Ankor på vift

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Tag: Riezlern

Technical Windecksattel and entering the third trimester

Windecksattel was our main goal before we left Austria for this time. Sandra and Markus had told us to leave this, more technical, hiking trail until the end of our stay, so the snow cover would have a chance to disappear before we hiked up to this part of the Alps.
 We felt that it was time to try it just before Pontus birthday  – the weather was a major factor and the weather forecast said that more unstable weather was to come during the following days. We packed food and water, which Pontus were responsible for carrying up the mountain and Ulrika, who just entered the third trimester, were responsible for carrying “det lilla livet” up the mountain. It was going to be a long day out in nature.


Windecksattel var vårt huvudsakliga mål innan vi lämnade Österrike för den här gången. Sandra och Markus hade berättat att vi skulle lämna den här, mer tekniska, vandringsleden till slutet av vår vistelse, så att snötäcket skulle ha en chans att försvinna innan vi vandrade upp till denna del av Alperna.
Vi kände att det var dags att försöka oss på denna led precis före Pontus födelsedag – vädret var en viktig faktor och väderprognosen hade sagt att mer ostabilt väder skulle rulla in under de kommande dagarna. Vi packade mat och vatten, vilket Pontus var ansvarig för att bära upp på berget och Ulrika, som just gick in i tredje trimestern, var ansvarig för att bära “det lilla livet” upp på berget. Det skulle bli en lång dag ute i naturen.

Last hike for us in Riezlern and it was going to be an epic one – incredible landscape and Ulrika entering the last trimester (28 weeks pregnant). We chose to head up to Windecksattel and crossing the border to Germany .

This time we would have this view over RIezlern. It was going to be a 750 meter ascent with more or less trail to to follow. Our total distance hiked would be 15 km.

First part was through a fir forest, but we would soon leave the conifers and the easy hiking trail behind us.

Parts of the trail were more technical than others, but it was no problem to hike the trail while being pregnant.

We soon found a sign that should be followed, especially during the winter months when snow hides the terrain.

There are an extensive cave system underneath the mountains in the valley and one of the entry points can be found on this trail. It is a 90 meter deep hole and you don’t want to fall down there while skiing down the trail.

First mission was to reach Mahdtal and eat lunch there before taking on the last part up to Windecksattel.

We did a pregnancy photo shoot in Mahdtal, capturing Ulrika during week 28 on her way to reach her goal at the Windecksattel.

Mahdtal during spring.

Just south of Windecksattel is the Torkopf peak (1930 meters). It is a reachable peak, but we felt that it was better to save this adventure for another time when Ulrika is not pregnant.

We reached the part of the trail where snow still was present. We saw a mountain goat coming down the mountain to lay down on the snow, probably to cool down.

More snow was present the higher up we went and we had to walk over snow covers during the last part of the trail. It became quite steep as well.

We finally reached Windecksattel and got a nice view of the landscape on the other side of the mountain.

Our original plan was to follow the trail through Obere Gottesackerwände, but it was to much snow left on the ground. We decided to turn back here, but we were still impressed with ourselves, hiking 7.5 km and ascending 750 meters. In the end, we kept a pace of 18:04 min per kilometer and maximum altitude was 1840 meters.

We celebrated Pontus 36th birthday while we were in Riezlern. We had a few days of unstable weather before we left this place, so it was a quiet and peaceful celebration this year. After the birthday we had to leave Austria for another central European country – the Czech Republic.

Trying altitudes – Schöntal and above

Our next goal was to see how Ulrika’s pregnant body handled altitudes so Schöntal was our option when we wanted to hike an easy trail and reach higher altitudes. Schöntal is a peak that we have seen from Sandra and Markus place every time we’ve visited them, so we felt it was time see how the valley looked from that part of the Alps. Ulrika was in week 27 so we were also curious how she could handle the ascent and the long trail – it was going to be a 18 km hike in the end of the day.


Vårt nästa mål var att se hur Ulrikas gravida kropp hanterade höjder så Schöntal var vårt alternativ när vi ville ha en lättare vandringsväg, samt nå högre höjder. Schöntal är ett ställe som vi har sett från Sandra och Markus plats varje gång vi har besökt dem, så vi kände att det var dags att se hur dalen såg ut från den delen av Alperna. Ulrika var i vecka 27 så vi var också nyfiken på hur hon kunde hantera stigningen och den långa leden – det skulle bli en 18 km vandring i slutet av dagen.

Pontus and the meadow. We started easy and we have to say that coming here during late spring is wonderful. The flowers fills the valley and the weather is great.

The first part of our 18 km hike was through the valley and not so much increasing in altitudes. Our mission was the green peak right in front of us.

We took a few breaks, because we knew that we had a long hike to manage, and waterfalls are always a reason to stop for.

Soon there were altitudes to climb and it went quite well.

We reached Schöntal and Ulrika still felt good to go so we continued and soon we had a nice view over Riezlern.

Finally, we reached a satisfying altitude at 1500 meter above sea level, a 500 meter ascent compared to our starting level at 1000 meters. The total ascent during the hike was 1000 meter.

Ulrika was very proud of herself. The pace during the whole 18 km trail was 14:50 min/km – it was not the best, but it didn’t matter. 27 weeks pregnant and still going strong! “Det lilla livet”  seems to like being carried up on mountain tops.

The view was incredible and we could see the snow still on Hoher Ifen, a peak/plateau we reached last year with Sandra and Markus.

Our adventure on Ifen!

Our way back was on trafficked roads, it was in case Ulrika should start having pains or cramps, so our back up option was to jump on a bus back to our place.

But the landscape was still absolutely stunning.

The roads around Schöntal are steep and narrow.

Ulrika still felt awesome so we abandoned the trafficked roads for more nature walk for the last part of our hike.

Soon back home, we just had a small ascent left.

Our last waterfall on our hike, so we had to capture it on camera. After this successful hike we decided it was time to try a more technical trail.

Road trip to Riezlern and hiking while being pregnant

Riezlern, we have been here before to visit Sandra and Markus, friends to us who have taken us on adventures on mountain bikes, hiking, climbing Aggenstein and doing klettersteig on mountain ridges.
This time around Ulrika was going to be a bit bigger and be less fit, so we had to find a pace comfortable for her. Ulrika has noticed that her walking pace slowly has declined from around 8.5-9 min/km to around 11-11.5 min/km on a flat surface, near sea level, and now we would be on 1000 meters above sea level and higher, hiking up on mountain tops. Pregnant in week 26 and fortunately enough Ulrika hasn’t experienced any negative pregnancy symptoms during the second trimester that would keep her away from being active.


Vi har varit i Riezlern förut för att besöka Sandra och Markus, våra vänner som har tagit oss på äventyr på  bl.a. moutainbikes, vandring, klättra Aggenstein och klettersteig på bergskam. Den här gången skulle Ulrika vara lite större och ha mindre kondition, så vi var tvungna att hitta en takt som var bekväm för henne. Ulrika har märkt att hennes gånghastighet sakta har minskat från ca 8,5-9 min/km till omkring 11-11,5 min/km på plan yta, nära havsnivå, och nu skulle vi vara på 1000 meter över havet och högre för att vandra upp på bergstoppar. Graviditetsvecka 26 och lyckligtvis har hon ännu inte upplevt några negativa graviditetssymptom under andra trimestern som kunde hålla henne borta från att vara aktiv.

 

After some intensive weeks, we were really longing for nature and mountains, so we hit the road down to Austria to once again have this view at the door step.

On our way south, we took the opportunity to pass Bamberg and visit our friend Michi! We had time to eat franconian food and catch up on each other’s lifes.

Finally in Riezlern and our friends Markus and Sandra have gotten a ping pong table. Pontus and Markus played well into the dark and had to use headlamps.

Sandra and Markus are going on their own adventures, so we said goodbye to them and we will do our best to keep their plants alive and the squirrels away from the bird feeding table.

Ulrika loves the overflow of non-alcoholic beer in southern Germany. Weissbeer, pils, lager etc can be found in a non-alcoholic variant and many of them actually tastes like beer. We stocked up and then returned to Riezlern.

There are so many hiking tracks to explore in Kleinwalsertal where Riezlern is situated, and we wanted to be out in nature and relax after a couple of busy weeks.

First we took borrowed bikes and biked through the center of Riezlern.

The main road through the town that continues further in to the valley.

Riezlern, a tiny Alp village, even has their own casino.

We were soon in between villages and the view is magnificent.

Ulrika’s stamina is not what it is used to be, but we managed to go for a 15 km bike ride in our new “Ulrika is pregnant”-pace.

The thunder and lightning are often rolling in during the evenings and nights, creating an amazing light show. This picture was taken one of the nights here and it felt like watching the”war of the worlds”. We wouldn’t be surprised if a silhouette of a tripod fighting machine would show up on the horizon.

The breakfast view is a favorite.

We didn’t want to go out to strong, because we didn’t know how Ulrika’s body would respond to longer and more technical hiking trails. Therefore, our first mission was to hike through the valley and reach Oberwäldele. It is a nice and easy trail through the Kleinwalsertal landscape and it was no problem for Ulrika to handle.

Spring is one of the best periods of the year to come here for hiking. The flowers bloom and most of the snow is gone.

We found a glade covered in freshly bloomed cow parsley.

The houses in the area look like traditional Alp houses and they are often nicely decorated.

The trail takes you through open landscapes and forests. There are a few waterfalls hiding in the forest, so we took a few breaks along the way.

The trail was easy and Ulrika had no problem hiking 10 km, so  next up was to try to hike up on one of the mountain tops surrounding the valley. This adventure will be covered in our next blog post.

Taking on Hoher Ifen before we leave Austria

Hoher Ifen was our third and final adventure with Sandra and Markus for this time around, and it was a perfect hike for our now  sore legs. This mountain has been in our sight from Sandra and Markus porch, so we got excited to hear that we would get a chance to take a closer look on this spectacular plateau, standing there in the distance. We let the pictures and videos speak for themselves! 


Hoher Ifen blev vårt tredje och sista äventyr med Sandra och Markus  för den här gången, en perfekt vandring för våra nu väldigt möra ben. Detta berg har varit i vår vy från Sandra och Markus veranda, så vi blev glada att höra att vi skulle få möjlighet att titta närmare på denna spektakulära platå, som fanns där i bakgrunden. Vi låter våra bilder och videos talar för sig själva!

Hoher Ifen, a 2230 meter high mountain in the Kleinwalsertal valley, was our mission on our last day with Sandra and Markus.

It was an easy hike compared to our previous two adventures the days before.

We took our time listening to the sounds of the mountains, mostly cow bells.

and taking pictures on the alpine flowers.

Sandra is making use of her camera!

The view is amazing, so don’t forget your camera.

Sandra and Ulrika on their way to the plateau on top of Hoher Ifen.

Group photo with Riezlern in the background.

We found a few butterflies on our hiking trip.

We had a picnic at the top and with a beautiful view to go with our lunch. We put together a short video from our first part of the hike that you can see below.

There is a small via ferrata on the south side of Hoher Ifen. People have died here so be careful when passing this part of the hike.

We ate second lunch on our way down at Scwarzwasser- Hütte. We tried a local dish called Kaiserschmarrn!

And had a Russ – a popular hiking drink with Weißbier and lemon soda.

We came across a waterfall in the end of our 8-hour hike, with a lot of stops, and we felt that it was a nice ending of a beautiful day.

But this hike had a big surprise in the form of an artificial lake, used as a water storage for snow canons in the winter, and we jumped in!

Last evening and we got to experience a beautiful thunder storm coming in the valley. We also filmed  the rain and Hoher Ifen from the porch  which you can see below.

The morning after we took the train to Bayern, Germany,  for a few days of resting our muscles. Thanks Sandra and Markus for the awesome summer days spent with you in the Alps.

Riezlern to Schönenbach by bike

Our second adventure with Sandra and Markus started in Riezlern and our goal was to get to Schönenbach, and back again, with mountain bikes. A 50 kilometer bike ride in the “flatter” part of the mountains according to Sandra and Markus. The route was as flat as it could be if you consider the fact that you’re starting point is 1000 meters above sea level in the Alps.  We are not used to riding bicycles, so we really got a hard adventure that day, but it was fun and we’re proud to have accomplished getting back in one piece and without having to be brought back to Riezlern in a car or an ambulance.  
Below are  pictures and videos from our bicycle adventure and from our “normal” walk around Riezlern!


Vårt andra äventyr med Sandra och Markus började i Riezlern och vårt mål denna dag var att komma till Schönenbach och tillbaka igen, med mountainbikes. En 50 km cykeltur i den enligt Sandra och Markus “plattare” delen av bergen. Rutten var så “platt” som det kan bli när utgångspunkten är 1000 meter över havet i Alperna. Vi är inte vana vid att cykla på detta sätt så vi fick verkligen ett hårt äventyr den dagen, men det var roligt och vi är stolta över att ha lyckats komma tillbaka i ett stycke och utan att behöva återvända till Riezlern i en bil eller en ambulans.
Nedan finns bilder och videor från vårt cykeläventyr och från vår “normala” promenad runt Riezlern!

It is always nice to wake up in Riezlern and see the beautiful landscape from Sandra and Markus place.

We got to borrow bikes from Sandra and Markus and our mission today was to bicycle to Schönenbach and back.

Our bicycling adventure took us out on a good 7-hour tour balancing on the border between Austria and Germany.

We had cloudy weather, but it was nice to have cover from the sun – the scenery was still stunningly beautiful even though clouds covered most of the mountain tops.

Two rivers that have their final outflow on opposite sides of Europe starts here. Starzlach river ends in the black sea and Schönbach river ends in the North sea.

We took a rocky detour a short part of the way to Schönenbach so that Markus and Sandra could show us how to ride their mountain bikes. Ulrika and Pontus had to walk most of that part of the way. The video below some of the skills that Markus has on a MTB.

We took a well-earned break in Schönenbach eating our lunch before we headed back to Riezlern.

We took the ordinary road back to the main road, so we had a chance to use our bikes.

Pontus had a bit of a misfortune with his bike. First the front brake fell of, then with only breaks on the back wheel, it also stopped working in a long downhill slope due to overheating. With Pontus completely out of energy, also the chain jumped. So he was lucky to come back to Riezlern without hurting himself.

Back in Riezlern looking at the sunset reflecting on the mountains.

Stretching and yoga to ease up sore muscles. Could you have a better view while doing that?

We also managed to do a walk around the neighborhood, trying new settings on our camera that Markus and Sandra had showed us. This bridge can be used with more than vehicles, the video below shows what school children do on the bridge during their field days in the valley.

The Breitach river.

Wild strawberries are in abundance around here.

Alpine grass and meadow flowers.

Horses in the valley. Next blog post will be about hiking up to Hoher Ifen with soar legs, stay tuned 🙂

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