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LSECC Teatulia Alp Crossing Challenge - Day 1
September 21, 2017
Hi – my name is Marlene and I am the Vice Captain of the LSE Cycling Club. The LSECC Teatulia Alp Crossing has been a huge event for us and subsequently, I was pretty nervous and anxious that everything goes well. Hmm – destiny wouldn’t grant me such a favour. My bike arrived late and I almost had to miss the first etappe. Nevertheless, I managed to get the bike just on time to catch the very last train to our starting point: Oberstdorf. I arrived in the alpine village at almost midnight and was surprised to see this little town busy state: Happy, mostly drunk people, wearing the traditional Bavarian costumes, eg Lederhosen und Dirndl (simply – b
eautiful) danced down the streets. While I waited for a cab to our hostel, I found out that that day was the day when the village chases their cows down from the mountains to the valleys. Suddenly all worries were gone and the feeling of ‘home’ started growing within me. When I then saw a couple of goats in front of our hostel door, I knew, this trip would be awesome.
We woke up and were welcomed by a huge, delicious breakfast and after having packed everything we were ready to start our tour in bright sunshine and fresh mountain air. With lifted spirits and fresh legs we climbed our first pass, the Oberjoch Pass, to cross the border to Austria. After the descend the first drops of rain were falling. We knew it was going to rain, but as there was a lovely place to rest for a bit in the dry, we decided to wait until the rain got a bit better – bad idea. The rain got worse and worse and worse. Knowing that we still had 70km to go, we eventually mounted our bikes and head off. Within 10 minutes we were completely soaked. Our conversations at that time were mainly about which part of our bodies is most wet and why. The rain continued all the way and with 30 km to go we saw a small cafe along the road, perfect for a quick and warming stop before the major climb of the day. After a homemade cheese soup with homemade bread and homemade hot chocolate (how else would you make it?), we went back outside in the rain to face the real challenge of this route: the Hahntennjoch, a climb of 1000 meters elevation over 15 km with sections of 19% incline. The pass is 1894 meters high and from about 1500 meters the rain became snow, it was freezing cold, which was especially evident on the descend when we struggled to keep our hands on the breaks as we lost any kind if feeling in them. When we finally arrived, we were shaking and only a 20 minute shower (sorry environment) was able to resurrect us. After a plate of pasta with butter and a delivered calzone pizza we were quickly able to fall asleep.