The lovely Ursental, otherwise embedded between rocks and ruins, in the lush green of the forest, had put on its winter dress today. Wrapped deep in snow, it wore its icy garb. Covered the otherwise colorfully spotted juniper heather and only let the black of the conifers protrude darkly from the cold haze. The conditions that January imposes on us as a winter ornament that we gladly accept.
Over night, thick, white flakes sank onto the plateau from which the chimneys of the nearby courtyards gave off steaming warmth. The snow loomed up to the ankles in the muffled silence of the winter morning. Inhospitable conditions on Epiphany. But no reason not to go on a hike. On the contrary. Snow-dampened silence and lonely paths compensate for hectic days and adapt to the contemplative Ursental, far from any hectic hustle and bustle.
Much less spectacular than the Danube valley, the Ursental is a nearby insider tip that offers a lot that is worth exploring within a short distance. Rocks and ruins flank the wooded slopes on the left and right of the stream. Caves are hidden underneath, while viewpoints on the heights allow views of the peaceful silence of the narrow valley cut. It's nice here. And while the lively brook gushes lively towards the Danube in summer, the juniper heather is already shimmering in the summer heat. The smell of resin and hay, the friendly chirping of birds froze today under the cool white of the young year. And in addition to the wintry charm of today's round, the joy of the next summer day, which will bring me here again, is quietly growing.
January 8, 2021
After yesterday's New Year's hike with half the family (and the dog) was swallowed up in the dark, I started another attempt today to bring my New Year's greetings to the community using Komoot.The destination of my excursion today was Hornberg in Gutachtal, a previously unknown place that has given me a lot of positive things over the years. Sunk deep in the valley, the gloomy castle hill dominates the scenery, watching over the valley. The concrete monster of the Catholic Church, with the railway viaduct in between, is uninviting. The architecture matched the gray of the sky and I was glad that my parking lot was above, in the forest, hidden from view by natural walls made of granite and spruce. A fountain splashed softly in the quiet of noon. No one far and wide. Circumstances that suited my search for solitude.
I found the idea of aiming for the Black Forest for a snow-free hike to be daring. But after I had tired of pushing away snow at the Hornisgrunde last Saturday, I was hoping for better conditions here. I was lucky. No arctic conditions, but perfect sun-free winter dregs. Only the moss growth on the rocks and the green of the conifers above the autumn-brown ground leaves broke through the gray tones and could simulate a touch of "colorful". Only the mountain tops above the powdered slopes remained covered with frosty caps.My starting point was the parking lot at Gesundbrunnen. A suitable place if you have just survived 2020 unharmed and healthy. I greeted the snorting Steinfratz on my left and immediately found myself on a pretty, soft path that was to accompany me for the next few hours in the required Black Forest manner over roots, under spruce trees, past rocks, waterfalls and valley views.
Nice but inconspicuous is the path that led me south. Crossing small watercourses, past rounded boulders that have immovably taken their place on the slope for decades, it went slowly but steadily uphill. A small branching path indicated with a changed nature of the path that there would soon be something to see. In fact, at the pulpit, I reached the first stone monument, weathered by wool sackcloth, towering high above the trees, taking his name into account. A bench artfully fastened to the stone did not invite you to take a break, the boards were frozen hard. It threatened to stick. Well ... as a notorious Swabian, I proudly saved myself from sitting down, while I ate my cheese sandwich while standing on the pulpit, while my eyes wandered across the Black Forest.
From now on my path gained momentum. Through stone gates, I steadily gained height in the sea of rocks. When I got to the Bertabrunnen, I turned off to the Phillipsruhe. The wooden hut - beautifully located - offered a clear view of the valley and the elevations on the opposite side of the valley. Firmly in winter hand, I found this as uninviting as the hut itself, which caught the cold and seemed to preserve it. What to do? Keep hiking, of course. Down to the barbecue area at Immelsbacher Höhe. The "alpine path" branched off here, a variant of the path that is always appealing to me. Somewhat steeper, more rustic and certainly also more strenuous uphill. Chunks, in piles or small walls, lined this hilly section, next to old beeches that were intertwined and defied the mountain loneliness. For hours I had not met a soul, only the trampling of fleeing wild animals testified to life, stopped me for a short time before I continued my round.Before I reached the unadorned wooden cross on the Immelsbacher Höhe, the piles of stones increased on the edge of the eaves. Menhirs, artfully piled up to form the viewing platform. What is otherwise suitable for smaller climbing areas, high at the highest point, found itself dangerously slippery and icy today. Modestly, I was satisfied with a look through the rock window down into the valley. Finally, I crossed the highest point of today's hike, meandered down the narrow serpentine track and was actually satisfied with what I saw. Already in my mind back at the car, the smell of coffee in my nose at home, the gallery of the Windeckfels tore me out of my daydreams. I did not expect a stone garden of this size. I looked at the monster in astonishment, climbed the steps to the narrow "tower", provided an overview and admiring glances at the immense natural construction. Thoughts of the dream of a summer night between the preheated rock and the sparkling stars in the deep black of the night sky, listening to the chorus of crickets.
Freezing hands woke me from my fantasies. The long descent was still ahead of me and summer is still a long way off. For today I was happy with my choice, and to my New Year's resolutions I added another one: Coming back.
January 2, 2021
The thought of a Christmas digestive walk to eliminate the calorie load gave birth to a very attractive plan for Boxing Day. Bearing in mind a long-cherished idea, namely that of one day climbing on the Rhine plain high to the Black Forest heights. So why not combine these ideas? According to my expectations and the local weather conditions, the Black Forest should be free of snow up to a good 750m and at most the last meters up to the Hornisgrinde should be covered with a frosty knoll. So let's go there.
The day had not yet dawned when I shouldered my rucksack, wrapped up thickly under my hat and wrapped in my winter jacket over the first flat stage, approaching the vineyards in the east of Oberachern. The landscape is frozen, the sky is icy gray. No dawn penetrating the cloud cover. The quiet of a sleepy Sunday lay over the bee hump, my first ascent of the day. The people stayed in their houses, above which a steaming chimney gave evidence of cozy warmth.
Half-conquered the bee hump, my weather forecast matured into the dairy boy bill. The Black Forest was already snowed in deeply in the lower elevations, bedded under a thick white carpet. Of course, there was no hope of improvement further up and the realization matured that the "digestive walk" could turn into a challenge. Will the strength be enough, will the paths be walkable and will I be back before nightfall?
Fortunately, I wasn't forced to trace the paths. Every snow-covered path had already been taken, which made the ascent a lot easier for me. So I bobbed through the snow, past steaming heaps of manure and brightly blinking fairy lights, courtyards lingering in the deep snow. Dogs greeted me with wagging tails before accompanying me part of the way. I found that very nice.
Decommissioned schnapps fountains, whose stimulating distillates I usually disdain, eluded their warming use, especially today when I would have liked to have noticed their warming effect. Surely the descent from Hagenberg and the painful loss of altitude along my path down to the Koppenhöfe would have been more bearable for me.
In the meantime I had arrived in the dead of winter. The spruce trees groaning under the snow, the landscape black and white. The tops of the trees were lost in the whiteout. Only a few splashes of color marked the hikers frolicking in the deep snow, but increased the closer you got to the Mummelsee. Soon the paths were lined with sledding children like people from all over the world. Traffic chaos on the lake, crowds, noise, overcrowded paths up to the Hornisgrinde. Opposites to the hours of silence in the morning.
The moorland itself found itself surprisingly lonely. Siberian frost was at home here, the winter art of which froze trees and shrubs into ice sculptures. I bravely decided to take photos until my fingers, aching from the cold, made the decision to descend the plateau over the Hornisgrindensteig.
Like a hollow alley, the masses of snow on the spruce branches flanked me along the staircase, embedded me in a white Christmas path that is otherwise only known from the high mountains. What a difference to the moss-covered boulders that pile up in the warm seasons between the red earth and the green branches of the conifers.
Past Breitenbrunnen and Hohritt, my knees reminded me of old stories I believed to be bygone. Only on the descent does one become painfully aware of every gain in altitude and reduce the hiking experience to two overloaded pairs of joints.
Hurry - it was impossible this way. In the meantime, the deep red of the twilight fell over the Rhine Valley. In the background the shadows of the Vosges peaks shimmered in the sunset. The fact that the arrival is no longer possible in daylight could not be more pleasant.
In fact, it was already night when I arrived in Sasbachwalden. 17.00, pitch black. Blessed lanterns along the Sasbach led me along asphalt alleys, which were hardly known as hiking trails. Today, however, I accepted them benevolently, they led me safely back to the parking lot, which I reached with pleasure from a little heating, like a successful day's hiking, which also gave me a calorie credit for tomorrow Sunday. So the hardships were worth it.
December 27, 2020
The money maker blade lured me into the Sunday morning full of promise. I still had a little time. Just enough to look for money in the money maker blade. Who doesn't need him, the stupid Mammon? In summer I would have modestly resigned myself to flowers, but now in winter there was little hope even for these.
Parked on the outskirts of Schmalenberg, I even strolled through the unexpected midday warmth on Sundays. The sun shone on the few houses in the village, the residents of which lined the path through talkative talk. Of course, I bypassed this prohibited zone without contact at a legal distance and turned onto the narrow path that meanders into the valley.
The fact that the moneymaker's blade was marked as a destination on every signpost on my hike the day before made me curious. On my right side, inconspicuously, a small valley depression cut deeper and deeper into the forest floor. Was she the target of my curiosity? A few meters that still had to be walked revealed the secret. As the narrow path branched further into a steeply descending track, the mystery of this place emerged. Greasy ground beneath my feet, but roped well, the path led me around a rock wall and offered me a view of a breathtaking rock overhang, in the center of which a small trickle trickled deep into the blade. You couldn't get enough of it and the search for money, money, mammon or flowers was a minor matter, as you were given the wealth of natural beauty in this place.
December 22, 2020
Im Schwarzwald, wie auf der Alb zuhause, versuchte ich eigentlich meine Albkenntnisse in Richtung Osten zu erweitern. Eine zaghafte Computermaus, mochte dieser Absicht nicht folgen und beendete ihr wirken, als der Zeiger auf halber Strecke zwischen Nordschwarzwald und Nördlinger Ries hängen blieb. Ungestümes Klicken öffnete mir ein paar Bilder, die mich stutzig machten. Wilde Landschaften von reißendem Wasser gefurcht. Wo soll das nur sein? Schwäbischer Wald? Nie gehört! War der gestern schon da? Forschend fand ich
Namen, wie aus dem Weinregal. Dazu immer neue Bilder rauher Schönheit zwischen Sandstein und Mergel. Grotten und Höhlen, wollsackverwitterte Felsengärten. Da muss ich hin!
Und so war es die schwache Batterie einer Maus, die mein freies Wochenende mitbestimmte. Bereits kurz nach Sonnenaufgang, das Frühstück noch zwischen den Zähnen, den Rucksack reichlich gefüllt auf den Schultern, rutschte ich über den vereisten Parkplatz an der Laufenmühle, suchte und fand den Abstieg in die Wieslaufschlucht.
Eine urzeitliche Landschaft, rauh und wild, begrüßte mich im Schatten des Wintermorgens. Von oben rauschend der Wasserfall, der über terrassierte Plateaus sich zaghaft ins kleine Bachbett entleerte. Darin ein Bächlein, das in gemächlicher Ruhe bedächtig weiter talwärts floß. Kaum zu glauben, dass die erodierten Felsklötze, die von weit oben ins Tal stürzten, sowie das Kreuz-und-Quer der modernden Baumstämme diesem sanften Plätschern anheim gefallen sind. Viel glaubhafter liess sich der Schlamm entlang des Weges, diesem nahezu stehenden Gewässer zuordnen. Gleich hinter dem verfallenden Turbinenhäuschen erschwerte knöcheltiefer Matsch über hunderte Meter das Fortkommen. Eine der Eigenschaften, die meinen weiteren Weg durch den Tag begleiten sollte.
Nachdem ich nun einige Zeit mit dem Wasser lief, kam mir hinter Steinbach der Fluß über bezaubernde Kaskaden entgegen. Knorrige, dem Verfall ausgesetzte Holzbrücken führten mich den Strümpfelbach hinauf, der landschaftlich der Wieslauf in nichts nach stand. Zufrieden mit meinem Wandertag erreichte ich, nach einigen Kilometern über die Hochfläche, den Ebnisee. Die "Perle des Schwäbischen Waldes", lag zu Eis erstarrt in der Mittagssonne. Dunst schwebte über dessen Oberfläche und hüllte die kleine Insel in mystischen Nebel. Am Ufer zeugten flanierende Paare und Familien von Leben. Am Nordende des Sees erstrahlte eine Holzank in derMittagssonne. Sie bot mir Gelegenheit zu einer kurzen Rast. Der in der toll designten Thermoskanne bereits auf mundwarm herabgekühlte Punsch, wollte Verwendung finden.
Gestärkt folgte ich den Sonnenstrahlen. Sie wiesen mir den Weg weiter in den Norden, zu einem tiefen Geländeeinschnitt. Haushohe Felsknollen, wollsackverwittert, ein tröpfelnder Wasserlauf an einer glatt aufragenden Wand, kennzeichneten die Gallengrotte, eines, wenn nicht das Highlight des Tages, genau am Scheitelpunkt meiner Tour. Verzückt stöberte ich in den kleinen NIschen, betrachtete die in den Sandstein gefurchten, tels von Moos bedeckten Inschriften, erklomm einige von Wurzeln gefassten Vorsprünge, bevor ich mich dem schwindenden Tag gehorchend, schweren Herzens wieder in Richtung Ebnisee und von dort wieder ins obere Tal der Wieslauf begab. Schon früh am Nachmittag begann der "Abend". Die tiefstehende Sonne traf mich mit ihrem Engelslicht in der ruhigen Abgeschiedenheit des schattigen Weges hinunter zur Laufenmühle.
Dort angekommen, hatte sich der Parkplatz, der am Vormittag noch verlassen im Frost des Morgens weilte, gefüllt. Ich weigerte mich, schon angekommen zu sein und schritt forsch in Richtung Planetenweg und Kesselgrotte von. Einem weiteren Schlund, der dunkel aus der Ferne gähnte. Erstaunt über die imposante Formation vor mir, hielt ich einige Minuten inne, um dieses Felsrund auf mich wirken zu lassen. Ein neuerliches Highlight entlang meines Weges. Der schmale Pfad an der Innenseite der Grottenwand, führte mich auf einem Steilanstieg aus dem Wald. Das letzte Licht des Tages legte sich bereits über die Wiesen und Felder der Einöde. Wenige Häuser in kleinen Weilern versammelt kennzeichneten die Abgeschiedenheit des Landstrichs. Einsamkeit, die ich entlang meines Weges schätze, die Stille, die ich genieße, während meine Gedanken über idyllisches aber hartes Leben auf den kleinen, vergehenden Höfen, kreisten.
Als ich jenseits des verschlafenen Vorderhundsberg wieder den Wald betrat, mischte sich der Abend bereits mit der Finsternis des Gehölzes. Noch gut zwei Kilometer waren zu gehen und kaum hatte ich die Talsohle erreicht, fand ich die Dunkelheit schon vor Ort. Wurzeln schimmerten aus einem kaum erkennbaren, schlammigen Boden und wiesen mir einen glitschigen Weg durch's Tal. Vorsichtig Schritt ich über das anspruchsvolle Geläuf. Obwohl kaum etwas zu erkennen war, begeisterte mich das Terrain. Neben mir der Bach, der unbeirrt mäandernd weiter ins Tal zog, das Rufen des Kauzes in den Wipfeln der Bäume, leises Rascheln zu meiner Seite. Andere Sinne wurden bedient, auf der letzten Etappe den landschaftlichen Reiz wahrzunehmen.
Es war kurz nach 1700. Eine Uhrzeit, die im Sommer noch einen langen Tag bedeutet. Spätestens dann will ich wieder kommen, die Natur in diesen Schluchten bei trockenem Boden und sprießender Fauna genießen.
December 21, 2020
A friendly blue sky woke me through small cloud windows, pulled the blanket off and guided me out of the warm bed with magical powers. A day off - finally - after busy weeks that forced my hiking passion to stop.
A hearty breakfast, a packed rucksack, fetched the matching jacket from the cloakroom and laced up your shoes ... the light blue cloud windows had already passed impatiently into lockdown. Well then...
Of course, that didn't bother the dog. Following a conditioned reflex, his expectations flare up as soon as the dog crate is under the tailgate of the car, and it ignites excitement. For him, the weather, the landscape or the autumn forest with its slippery paths are just minor matters. He is with us. He expresses nothing else by wagging his tail. The person on the other side of the line accepts the conditions without complaint. Movement is necessary. Almost a fortnight before the year-end gluttony, the kilometers are not only a temptation but also an obligation.
But if you look closely, you will also find something attractive at this time of year. On a day when it doesn’t want to get light, you enjoy the small, luminous dabs of color that shine out of the cloudiness. The bright green sculptures, for example, formed by a carpet of moss on modern wood, clinging to yellow and turquoise lichen on stone and trees, the blue of the sky, which hesitantly defends itself against the gray cloud.
Mystical wisps of mist float over the frozen ponds. So cover the birches and willows on their banks. At the latest, the snow fields on both sides of the Goldersbach make it clear that this year has come to an end.
Suddenly ... A wild boar rotting on the slope unexpectedly brings life to the scene, before the rustling of the clattering bristle beasts, the Sunday rest, leaves their space again.
This is how impressions gather along the way. From Kayh down into the Goldersbach valley, past the soldiers 'grave with its sad story, up the thieves' path before it goes back and forth in a similar up and down.
December 13, 2020
A green sea of rolling hills, surrounded by shores of beech forests, in between small islands of trees and a few courtyards that lie like ships between the waves. The sky spreads blue in all directions above it. Only the breath of a cloud, like a feather, rests quietly in the firmament.
I'm on the plateau of the Heidenhöfe. The landscape rests in itself. Peaceful, quiet. Only a few parked cars are evidence of hikers who lose themselves in the large green area. I enjoy the autumn weather and concentrate on a few rocks to see in the west and east. Those who want the spectacle can walk around the plateau, admire viewpoints, caves and rocks that let their rocks protrude over the eaves like the bow of a ship.
Today I was interested in the Breihaldenfelsen, which is inconspicuous and little noticed at the end of a lonely path. Nice, the small beech ensemble at the highest point. I climb a little along the eaves, which, in the shadow of noon, reminds me of November.
Reason enough to wander west. Past the few houses in the Heidenhof wasteland, across a barely recognizable meadow path, until a lonely transmitter mast shows me the viewpoint of the Rappenstein. There, directly on the eaves, you can see the Plettenberg basking in the sun, with its impressive ascent, next to it the inconspicuous hill of the Schafberg, which hides its grandiose beauty under green needles. While the Wenzelstein in front of it stretches and stretches, but still rests modestly next to its neighbors, the bare rock of the Lochenstein is heavy. As if he needed a narcissistic reminder of his merits. My highlight of the day. Without doubt.
I continue to look for highlights, take the narrow path towards the west, which leads me in a neat Albmanier through beeches to rock formations and the shoemaker's chair. An adventurous (constructed) story gives its name. She accompanies me to the nearby bench. It offers me sun and a last breath of air before returning through the evening sun, which is already evident in the afternoon. The only messenger to announce the end of the year. The green of the meadows and the blue of the sky, it is not noticeable in warm temperatures with flooding sun.
November 27, 2020
When the mist rose from the dusk of the morning, from the depths of the Black Forest valleys, quickly sprinkled over the spruce tops, it was already there, the November morning in its pretty dress. As if he wanted to give us consolation in times of lockdown by luring us out of the dark holes along the rays of bright summer light. It didn't take much persuasion. The spur of the Brigittenschlößchen, not far from my resting place, was part of my excursion today. Named after St. Brigitta von Kildare, an Irish saint and namesake of the Sasbacher Church.
The castle wall rising steeply into the sky was already known to me from pictures. The former Hohenrade Castle does not have much more to offer than this and a wonderful view of the Rhine plain. In complete contrast to their immediate surroundings. Here you will find sublime rock mountains made of huge chunks. Weathered wool sacks and covered with moss, places with legends and stories entwined. (kapplerfamilie.de/brigittenschlosssagen). Including the Fuchsschrofen, which invites you to a little climbing. Descending the narrow path further towards the valley, you will find the Katzenfelsen, a granite giant. Curvy rock, lovingly embraced by the spider-linked branch of an old beech tree.
My original plan to descend further down into the valley from here and explore the Sasbach there, I deleted completely from my day at this point. Instead, I gave in to the irresistible allure of the Hornisgrinde, which ceaselessly charmed me with its virtues behind me. Exchanging shadow for light, I spontaneously turned around and climbed the mountain range in the north in bright rays of sunshine.
On the way there I passed the former hotel complex of the Breitenbrunnen. In spite of its imposing size, with its decaying walls, the silence testifies to the Black Forest tourism of yesteryear. At lunchtime, it was teeming with mountain bikers and hikers, who took advantage of the sunny weekend to enjoy nature and fresh air.
Rocking stones, roots, like a lush rise, lay at my feet on the Hornisgrinden path. A great way that made you forget the troubles on the way up. Soon the Hornisgrinden tower was within reach. He proudly presented his towering figure in the double arch of a foggy sun, a weather phenomenon that puts a halo on the firmament, especially in cold and sunshine. Here I thoroughly savored the high moor, enjoyed the illuminated view of the forest carpet in the north-east, but also found the silhouettes of the Black Forest slopes and in the distance the Vosges in the back light enchanting. With the layers of colors from deep blue to light orange, the pastel tones of the fog in between, nature proves itself to be a painter - perfect in its image design.
With these prospects in mind, I turned my way back over the Mummelsee. Our star warmed my back a little before the approaching evening with its cold accelerated my pace. It got dark when I reached my starting point satisfied. A wonderful cornucopia of optical impressions that I could take home with me testified to a successful day of hiking.
November 23, 2020
Especially in the cold season, those with the short afternoons, I regularly find myself in the Rammert as part of my afternoon activities. Even in late autumn, the short way to get there creates opportunities for long hikes, and the confusing network of paths offers variety. And so today I find places that I have never visited before, winding paths and gems along the way. Tickled by curiosity, I constantly reschedule my routes and thus manage - almost every time - to knot an "eight" in my track.
Next to the Weiler Castle, which I like to visit again and again and on the way there, let my gaze slide over the gentle, fruit-tree-covered hills towards home, today I found a cheap, sunlit path deep into the woods. I am surprised when I find something I know in an unexpected place, but I am much more happy about new things along the way. Today there was a fountain at the wild boar enclosure, as well as the sacred stone with a deer, the exact reasons for which I could not find out.
Already here, it was time for me to go back. There I found a whole fitness trail that was previously hidden from me. As I said ... always something new that you can find here.
November 22, 2020
November sky blue ... it's an intense one. Colors the firmament and lacks that hint of foggy gray, the predominant November color.
Motivation rises in me and my free time is used in the Kochartgraben. A small, almost forgotten nature reserve between Hailfingen and Reusten. Almost covered by the noise of the motorway, but whitewashed in wonderful colors by the sun.
My steps can be seen as a trace in the frost on the meadow. I look for a way above the ditch that promises me morning sun. Remnants of concrete at the edge of the path tell of dark times when the nearby air base with the attached concentration camp cast a shadow over the history of this now peaceful stretch of land.
A gun emplacement is reminiscent of itself as a concrete cuboid, while the supporting pillars of the former hangar protrude into the sky like relics of a Roman temple.
It's still a few hundred meters until the avenue on the mountain spur at Reustener Friedhof in the spotlight of the deep midday sun, casts shadows on the carpet of leaves on the ground. Terrain breaks expose their stony core towards the valley, while in the valley along the dry stream bed, gnarled trees loll with their branches. It is nice.
I fight my way down the steep slope into the valley and stroll back between sun and shade. I enjoy the play of lights in the autumn sun, the mossy tree trunks and the "angel's light" that smoothly warms my skin.
November 20, 2020