Trip Report: Altenberg, DE

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Ami in Berlin
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Trip Report: Altenberg, DE

Postby Ami in Berlin » Thu Jul 05, 2007 2:23 pm

Something for the dog days of summer.

Back in February we took a weekend trip to Altenberg, Germany. About three hours by train south of Berlin, right on the Czech border.

Altenberg is home to the national biathlon training center and will host the bobsled and luge World Championships next winter. But it's a small place with a small town feel, and lives somewhat in the shadow of Oberhof as a nordic center in Germany.

It's a great place for a weekend trip, and I found it better than the more famous Mittenwald/Seefeld region. In northern and central Germany, the mountains are lower and more rolling rather than the craggy peaks of the alps. It's more like Vermont than the Rockies. This means skiing up mountains through forests rather than around them on the bare valley floor. It also means, somewhat counter-intuitively, that the elevation is actually higher than it is in Mittenwald/Seefeld, which was important in the past 'winter without snow'.

We arrived late at night and awoke to thick fog. We literally stood at the base of the mountain and had to ask people were the mountain was. Cover was non-existent in the village, and so we had to hike about 15 minutes up the main trail before being able to step into our skis. But after that up above 750 m or so, it was smooth sailing. It was a nice climb up to the summit of the Kahlenberg (950 m), and there was a fair bit of skiing up there and on a high plateau. The guys at the rental shop said we shouldn't waste our time. They were thankfully wrong.

There was not enough open to come anywhere near exhausting the areas possibilities. In normal winter conditions, it's possible to ski over the border and explore more trails in the Czech Republic, as well.

We'll definitely be back when there is more snow cover. The skiing is enjoyable and, I think, extensive, and the town has a nice relaxed feel. Everything closes down early, but that's fine with us. There is a fantastic traditional Gasthaus (restaurant and B&S) up on the trails as well. It's fairy tail like, but more Little Red Riding Hood than the Cinderella of the Alps.

Pics are here:

http://www.flickr.com/gp/48566742@N00/659jT9

shardy53
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Postby shardy53 » Thu Jul 05, 2007 6:31 pm

Ami,
You are killing us in the states. Most of us have four to five months to go before we get any snow. That God for bicycles.

Steve
There ain't no such thing as gravity, the earth just plain sucks.

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Ami in Berlin
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Postby Ami in Berlin » Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:20 am

shardy53 wrote:Ami,
You are killing us in the states. Most of us have four to five months to go before we get any snow. That God for bicycles.

Steve

Hey, we've got at least that long to wait over here. But the days are getting shorter and thoughts (mine at least) are starting to turn to snow.


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