It was snowing heavily and was a wet snow, the kind that soaks through everything no matter how many layers you have on. This was not good news since we had a 2 hour snowshoe steep ahead of us to Lenngrieser Hütte – and our sleeping bags in our backpack. I prayed that somehow they would miraculously stay dry and instead focused on the soothing sounds of the running creek, not yet frozen.
We were alone, just our group of nine. It was New Years Eve and we were spending it communing with nature, as we huffed and puffed up the snow covered switchbacks. I was using muscles that I hadn’t used since last year when we were Snowshoeing in Schruns, the trip which abruptly ended our snowshoeing season and resulted in me having knee surgery and a dose of Culture Shock in a German Hospital thrown in for good measure.
I saw the blue and white proudly flapping Bavarian flag before I saw the hut, leaving no doubt that this winter wonderland, was definitely in Bavaria. We reached the hut, soaked to the bone from the wet snow, but too out of breath to notice. I opened the door to the hut, expecting it to be empty except for the owners but was greeted by a nauseating smell of sweaty jackets and hiking boots set out to dry. The cause became apparent rather quickly as I counted the other 43 sweat soaked cross-country skiers and snowshoers who were also celebrating New Years Eve at the hut. Did I mention that there were no showers? All part of communing with nature I guess! The look of disgust on my face soon disappeared though as I took my sleeping bag out of the backpack – it was miraculously dry! It was time to start celebrating!