26th March: Schierke Bhf. - Erdbeerkopf - Glashüttenweg - Schierke Bhf.
Start/Finish at Schierke Bhf. 685m
Highest point reached was 848m, Erdbeerkopf summit
Distance circa 7 kms
Vertical altitude gain of circa 250 m
Total time from start to finish of 2 hrs 30 mins
Weather: cold, some rain and deep snow on ground.
Nearly all on snowshoes

The plan for today was to try out the snow routes North of Schierke Bhf, and apart from just one couple I met at the end of a walk one day, was to signal some good snowshoe walking entirely on my own in a very pleasant part of the Harz.

The track due North from the station was a ski loipe route, ideal for snowshoe hiking. At first just in my boots but soon on my MSRs, which made me feel somewhat more secure. I aimed for the Erdbeerkopf, a small summit not far from Schierke.

Snow shoeing is hard work, and my intention was to enjoy two or three hours and then get back to the station to enjoy a ride up the mountain behind one of the large steam locomotives that handle all trains to the station just below the summit.
Schierke Loipe route
26th March hike continued

26th March: Schierke Bhf. - Erdbeerkopf - Glashüttenweg - Schierke Bhf. continued
MSR Classics and Tail Floats MSR Classic with Tail Floats fitted MSR Classics and Tail Floats
The final section up to the top of the Erdbeerkopf was off the track, and comprised quite deep and in places fairly soft snow. Time for me to add the 8 inch tail floats to the MSRs for the first time. They look as though they would make the snowshoes very cumbersome to walk in: not so, they were virtually no different from using them without Tail Floats!
26th March hike continued

26th March: Schierke Bhf. - Erdbeerkopf - Glashüttenweg - Schierke Bhf. continued
This trip was primarily to try out my MSR snowshoes and any other bits of kit that hadn't yet been used. So although the slope up the Erdbeerkopf was not long, it was steep in places, giving me a chance to use my Slope Meter. The Harz are not thought to be an avalanche risk area, but it was interesting to see the slope was close to 25 degrees. The technique in using the Slope Meter is very simple: just lie a hiking pole up the gradient and then put the meter on top!
26th March hike continued

26th March: Schierke Bhf. - Erdbeerkopf - Glashüttenweg - Schierke Bhf. continued
Track from Erdbeerkopf Glashüttenweg
A Tail Float had come of as I edged down the steepest part of the Erdbeerkopf, so pending investigation of why that had happened later, (I had not fitted it correctly!), I carried on towards the Brockenbett without the extra support of the Floats. That was OK on the first section, but once onto the very deep and at times soft snow of the Glashüttenweg, (right), I was sinking in more than was comfortable. I kept going for quite a while but in the end decided I would return to Schierke to sample more steam haulage on the Brockenbahn!
26th March hike continued

26th March: Schierke Bhf. - Erdbeerkopf - Glashüttenweg - Schierke Bhf. continued
Ski Hutte
On my way back down to Schierke Bhf I passed a ski hutte that I guess at some stage in the winter had been totally covered in snow drifts. Even now the level was way above the table of the picnic bench outside. And from the ski tracks it looked like someone had skied over the top of it at some stage: well it is a ski hutte!
27th March hike Mar 2006 Trip Index Key to route descriptions     Back to Main Index

Key to Route Descriptions
Throughout this web site I have tried to adopt a consistent approach to the way I show the summarised hike details in the blue text table shown at the start of each hike. Below is an explanation of how the various parts of that text table are arrived at.

Start and Finish
The main locations, usually a village or nearest village, from where the hike is started and ended. The altitude of the start and finish taken by comparing my exact starting point with the appropriate contour line or printed height from the relevant Topographische Kart 1:25000, Bayersisches Landesvermessungsamt München map.

Round distance in kms
The total distance actually hiked. Includes any "excursions" off the main route. The kms shown are a very broad estimate only. I have yet to find a way of getting anything like an accurate distance for my hikes even using the 1:25000 maps. Frequent zig zags and height gains and undulations are the main problems to deal with!

Vertical altitude gain
Not the height difference between the starting point and the highest point reached. It is an estimate of the total metres I have ascended during the hike. It will include all significant undulations and all "excursions" off the main route. Using the detailed 1:25000 maps as above, it is possible with a little care and effort to get quite close to an accurate figure.

Total time from start to finish
Time from my gasthof back to my gasthof after the hike if no public transport is involved. Or from leaving a bus stop or railway station and back to a bus stop or railway station at the end of the hike. Includes all breaks. My ascent rate is slow, never more than about 300 metres per hour, so most other people would complete the hikes quicker. I often complete a hike with no stop lasting longer than a few minutes, but picnic stops and visits to huttes taking longer than that will be mentioned in the text.

A broad description of the weather conditions during that hike. Any temperatures usually taken from the nearest weather recording site that I can find, (done on my return to England), or from local TV reports.
January 2006 Trip Index    Back to Main Index