Our German Christmas books
Posted by sibylle in books, films, photography, skiing, Germany, Colorado (Sunday December 26, 2010 at 6:40 pm)

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Der Kinder Weihnachtszeit

translates, roughly, as “the Children’s Christmas”

I grew up (near Stuttgart) with this book, and have read it to my son, now 20, since he was one year old.

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In Germany, Sankt Nikolaus (Santa Claus) comes on December 6 (Nikolaustag - Santa’s day) to bring children treats and goodies. Above, he first visits the animals of the forest to bring them their Christmas treats.

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Above, the children are making Christmas presents for their parents and siblings. Fritz is painting a picture for them; Grete knits a present. As a child in Germany, I learned to knit - we had handicrafts in school starting in 1st grade, and I started with making potholders. Soon, we advanced to socks, and when I was in my teens, I knitted sweaters for myself and friends.

That was the Germany of my childhood. I’ve lived in the US for a long time now, and don’t know if today children in Germany still make things for their family, or if that is a thing of the past.

When we immigrated to the United States, my Grandmother still kitted sweaters for me, and socks for my father. She baked our bread, and I learned to sew my own clothes.

Christmas makes me nostalgic for this simple childhood time, and I read my German children’s books aloud with my son. I’ll have to ask my cousins what Christmas is like in Germany today. One cousin still knits socks - she’s given several pair to my mother!

Merry Christmas, Fröhliche weihnachten!
Posted by sibylle in skiing, Germany, Colorado (Saturday December 25, 2010 at 8:38 pm)

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Growing Up Climbing
Posted by sibylle in Germany (Saturday June 14, 2008 at 9:37 pm)

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Climbing in Germany with my Dad

In Europe with Mom, Dad, cousin, and friend

Camping in Europe
Posted by sibylle in Italy, Spain, Germany, Switzerland (Monday May 19, 2008 at 6:48 am)


Matt, at 1,235 meters

Several people asked about camping in Europe. We’ve camped in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and France. We found the best camping in Spain- pretty sites, great views, and the most amenities for the price (hot showers!). A difference between the US and Europe: on the continent, in many places, no one minds if you camp in a farmer’s field for the night. I traveled to six climbing areas in three countries with a group of German climbers, and we’d climb all day, drive ‘til late to the next climbing area, and pull up to the nearest empty field and pitch a tent.
No one ever bothered us, and they told me they do it all the time.

View from Matt toward Brüggler

Here’s our (admittedly limited) experience:
Switzerland: We camped at a mountain hut named “Matt”, near the base of the Brüggler.
Fees were:
Parking, per day: Euro 3.50
Tent, per night: Euro 7.50
Sleeping in hut: Euro 3.00
Tent, per person: Euro 1.50
Which amounted to Euro 14.00 per night for the two of us in one tent. This was a private campground, run by the Alpkorporation Vorderschwändi, basically the town / village owners. The owners of the land up the road from the hut had working dairy farms and grazed their cows in the meadows across the street. At night hundreds of cowbells, from large, deep ones to smaller higher-pitched bells, lulled us to sleep.


View across valley from Matt

The hut had toilets, an outdoor sink with cold running water, and a small room indoors with tables and chairs. We cooked inside on the rainy days and ate outside on sunny days. It’s the best campsite we found near here (the Schwändital, near the town of Näfels). We headed east from Zürich on 3 toward Sargans and the south on 17 toward Glarus. This isn’t a major tourist area, but a small climbing area where my father enjoyed climbing. An English couple stayed here to climb and said it was also the best camping they’d found in the nearby mountains.

Please comment if you’d like to share favorite camping areas in Europe. Click the red number right of the title to comment.

Papert strikes again
Posted by sibylle in ice, women, Germany (Thursday March 9, 2006 at 2:24 pm)

Ines Papert
Ines Papert strikes again

Once again, this German climber beat the competition to win the Ice Climbing World Cup held in Hemsedal, Norway March 3 – 5, 2006.

UIAA 2006 Ice World Cup Final results

Difficulty women
1. Ines Papert (Ger)
2. Maureau Stiphanie (Fra)
3. Jenny Lavarda (Ita)
4. Ksenya Stobnikova (Russ)
5. Anna Torretta (Ita)

How short are our memories!

A year ago, at the 2005 Ouray Ice Festival, she ran up the 165-foot wall so fast that she beat the winner of the men’s event by almost three minutes, becoming the overall winner in the difficulty event.

2005 Difficulty

1. Ines Papert (GER)
2. Will Gadd (CAN)
3. Harry Berger (AUT)
4. Sean Isaac (CAN)
5. Rob Owens (CAN)

Here’s a quote:

Ines’s result is really unique.

The Chief of Black Diamond European branch said: “Ines is very cool. I do not know any woman in athletic sports in which a girl could become better, than the best man!”

It was only a little over 10 years ago that Lynn Hill became the first woman to free El Capitan - a record which held for many years.

Of course, in this same story they also state:
The tenth annual festival “Events in Ouary” (Salt Lake City, Utha), so perhaps we shouldn’t hold it against them that they can’t remember events from 1993.

Papert, despite being the best woman ice climber in the world, and in some years the best overall, considers the most important event of her life the birth, in 2000, of her son Emanuel.

The 31-year old mother plans to retire from cometition so that she can climb big frozen waterfalls. Reminds me of another world cup competitor who went the same route - Lynn Hill, who retired from competition to concentrate on big granite walls. Let’s hope we see similar spectacular results from Ines on the ice!

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