Filip H.A. Claeys

Trekking in Mountainous and Subarctic Regions


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Black Forest: Katzenkopf

The third day of our stay in the Black Forest is beautifully crisp and sunny. We hike from our hotel in Oberwolfach (290 m) to Katzenkopf, a lower summit of approximately 650 m on the eastern side of the valley.

The hike first passes the ruins of an old fortress and subsequently leads through the woods to a number of lookouts.

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Black Forest: Brandenkopf

The second day of our stay in the Black Forest marks the return to full winter conditions. Snow relentlessly comes down the entire day, and I decide to make a 20 km solo hike from our hotel in the village of Oberwolfach (290 m) to the summit of Brandenkopf (940 m) – the highest elevation in the central Black Forest.

The hike leads entirely through the woods and since nobody seems to have gone before me, I have to break the trail the whole way. With only 10 cm of snow on the ground at lower elevations this is of course not a problem at first, but towards the summit snow  deepens and without snowshoes I only just about manage.

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Black Forest: Hornisgrinde

Between Christmas and New Year we make a short family trip to the Black Forest in Germany. On the first day of our stay we embark on a snow hike around and over Hornisgrinde (1,164 m) – the highest summit of the northern Black Forest region.

Hornisgrinde stands tall above the flats of the valley of the river Rhine. The latter marks the border to France, and across the border the city of Strasbourg and the Vosges mountains can be seen.

The top plateau of Hornisgrinde is very much windswept and seems to have a snow cover of almost 1 meter.

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