Technology is advancing as one innovation follows the other and the world keeps turning faster. In these times, some people are longing for the simple things in life. Occasionally the winter woods, some time off and your snowshoes are all it takes to find your inner balance in this fast-paced world. How about a bit of deceleration? Then it’s time for a snowshoe tour in Ruhpolding, Upper Bavaria.
The motto is: Back to the roots – in many ways. Head out into nature, inhale the fragrances of the trees and let the calming atmosphere have its effect on your soul and body. But why snowshoes?
Being one with nature while snowshoeing
In Ruhpolding everything is possible, from flat areas in the valley to moderate ascents and steep climbs up to the summit. As long as you are exercising in nature’s fresh air. Snowshoeing in particular allows you to be connected to it all. You might discover a few animal tracks away from the path. A squirrel looking for his hidden stash, something rustling in the forest – maybe a fox or even a deer? Several kilometres of winter hiking trails, but also some snowshoe trails lead across snow-covered meadows, through light forests and rustic cabins.
Flat or steep – an individual snowshoe tour for everyone
Snowshoeing is just as strenuous as you make it. In Ruhpolding, the ‘beginners’ tour to the vineyard’ takes you off the beaten track to the mountain inn of the same name. At the top you will find crispy knuckles of pork, a strudel of curd and a wide panoramic view across the Ruhpolding valley. Or you can increase the number of vertical metres and mount the challenging tour to the Haaralm or even up to the Haaralmschneid. The forest rises continuously. You will come across lonely spring wells, covered in ice and eventually reach the cabins of the Haaralm. Here the southern slope of the Haaralmschneid rises steeply into the sky. This is where you will need to rely on experience to properly assess the snow and the risk of avalanches. A guided tour with an experienced guide is highly recommended in order to safely master the 4.5-hour hike that crosses 800 metres of difference in altitude.
Rediscovering technology from thousands of years ago
Admittedly, today’s snowshoes are no longer knitted. They have gone through a long period of development. 12,000-year-old cave drawings depict the first snowshoes. Round plates, tear-shaped claws made of wood and leather or long slats were just some of the popular models. But the shoes made of bent ash wood and leather straps have long since become a thing of the past. Since the 1980s, they are made of high-quality plastic – allowing them to be much more comfortable.
Just like the ancient kings: A ride in a horse-drawn sleigh
If you prefer to follow the footsteps of your ancestors, we highly recommend a horse-drawn sleigh ride in Ruhpolding. ‘The happiness of this earth lies on the back of horses,’ says the vernacular, and even kings used to travel this way. Slightly elevated, you get to enjoy a completely different view of the snow-covered winter landscape. Carriage passengers only need to enjoy the ride and watch the nature pass by. This way you will discover much more compared to hiking, cross-country skiing or even skiing. Let the coachman do the work and absorb the rest at your own pace. Or you chat with the coachman: About the Ruhpolding locals, Bavarian customs, insider tips or well-known legends. A coachman always has stories to tell
No matter how you travel, the path through the forest in Bavaria is always an enrichment for your body and soul. Once relaxed and centred within yourself, you will be ready for action again. For example, on the 150 kilometres of prepared cross-country trails around Ruhpolding. The Chiemgau Arena and the three Ruhpolding ski resorts at Unternberg, Westernberg and Maiergschwendt also contribute to that Bavarian winter feeling.
Traditionally different: Even more inspiration for your Bavarian winter holiday
All forests of Bavaria have stories to tell.
You can also experience exciting winter adventures in the other regions of Bavaria: Toboggan runs for all ages, pilgrimage sites for passionate cross-country skiers, animal encounters during wildlife feeding, winter survival camps and of course powdery snow slopes.
More stories and personal tips are told by people from Bavaria in ‘traditionally different’ stories.
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