Glaring light, a bright blue sky, snow-covered fir trees. Your heart will open as soon as you are apporaching the region.
After about an hour and 20 minutes by car at an altitude of about 950 meters, I turn into a small side path and roll right to the barrier of the small lift station. There are only two other cars parked next to me. Very relaxed I get out of the car, no struggling, honking, parking lot chasing and crying childs. It’s almost completely quiet and I can hear the freshly fallen, compact snow crunching under my feet. However, my gaze falls on the very quietly whirring, almost historic-looking ski lift just ten ahead of me; no one is to be seen. In an open canopy 20 sledges are waiting for guests while two QR code images and the location rules are placed on a small table. When I finally unpack my alpine skis, I suddenly hear a friendly „hallo, nice to see you .. you only need to register with your smartphone and you are allowed to lift up”.
Am I dreaming or am I awake? I almost have to pinch myself to realize that the almost untouched slope scenery in front of me is reality and that I am about to lift uphill. And all this in Corona times, when otherwise all tourist facilities are closed and obviously the worst enemy of human menkind and health are light, air and individual sports activities in the sunny nature. And where supposedly skiers only want ONE thing: to party !? Well, those forcing us to do so, are probably soccer-players. To be honest: when I come off the piste after 2-3 hours of intensive downhill slalom, I am exhausted and can just have a “Kaiserschmarren” before a hot bath – then of course preferrably with a cup of „Jaga-Tee“.
No, all I can see around me is reality, because I daily spent a lot of time in “searching for possibilities” and – above all – because three persistent Black Forest men prevailed with a great idea against the often flat closure requirements effective January 2nd, 2021. In other words, they adapted their small lift company, while no longer calling it a cable railway, but a “private uphill slide” rentable in hourly slots. Why not? There have never been any apre-ski orgies here, at most a hot-wine. Also the so-called “active queuing” when hundreds of “ski freeks” regularly try to jostle ahead or to place five of them into a four-person chairlift, all that is unknown here. The so-called „hangers“ pass the lift entrance with sufficient distance, you grasp them independently and the length of the ski alone ensures the desired, natural distance while waiting in line – which is not even happing now due to lack of mass. Nobody there, only me.
As I slowly slide up, I feel a bit like in my childhood or in an old mountain movie with Louis Trenker or Fuzzy Garhammer. In about three minutes you reach the top and from the lift exit you also have a great view over the many more snow-covered hills of the northern Black Forest not far from Bad Herrenalb in the direction of Freudenstadt.
As the snow starts glitterring “I would like to hold on to this moment and stand still because it is so beautiful” … I pause while looking around and then I finally curve down the hill. „Skii-foarn”… „.13 times up, 13 times down, sometimes left, sometimes on the right side, sometimes simply across the middle of the slope.
Admittedly, the slope is only around 600-700 meters long and almost 100 meters wide, and is certainly not a skiing-Eldorado, but it is currently an exclusive winter sports experience. A piste for an hour all to myself without having to worry about others – simply GORGEOUS!
A whole family or all persons belonging to a household would also be allowed to lift up for the price of EUR 150 per hour. In view of the usual lift prices elsewhere, the hourly price is quickly put into perspective.
I’m almost hasitating to call this hidden secret place by name. This new hotspot doesn’t need any advertising after only ten days of service, because free booking slots between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. are already hard to find according to the operator’s website. Anyway, if you still want to know the locations name and follow my tracks, here is the link to SnowFun Kaltenbronn: https://www.skilifte-kaltenbronn.de/
There are, however, other lift operators in Germany (currently at least two analogue providers) and Austria who offer this special service; you just have to check the internet.
Very close by (at “Schwarzmiss” car park) there is also an excellently maintained network of trails, so that cross-country skiers may also enjoy the beautiful nature. If this winter has something good, unlike last year, it is at least one thanks to enough snow in Germany.
Indeed, many terms such as “hotspot” currently need to be redefined. But what certainly remains is the traditional motto: “A little something is always possible”. Of course, only if some creative people continue fighting for at least a certain quantum of freedom, while others persist in paralysis ( admittedly more comfortable).
No, the type of the C-virus will not disappear in the near future, such as other frequently mutating flu variants and other life-threatening (infectious) diseases; neither through more or less meaningful lockdowns, nor through (forced) vaccination. If this were the case, the Covid-19 virus would not break out again and again in China. Obviously, the assumption seems to come true that both, infected people and those who have been vaccinated can get sick again after a few months – in which form or which degree of severity still remains another question.
That means: withdrawing from life now and waiting for better times makes little sense. Because who knows what’s coming. In addition, the “softened Europe” in the course of globalization, will in any case range in the front row when it comes to reduced natural immunisation, permanent concerns and the call for a life with all-round insurance. All of this will have its price – similar to the Brexit – that nobody rearly wanted.
Carpe Diem! … back to normality, discover the possibilities.