow-covered country around Isny in Allgäu on foot. What used to be the main means of transport for Canadian Inuits and woodcutters has now become a popular sport with modern versions of snowshoes. If you don’t fancy venturing off alone, you can easily join a group. Near Isny, there are regular guided tours in the winter season.
Power and precision: Biathlon for all
Whether you’re doing the cross-country ski trail or practicing at the shooting butt, the biathlon is sure to bring you thrills. In Germany, this sports combination therefore ranks among the popular kinds of winter sport. Thousands of fans bubble with excitement during the annual season live or in front of the TV. Under professional guidance by the Notschrei in the upper Black Forest, you can emulate the stars of the scene and see for yourself how difficult it is to get the right balance between exertion and relaxation in such little time. There doesn’t have to be snow for it. The course goes ahead whatever the weather.
Survive in the wild: Survival camp below freezing
If you fancy exploring the winter landscape in an amphibious vehicle, you can do just that in Nagold am Eisberg. But when the craft suddenly breaks down right out in the wild, that’s when the polar expedition adventure really gets going: with the help of a guide, the aim is to fight your way back on foot to civilisation using a map and compass over rough terrain. The adventure includes fire making, outdoor cooking and sleeping in the open air. The survival camp experience only runs in winter and can be booked for groups of up to twelve people.
Like touching the sky: On the hunt for shooting stars in the star park
No cloud or wind, dry air and a fresh blanket of snow are the ideal ingredients for an icy cold night with good views of the constellations of the winter sky. The Swabian Alps Star Park is not yet officially recognised by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). However, the stars above the Star Park still pose an extraordinary sight. At Zainingen, there’s an attractive star-gazing spot with special deckchairs that are great for watching shooting stars from. When you’re wrapped up nice and warm with a pot of Glühwein or punch, it’s an unforgettable winter experience!
Nocturnal am Albtrauf: Head torch walking in the Swabian Alps
Peaceful and still, the Swabian Alps pose a beautiful sight on a winter night walk on the Zollenburg panorama path when the snows gleams in the battle of the lights from the head torches and starry sky. And there’s never a dull moment on the tour through thick forests up to dizzyingly high viewpoints. You are sure to get goose bumps and see some unusual sights. There’s one highlight waiting right at the start of the tour: the Hohenzollern castle towers majestically up from the darkness, with a flair of lights below.