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Luis on Tour: Garmisch-Partenkirchen

on 2012-03-25

For the end of the ski jumping season we now continue with "Luis on Tour" and the Olympiaschanze at Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Luis on tour: A ski jumping hill fan on the road

By Ski Jumping Hill Archive author and photographer Luis Holuch

Garmisch-Partenkirchen – Olympiaschanzen (K125, K80, K43, K20)

In my opinion, the most stupid thing in holidays is to pack the suitcases. Especially if you stay at one place and continue the trip to another place. You think, you have just unpacked your suitcase and then, the time is over and you have the opposite. And we experienced this case. We spent 7 days and 6 nights in Oberstdorf and then we continued the journey in direction of Tesido-Prati/Taisten-Wiesen in South Tyrol (You see those double names in South Tyrol, because Italian and German are both spoken languages in South Tyrol).

The arrival through passing Oberstdorf needs about four hours, although the distance is only about 370 kilometres. But this works only, if you do not have traffic jam at Brenner. At 8 a.m., we packed the last suitcases and went into our car. The valley is sleeping at this time. There are only some hikers and bikers. For a last time, we pass the Fellhornbahn and the ski flying hill, which is almost not visible, because of fog. Shortly after that, we pass the cross-country stadium. And I can not imagine how it looks like in winter with snow. And we also leave the Höllwieslift and Karatsbichl behind us.

Then we drive on the B19 in direction to Sonthofen. And in this quick time, Oberstdorf is missing behind us, finally, as we pass Erdinger-Arena. Although my dad knows the way, he switched on the navigation and looks forward “to Uschi’s words”.

The distance between Oberstdorf and Fischen im Allgäu is 6 kilometres and the same distance between Fischen and Sonthofen. As we arrive there, we drive on B308 in direction to Bad Hindelang/Tannheimer Tal (A). The route starts being beautiful at Tiefenbach. For motorcyclists, the interstate is kind of a paradise, because the curves are very constant and the asphalt is new. And there is a small riser. Only a short time later, the ski area Bad Hindelang – Oberjoch – Unterjoch appears. With a length of 6 kilometres airways, it continues until the border, which appears quick, too.

From that time on, the route directs downhill. After the villages of Kappl and Zöblen, Tannheim appears which gave the name for this valley, which has ski areas, too. In Austria, you drive on B199. Then, we leave the Haldensee behind us. As we cross the village of Nesselwängle, the street ascends until Gaicht-Pass. After Gaicht-Pass, the street gets very narrow and bounded by stonewalls with a height of ¾ metres.

A lot of serpentines direct downhill the mountain, until you drive on B198 and cross Reutte in Tirol. Now, we drive on Fernpassstraße, which directs into South, Innsbruck. At this time, I drive for the first time on the new circuitous route of Heiterwang. After we passed Bichlbach, we drive in direction to Lermoos to reach the B179, Ehrwalder Straße. This street becomes in Germany B23 and ends in A96 direction of Munich.

Because of the difficult traffic situation, it needs a short time, until we find the correct direction to the stadium. But as we see the hills from the village of Partenkirchen, we find the way. Somebody who does not know the way exactly should drive to direction of “Partnachklamm”.

The ski stadium of Garmisch-Partenkirchen is at Gudiberg, a ski mountain. There are also tennis courts and a tobbogan/ sledge track. The visitors get welcome by stonewalls and the entry gate, which is flanked by Roman statues. You can see clearly, that the stadium was built in the 1930’s by the Nazis.

The whole thing seems to be rustic and massive but not ugly, if you look from distance. The reality is totally different: Everywhere are plates “Keep off here!” and the stone boards are grew over by peat bog. The so called VIP-stands are only on level upon the normal stands and have the same comfort and underground. The most modern thing in the stadium, beside a plate with a comparison between the Large Olympic Hill and the Airbus A 380, is the restaurant. There, we have a Bavarian Lunch with Weisswurst and Brezen.

It is 10.30 a.m.: very hot (20 degrees Celsius) and I forgot my sunglasses in our Passat, which is a handicap for our walk. After lunch we, my father and me, went to the left stand for taking some pictures. From this position, you have a perfect view to Zugspitze. We go to the K43-hill, which is next to the stand. It is modern and has ceramic slope in the inrun. The timber stairs of the hill are very strait and wet, because they are in shadow. From this place, we walk to the Small Olympic Hill, which has the same architecture style as the old Large Olympic Hill: metallic construction painted green.

Here, I recognize a big contrast: On the one side the small hill, which did not have a renaissance since its opening and on the other side the “ice-crystal”, a hyper-modern construction. By a street, we got the chance to walk under the hill to see the fantastic static and the steel-construction. But there is a negative aspect: The whole hill is closed, so we cannot walk to the inrun. From the position, where we stay, we can see the 300+ stairs, which the jumpers in earlier years have to walk, if the elevator did not work.

We continue our “journey” and walk to a platform beside the jump-off, where we have a view downhill. The plastic mattings are very dry, which can be caused by the high temperature, but the hill was maybe used some days before. From this point, you can see how slope the tower is. The “skin” of it shines in summer days.

But after a short time, we walk down the hill on the other side. We don’t have a chance to get a new perspective on the hill. The most visitors, which are here, pass the stadium and take only some pictures of the hills, because the want to walk through Partnachklamm.

I am still very impressed, because I did not thought, that you can see so many contrasts between yesterday and today, ancient history and modern spirit, Nazi-Germany and Federal Republic of Germany, at one place.

Ski Jumps:

GER Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Olympiaschanze)



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1)   Simon   wrote on 2012-04-17 at 21:19:

Mal wieder toller Bericht

Der Artikel ist mal wieder super gelungen, auch wenn ich die von Oberstdorf besser fand :D

Die "neue" Olympiaschanze würde ich auch mal gern live sehen, die sieht auf Fotos bzw im TV schon genial aus (als ich mal dort war stand noch die Alte).

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