Oct 18

Batterweg 42km Today turned out to be a day for another last minute mountain bike tour. Getting people together on the weekend can be a difficult thing. This weekend I tried to leave my options open and ended up hanging on the phone waiting. I finally reached Rainer, a mountain climber who knows the trails in the northern black forest well. We decided on the Batterweg – a good combination of uphill on forest paths and downhill on single trails.

Batterweg

We had quite a journey just to reach the woods. It led us through farmland mostly. In Germany there is a village every 3kms but we skirted past the outskirts of these. Then up ahead I saw what looked like a palace, which actually isn’t surprising since it was a palace. Somebodies favourite palace it would seem.

Schloss Favorite

Schloss Favorite

But we were looking for mountains to climb and so we continued on our way. After around 10 kms we finally made it to the forest. We travelled up a long, steadily climbing forest road. Autumn is in its full throes of colourful death and so the trails are covered in a slippery palate of red, brown, yellow and gold.

Autumn leaves

Autumn leaves

There’s an important thing to remember. When you go out mountain biking with a mountain climber, expect to climb mountains. For Rainer, the place where the climb ends is at the summit. Nowhere else! Not even a meter down the slope. Lucky for me it was reachable on my bike, because cliffs might look nice, but they are no place for OzJeff.

Thankfully there was a 'long way round'

Thankfully there was a 'long way round'

Up here we passed our second castle, this one a ruin. ‘Hohenbaden’ it is called, reachable by sunday drivers out for a short walk to justify their coffee and cake. Just a gulp of water for me and off we headed for the summit, the long way around. Still steep enough, just not a terrifying rock face. The view from the top is worth the climb – looking down into the valley and to the famous town of Baden Baden.

The view from the Falkenfelsen

The view from the Falkenfelsen

To use a cliche, what goes up must come down and our way down was an absolute delight. Kilometers of single trail all the way to Ottenau. At the beginning we rode along a narrow trail with cliffs to the left quite a drop to our right. Wide enough that there was plenty of room and no need for fear. Nonetheless you get the feeling of being on the edge. Utterly beautiful in its Autumn mantle – stony outcrops split from the cliff an eternity past, trees falling into slumber laying a carpet of color beneath our wheels, gnarled damp roots keeping our eyes and mind on the job of riding downhill. Here and there the mark of man – steps hewn into the stone leading up, or streams trapped to create springs of water. The sun was getting low in the sky and would cast its scattered light through the trees to light up patches of ground or bring a blaze of green from the few leaves resisting the onset of winter. The smile never left my face the whole way down.

Beneath the cliffs

Beneath the cliffs

Once we reached the valley, we would have loved to continue on – back up the next trail to the next summit and wound our way back to the Rhine valley and to Karlsruhe. But for all the beauty that Autumn brings, it brings with it short days and temperamental weather. There was too little time left to us and so we headed home.

Elevation Profile
Batterweg.gpx

written by OzJeff \\ tags: , ,


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