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Winter Funsporting in Bavaria

Active Winter Vacation in Bavaria has many faces

Bavaria is Germany's snow hub with the country's largest and most beautiful skiing resorts. In recent years, more and more new winter activities have established here. People have transferred almost any kind of summer sports to snow and ice and many of these activities have become an integral part of winter sports and fun in Bavaria. From freeriding to snowkiting to snowtubing, you can find it all in Bavaria and we tell you where the best areas for which activity can be found.

Freestyle und Freeride skiing and boarding

Skiers and boarders are more and more attracted by routes off the conventional runs. Bavaria's skiing resorts have already been reacting to this trend and have established many freestyle terrain parks and opened up freeride areas.

Freestyle skiing and boarding, and freeriding are not for novices. Thus it is above all in the bigger resorts that freestyle and freeride enthusiasts will find apt territories. However, terrain parks can increasingly be found in smaller resorts, too, where also less advanced skiers and boarders can get a taste of freestyle fun.

Freestyle fans will love the Spielwiese Kampenwand in Aschau, Upper Bavaria, and the Fellhorn, Nebelhorn and Kanzelwand mountains in the Allgäu. On Mount Nebelhorn they will find Germany's highest halfpipe.

For freeriding, the Allgäu has become very attractive. There are breathtaking tours to be found between Oberstdorf and Bad Hindelang in the areas between Mount Nebelhorn and Mounts Oberjoch and Unterjoch. The same holds true for Mount Hochgrat, near Oberstaufen. In Upper Bavaria there is a very active freeriding scene to be found in Mittenwald and on Mount Predigtstuhl, near Bad Reichenhall.

Ice Climbing

Mountain climbing is very popular but so far winter meant working out in an indoor climbing hall or, even worse, wait until summer returns. But now there is ice climbing, a fine and challenging alternative to mountain or indoor climbing.

Advanced climbers mostly prefer natural waterfalls as climbing site. In higher altitudes of Bavaria, these are usually frozen from about end of December until start of March. Most waterfalls can be found in the Zugspitz region, on Mount Kampenwand, in Berchtesgadener Land, and in the Allgäu, near Oberstdorf. Artificial ice towers can, among others, be found in Berchtesgaden and in Pfronten.

Those who are new to ice climbing should by all means contact an experienced outdoor specialist who is a certified trainer for this demanding kind of climbing experience. They will not only offer good advice but can also provide the needed equipment.

Snowkiting

Snowkiting on skis or boards is a sport that needs snow but no mountains. If you want to be towed by a kite, the most important things are space and constant winds. Where both are present, it is getting fast! At speeds of up to 80 km/h (about 50 mph) you can glide or jump high up in the air.

As you may guess, this is no activity for absolute beginners! Snowkiters should be good skiers or boarders and should learn how to control the kite which besides exersice requires the knowledge of some rules.

Snowkiters love the vast plains near the mountains. Bavaria, being an agrarian state, has many of these, namely lots of meadows, pastures, and fields. The Bavarian Forest has many suitable areas, especially in the regions near Mauth/Finsterau, Philippsreut, and Sankt Englmar. In Upper Bavaria it is above all Holzkirchen and the Inn Valley that attract kiters. Also, in the Franconian Fichtel Mountains you can spot more and more of the coloful kites during winter.

Snowbiking

There are several variants of snowbiking. The first is on a mountain bike with spiked tires which can go downhill but which is also being used for tours on flat icy or snowy terrain. The second variant which is currently very popular as winter fun activity is a 'bike' that has skis instead of wheels attached. This vehicle takes you down the mountains in high speed. Riding a snow bike can be learned easily, all you need to know is how to control the speed.

Snowbiking is a lot of fun, so it is small wonder that more and more people want to try it. The Bavarian skiing resorts are well prepared for the run on snow bikes and you can find snow bike rentals in many of them. Rental locations can, for example, be found in the Sudelfeld ski resort and in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, in Oberstdorf in the Allgäu, and in Bodenmais in the Bavarian Forest.

Airboarding, Snowtubing, Snowrafting

These three fun activities share the same basic thought: gliding downhill on some sort of air cushion. The vehicles, however, differ: An airboard is shaped like a sleigh or a bob, a snowtube is a big tire to sit in and a snowraft is a rubber boat. What all three vehicles have in common is the fact that they are getting really fast! And that is why we would like to add a note of warning here: These activities should be done only on specially prepared runs and only with a hard hat on! Airboards, snowtubes and snowrafts are not only very fast they are also hard to steer and brake.

Good that there are enough spots in Bavaria which offer safe runs for these activities. Mount Blomberg near Bad Tölz is well-known for its airboard slopes. Snowtubing can be done in Inzell and Reit im Winkl. For snowrafting please contact a sepcialized operator for outdoor activities!

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