Break Away Into The Wild – Losing your breath in the German Alps
The current corona crisis has made our athletes discover new sports and explore their home countries for adventures of all sort, realizing that the best places are often right in front of your own doorstep.
Elisabeth Kellerer made her way to the German Alps and fell in love with all sorts of blue mountain lakes.
DISCOVERING HOME SOIL ON A GRAVEL BIKE
I was born near the German Alps, not far from the border to Austria and when I think of “home”, it’s always been the mountains. The endless views and the ice-cold blue mountain lakes take my breath in different ways, but they unite the feeling of how small you and your daily struggles feel surrounded by these giants. As I’m not even close to be a mountainbiker, I usually discovered these places by foot, either hiking or running.
For this adventure I swapped my trail shoes for my gravel bike – and couldn’t have enjoyed it more. Here’s two of my most favorite routes ever.
ROUTE #1: THE CARRIBEAN OF THE ALPS
Our starting point was Lake Eibsee - which is a stunner itself: Often called “the Carribean of the Alps” with its crystal blue water and small islands. But don’t get fouled – the water temperature is very far from that. Once you can get your eyes off the water your chin will drop even more as you now look at Germany’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze.
We leave the lake behind and wind our way up a sometimes steep but always beautiful climb, cross the border to Austria and head down to Ehrwald. From there we make our way to another lake that looks a lot more like Norway but is located in Tyrol, Austria: Lake Plansee. We pass the lake, have a little snack break and refresh our legs before we head down a groad that easily made it into the top 5 of best gravel roads I’ve ever ridden.
You can find the route here: https://www.strava.com/activities/3598387092
ROUTE #2: ALL YOU CAN SEE
The German word for lake is “See”, so an “all you can See” is right in both ways: I included as many beautiful lakes as possible into this route to show them to my boyfriend. We start in Garmisch Partenkirchen and after being a little lost, we finally find the track and make our way towards Walchensee, passing Geroldsee and Barmsee.
Walchensee is another example of “wait, what, this is Germany?!” – a deep blue that leaves my boyfriend speechlessly staring at it. A short dip and a snack break later we follow the gravel roads around the lake and take a long road down to Kochelsee from where we decide to ride a gravel road back up: how about 15+ % groads on a gravel bike? How about NO? After a little hike-a-bike we’re on the road again. What’s left of the route made even myself speechless: a beautiful gravel road through a valley, crossing a river and then riding on the most perfect gravel bikepath with Zugspitze in full beauty right in front of us. Can you believe this is Germany?
You can find the route here: https://www.strava.com/activities/3603799046
THE WILD IS WHERE YOU WANT IT TO BE
After two days of discovering my beloved mountains on a gravel bike I, again, realized that the wild is exactly where you want it to be. You don’t need to travel far to find places that make you speechless. Sometimes you simply need to break your routine to see things in a different light. Being in the mountains on a gravel bike was a special adventure that made me discover new routes, places and feelings in a place that I thought I was very familiar with.
So, where to next?