This hot spot is nothing for the faint-hearted: the Sertig waterfall in the Sertig Valley in Davos. The ideal place for ice climbing and snowshoeing in Graubünden.
Climb a frozen waterfall with ice axe and crampons and explore your own limits: Ice climbing attracts more and more adventurous winter sports enthusiasts. If you want to try this extreme sport yourself, you will find ideal conditions at the waterfall in the Sertigtal valley all winter long.
Carabiners rattle, hooks clink, ice splinters trickle. With one hand you hit an ice axe into the wall and ram the crampon into the ice. A little break. Take a deep breath and carry on. Step by step you climb the cascades of the frozen waterfall, which shimmers in the light in different shades of blue. The last piece of freedom. That’s how an ice climbing adventure in the Sertig valley could feel like. Even if you want to put crampons under your shoes right now: Prepare yourself well first – and take your first steps in the ice together with a mountain guide.
For those of you who are not fit enough to climb the waterfall – just like me – explore this magical spot on a snowshoeing tour. You can simply start at the Bergführer Restaurant, enjoying the Sertig Valley, walking your way up to the waterfall.
Beware, the last bit to the Sertig waterfall is very steep. It is nothing for the faint-hearted and you need to be fit! Milos and our guide Beat went straight to the top, touching the ice while I did a little detour through deep powder. It was breathtakingly beautiful and simply magical.
However, this tour to the Sertig waterfall is not for beginners! If you are new to snowshoeing, simply stick to the easy valley tour and don’t go up all the way to the waterfall. For health and fitness benefits, snowshoeing is great for you. It provides a cardio workout while also building strength, agility, balance and endurance. The best part is, you get to do it all in the beautiful outdoors!
I can recommend the Bergführer Davos Klosters as well as the Schweizer Schneesportschule Davos. Whether you wanna do a snowshoeing tour, go skiing or try something adventurous, these folks put your safety first and can make almost anything possible. I especially liked their individually tailored tours that suit your personal interest and fitness level. Special thanks to our guide Beat, who ROCKED!
I hope you all had a wonderful start in 2019! I gotta admit, I am still a bit groggy but grateful and happy, ready for more sports and outdoor adventures, simply enjoying life and the beautiful, great outdoors. For those of you who are planning their winter sports vacation, maybe even for Easter break, I got a few tips for you.
Whether you go downhill or are up for some cruising with an E-Fatbike, just get out there, have fun and feel inspired for your next trip.
Don’t forget to just breathe every once in a while. Find your inner balance, refuel your energy and stay focused on the things that make you happy. You will find all that on a magical snowshoeing tour.
Well, there are times when you simply just wanna blow off steam. Work hard, play hard, get fit and be good to your body. I say: winter trail running is the best training to get fit for summer.
All-inclusive Adventure Package at the AMERON in Davos
For those of you who wanna try some of these winter sports, check out the new “You In” Program by the AMERON Swiss Mountain Resort. Simply choose the adventure package and you are ready to test all sorts of fun activities. And believe me, your inner adrenaline junkie will be thrilled.
For me personally, the AMERON has the perfect package. And no, I don’t get paid for saying this. In fact, I don’t take any money at all. It is my own personal recommendation. Over the past two years, I have tried several hotels, hostels and private accomodations. I myself don’t need a lot of luxury or pampering, but since I travel a lot and work pretty hard, I wanna feel home away from home. For mountain bikers I can truly recommend the Grischa – one of the best hotels for bike enthusiasts. But as I already wrote, I also like a wellness area, since I love to go swimming after a long ride or a tough training, simlpy relaxing afterwards. And I LOVE to unwind in the sauna. Best relaxation EVER.
Especially after my hip injury I make sure to take good care of my soul and body. And that is the reason why the AMERON is my number one choice, together with the Grischa. If you just wanna hit the trails with your bike and need an excellent bike service, then the Grischa would be your place. If you prefer a bigger variety and would like to chill afterwards in a cozy wellness area, I would pick the AMERON. It has it all: different outdoor packages for all sports enthusiasts, wellness, great food and drinks, individual health packages and even some luxury, if you want. Hence, for 2019, I will spend more time at my number one accomodation, focusing on my training.
I for myself will be doing all those winter sport activities I mentioned above, plus some cross-country skiing and mountain biking over the next weeks. Skiing & biking in the Bavarian Alps, snowshoeing in Austria and Switzerland and fatbiking in Canada. So, if you wanna meet me, you know where to find me.
Für mein Mountainbike und Trailrunning-Training übernachte ich jeweils im Sporthotel Grischa und muss ehrlich sagen, dass ich das Hotel auch privat großartig finde. Generell brauche ich keinen übertriebenen Luxus, sondern möchte mich einfach nur Zuhause fühlen. Da ich meistens alleine reise, bevorzuge ich gemütliche Einzelzimmer zu einem fairen Preis; sauber und komfortabel. In der Regel ist man allerdings gezwungen, ein Doppelzimmer zur Einzelnutzung zu buchen oder man erhält ein Einzelzimmer, was gerade mal so groß und komfortabel ist wie eine Abstellkammer. Sehr, sehr uncool. Nicht so im Grischa. Da ist wirklich für jeden etwas dabei: für Singles und Alleinreisende, Pärchen und Familien.
Die Zimmer im Grischa
Ich selbst habe jeweils in der Suite Bocktenhorn übernachtet und war rundum zufrieden: extrem geräumig, ein großes Badezimmer mit Dusche und Badewanne, zwei Balkone, ein großer Wohn- und Essbereich und ein schöner Ankleidebereich im Flur. Für eine Person fast schon zu groß, wenn man bedenkt, dass ich die meiste Zeit eh draußen in der Natur verbringe. Von der ersten Minute an habe ich mich wie zu Hause gefühlt.
Vor allem das Bett war großartig. Dadurch, dass ich extrem viel unterwegs bin, ist das für mich ehrlich gesagt mit am wichtigsten. Es gibt nichts Schlimmeres, als verspannt aufzuwachen. Schließlich liebe ich den Outdoor-Sport, um mich eben komplett zu entspannen und abzuschalten. Auch die Kosmetikserie von Rituals war eine Punktlandung. Ich versuche immer mit so wenig Gepäck wie möglich zu reisen, was auch Kosmetik- und Hygieneartikel betrifft. Wenn ich weiß, dass ich im Hotel eine gute Bodylotion habe, mit der ich mich vor dem Schlafengehen einreiben kann, bin ich happy.
Trotzdem habe ich mir während einer Hotelführung auch die anderen Zimmer angeschaut und muss sagen, dass ich wirklich ganz besonders von den Einzelzimmern begeistert bin. Der gleiche Standard und Komfort wie bei den anderen Zimmern und auch nicht zu klein.
Was mir zudem gut gefällt ist, dass jedes Zimmer einen eigenen Touch hat. Im gesamten Hotel findet man außerdem sehr schöne Naturaufnahmen, die der Inhaber selbst fotografiert hat. Das gibt dem Ganzen eine persönliche Note und passt auch richtig gut zu einem Sporthotel.
Auch hier erfüllt das Hotel wieder nahezu jeden Wunsch. Ob chinesisch, ausgefallene Showküche, gute Hausmannskost oder ein erstklassiges Käsefondue, das Grischa verfügt über fünf unterschiedliche Restaurants, so dass kaum ein Wunsch offen bleibt. Auch das Frühstück kann sich sehen lassen.
Ganz egal, wonach einem ist, ob man es lieber süß oder herzhaft mag, die Küche ist ausgezeichnet. Ich persönlich hab genau zwei Schwächen: Burger und Schokoladenkuchen. Beides auch im Grischa eine exzellente Wahl.
Übrigens ist es ganz angenehm, abends nach einer Biketour draußen auf der Terrasse oder in der Bar zu chillen. Die Atmosphäre hat mir gut gefallen und das Publikum ist wirklich sehr lässig.
Zusammenfassend kann ich sagen, dass es ein sehr gutes Hotel ist. Vom tollen Extra-Service für MTB-Fans hatte ich ja bereits berichtet. Der Wäscheservice, die persönlichen Tourentipps und der Transport-Voucher sind top. Das Einzige, was ich eventuell manchmal vermissen würde, wäre ein hausinternes Schwimmbad, da ich nach einem harten und anstrengenden Lauf gerne etwas Schwimmen gehe, um zu entspannen.
English Summary: Accomodation Grischa – DAS Hotel Davos
For my mountain biking and trail running training in Switzerland I stayed at hotel Grischa – a very accommodating sports hotel. Since I mostly travel by myself, I always need to book a double room for single occupancy, which is actually quite annoying. But at the Grischa they also offer spacious, comfortable single rooms for active outdoor enthusiasts like me.
Generally, they have different rooms for almost anybody: families, friends, singles, couples, business travelers. I was very surprised by the variety and the unique features of each category. My personal highlight: the sleeping place. Since I travel a lot, I really need a comfortable bed in order to relax and have a good night’s sleep. Let me tell ya: I slept like a baby – no tension in my back, neck or shoulders, extremely cozy. Almost as great as my boxspring bed at home.
Also, I loved the bathrom amenities. Most of the time I love to travel light, leaving loads of stuff at home, including toiletries. Hence, I highly appreciate it when a hotel offers high quality body lotion so that I can have my evening beauty routine. At the Grischa they collaborate with Rituals, which is excellent. Going to bed with smooth, soft skin, smelling good – what else do you need?
You can really spoil yoursel at the Grischa, choosing from five different restaurants. Whether you prefer Italian cuisine in an stylish ambiance, specialties from the grill, seasonal delicacies or authentic Chinese cuisine, they have it all, always offering the best quality. My personal favorite: burger and chocolate cake. Sorry, but after a long run, I ALWAYS crave either a burger or chocolate cake; cannot help it. – My personal tip: enjoy a sundowner on their terrace after a nice bike ride. You will love it.
All in all, it is an excellent hotel, which I would always book myself, especiall when I take my bike with me to Davos. Thumbs up!
“Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go. So make the best of this test, and don’t ask why. It’s not a question, but a lesson learned in time. It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right. I hope you had the time of your life.” (Green Day) – At the Swissalpine Irontrail 2018 I definitely had the time of my life. I initially had different plans, taking along one of my readers, wanting to run a new PR at the Swissalpine H21 in Davos. Well, since I got stood up by my reader Maria on Thursday night, I had to rearrange everything. And as it turned out, it was one of the best experiences ever.
Trail running for beginners
One of my best friends asked her husband to join me on this trail running adventure. René spontaneously took off half a day at work and decided to hit the road, meeting me in Davos. I have never run a competition with a friend before. Nor with a friend who is a total newbie, not working out AT ALL. René and I were both like: “What the heck – let’s just have a blast together.” We did not think, we did not make any plans. Well, that is not all true. I actually put together a little schedule for the H21, setting a time limit, but screw this.
The H21 is generally a pretty easy, relaxing hike. You start at Davos Platz, hike to the Stafelalp, climb up the Chörbsch Horn, run to the Strelapass and back down to Davos via the Strela Alp and Schatzalp. (21.3km │ +/-1074m)
I would say it normally is a 5-hour hike. I already ran this tour in the end of May, having to take many detours due to loads of ice and snow. Back then it took me over four hours, since most of the trails were still covered with snow and I had no clue where to go, needed to take several detours crossing huge ice fields.
Thus, I actually wanted to run this tour in about 3 hours. Well, screw any plans. In the end, it was so worth it.
And you wanna know why? I took along a very good friend who hasn’t been into any outdoor sports before, who does not train, who does not hike and who does not run. René has been playing soccer for many years and is also into Mountain Biking – but only sporadically. Thus, he only has a certain minimal fitness. And running in alpine regions surely is a challenge when you have NEVER ever done it.
1st stage from Davos Platz to the Stafelalp
Boy, I was so happy that we started during a rain shower on Saturday morning. The day before was just way too hot for me. We took it pretty easy in the beginning till we reached a nice hiking trail in the forest. I tried to give René some advice for steeper parts and gave little tips regarding his technique so that he could go easy on his strength.
The summer hiking trail to the Stafelalp is just so incredibly beautiful that I just wanted to run. And guess what: René started running as well. That was probably one of the best parts of the whole competition. Seeing my friend running up the mountain, jumping over stones, crossing bridges, smiling and having fun. I will never forget this huge smile on his face. His first steps in trail running. Hence, we reached the first post after 90 minutes getting something to drink. I was so happy! WE were happy!
2nd stage from the Stafelalp to the Chörbsch Horn
I think I call it “René’s worst nightmare”. I gotta admit: when you never hike and are not used to alpine regions, the ascent to the Chörbsch Horn can be pretty challenging with its steeper passages. René was definitely leaving his comfort zone, wishing it would end. There was one point when I felt really bad and questioned myself. Was I reckless taking him along, was it irresponsible?
We went up very slowly and took many breaks in between. René was definitely going beyond his limit but I made sure it was never too much and that he could manage it. I am pretty sure, during this stage, he probably cursed me several times. Which is totally alright. He can be so proud of himself that he managed it. It took about two hours to reach the Chörbsch Horn, but honestly, time was not of the essence. I wanted René to enjoy it! Then, at the Chörbsch Horn we took another little break, taking some beautiful pictures.
3rd stage from the Chörbsch Horn to the Strelapass
This is actually my favorite route, totally loving the trails. I just needed to run, wanted to jump, to play, to have fun. Thus, I just went and ran for a while. Only for a little bit ’cause I wanted to finish the race together with my friend. But for those of you who run, you will LOVE it. It’s playful, very easy, with breathtakingly beautiful views. When you are in Davos, make sure to try it.
René was at his lowest point and I knew that if he was giving in now, he would not make it. This was the only time I pushed him, helped him to get out of this runner’s low. I mean, every runner knows this feeling. You have two choices: either give in and give up or overcome it, gain new energy and finish it. I looked at him and he told me he wanted to finish it. He maintained good circulation, his muscles weren’t shaking. Thus, I gave him an energy bar and pushed him just a little bit till we reached the Strelapass. It was good!
Last stage from the Strelapass back to Davos, via the Schatzalp
At the Strelapass we took a longer break. Seriously, picture this: someone who is neither a runner nor a hiker, not used to alpine terrain, just did this tour, left his own comfort zone and took out all his strength. Everyone should cheer for him – I am so darn proud of him. And between us, he was actually fitter than he gave himself credit for.
The last 5k back down were tough, though. René had to undergo several knee surgeries in his past so that the steeper descent from the Strelapass was pretty challenging. But he is a quick learner, using the right technique going back down. I could tell that he had just one goal: reaching the finish line, wanting it to end soon. I could feel his pain.
Before reaching the finish line, he took out all the power and strength he had left and just ran. Together we freaking ran through the cheering crowd and finished it together. He did it! Finish time: 6:49. For those of you who now want to judge it: don’t you dare! For me, it was one of the best running events ever. Participating in the Swissalpine Irontrail 2018 with a good friend. A friend who has never done something like this but was eager to try it because he is friends with a crazy outdoor girl like me. René freaking rocked and he can be so proud, showing the medal to his wife and daughters back home!
So, as you can see: no matter how old or how fit you are, just get out there, enjoy the great outdoors, walking, hiking, running or biking the trails. Just have fun! René is living proof how much fun it can be leaving your comfort zone, enjoying mother nature. Running the Swissalpine Irontrail 2018 with a friend was much better than doing it by myself, wanting to run a new PR.
Special thanks to Tina and René for being such awesome friends. It’s the little things in life that matter – my friends are my family! Hence, I spontaneously went on a little road trip with René back home to Munich, instead of staying in Davos. Tina and René: You are one of those people who make my life better just by being in it. Love you!