2009-07-19 48 9

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Sun 19 Jul 2009 in 48,9:
48.4147334, 9.1256176

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Just outside the village of Öschingen (incorporated part of Mössingen), on a fenced meadow at the Albtrauf slope. Features around hash: slopes, mud, trees, grass and, most important: barbed wire.




Long time, no hash... either they were too far away, or too boring, or I was ill. But this time it was doable. Easy, even, for my standards.

As usual, I got on my way much later than planned. The route was basically a beaten track, as I had been going most of the trip to the hash already several times before, twice even on the way to other hashes. I varied the route a bit to make it slightly more interesting and possibly add some forest tracks to OSM. This turned out to be not quite the best of all ideas - as a number of tracks which were visible on the topographic map, weren't really visible in the forest... but whatever, if there is no way where you need it, define one yourself. After all, bikes are not cars. They don't need much space, and they can be carried.

So I defined there to be a way which joined the track I was on with the one I wanted to be on, took it and reached the small road to Öschingen. On leaving the forest I found that the road was closed. The sign announced mortal danger, so I was supposed to be possibly dead now. Well, I couldn't remember anything that might have killed me there, and just now I felt alive enough to continue anyway.

The aerial photo and the map both showed a way from the village to a point little north from, or above of, the hashpoint. It was easy to find, in reasonable condition and took me to about 80 m from the hash, where a footpath split off into the exact direction of the hash. So I parked the bike, quite confident that this would be a successful visit...

... until I saw the barbed wire fence. Damn. ok, the footpath goes around that meadow, and it's only this small part which is fenced? So, I continued along the fence...

... and found, that the next meadow was also fenced, also with barbed wire, and the hashpoint was unreachable. Too bad. Who fences meadows anyway, and why?

So this was a fail. Fail as in Coordinates not reached - not actually a fail as in boring expedition. Being halfway up the Schwäbische Alb already, just on the foot of a mountain with a famous viewtower, which I hadn't climbed before, I wouldn't turn around now but continue. So I went further up along the track, up the Albtrauf steep slope. Steep - take it by the word. The map said, that the track would go on straight up - covering 70 metres vertically on as little as 240 m horizontally on the last part. That's a crazy 30% slope, on a forest track in bad condition. Yes, bikes can be pushed, and carried if necessary. But in this case, I preferred to take my chance at the next intersection, although that meant to go down into the Öschenbach valley first, and found a well maintained track with a reasonable slope up from there.

It was about half past five when I finally reached the peak on 869 m above sea level and climbed the tower. And it was totally worth it. I know a number of nice viewpoints around, but this one is probably my new favourite. Too bad it's never an easy trip up there, no matter where you start.

So it would have been all good, and it was a great trip so far... but there was the downside: When I started for the way back down into the valley, my bike started really to act up. I had had the impression that friction was higher than usual also on the way up, but now I was sure... the back wheel hub (and with that, gear and rear brake) ran hot on only a short downhill trip. There was no way to get away from this area by public transport, so I simply had to make it home. I had some tools with me, could try some readjustment, which made it a bit better, but not good... To avoid further overheating, I went rather slow and stopped often. That speed would have been embarassing even in flat terrain, so even more downhill. What counted was to reach home - and that I did.


Thanks a lot to Ekorren, who sent me a hashcard from this expedition! I was very delighted, when I found it in my mailbox this evening. --Reinhard

Ekorren earned the Hashcard achievement
by sending a postcard of the hashpoint area to Reinhard on the (48, 9) expedition on 2009-07-19.