Winter is of course great for behaving like children so what better way to do that than sit on a wooden sled and hurl yourself down a steep, icy mountain. However, of course in order to descend a mountain you have to ascend a mountain first – get those walking boots on and wrap up warm.
Joining Emma and Ian we headed off to Hochsteinalm, just outside Traunkirchen, and braved the freezing temperatures and low lying clouds in a bid for a bit of adrenalin filled action. Leaving Emma’s car to be watched over by a very friendly car park attendant we began the climb up to the top of the mountain.
Once we had hiked above the clouds the views of Grunberg (the mountain nearest where we live) and Traunstein were stunning. The peaks of the mountains revealing themselves above the layer of cloud that obscured all views of the lake below.
After a hike of just over an hour we reached the restaurant at the top where we stopped off for a bite to eat (traditional Austrian staples such as cheese boards, lumps of pork, and goulash). This was then followed by the introduction to our sleds (3 Euros for rental) and a bone jarring but fun descent.
The descent is on a well-maintained track that weaves for a few kilometres through the forest, it’s far from a bin bag and a hill in the nearby field, which is our memories of sledging in the UK. Despite nearly crashing into a stray dog and the local ‘professionals’ heckling Lou to go faster we all slalomed our way to the bottom of the course and vowed to go again some time soon.
Here’s the go pro video:
And check out Lou’s versus Dan’s sledging style!