Yesterday was a distance day. We spent the morning looping around the Ruhpolding Biathlon venue on rollerskis. After lunch and a short nap, we headed back out again for the afternoon workout. The Fritz Am Sand Hotel sits directly across the road from one of the more famous mountains in the Ruhpolding area. From below, The Rauschberg looks like a modest climb – nothing special. A bit rocky towards the summit but otherwise pretty tame. But looks can be deceiving.
We set out for an afternoon jog that took us through the German woods in the shade, on paths that connect every village in Germany. I have to say that Europe really does have such a better system for bikers, hikers, walkers, and other non-auto-bound travelers. Especially in Ruhpolding, the network of bike paths is immense, linking miles and miles of the German Alps on smooth, uniform gravel. And man do people use them. All walks of life can be found at almost any time of day on these paths. From sportsmen to elderly couples, there exists a motley crue of recreationalists coursing through the German woods.
After a short jog, we arrived at the base of the berg and started the accent. Halfway up, we came across the traverse that took us under some large cliffs and exposed us to the valley below. In one direction you could see towards the Chiemsee and the flatlands of Munich, and in the other, the biathlon stadium and the Alps. After almost two hours, we made it to the summit and looked over a 360-degree view of southern Germany and Austria. It was a good climb but after five and a half hours of training on the day, I wasn’t thrilled at the idea of running back the way we came up. Fortunately, we happened upon the tram operator who told us that we were about a minute before the last tram. We jumped inside and were back at the bottom in about five minutes, back at the hotel in twenty! Oh, and since we went up by foot, the ride down was free!