Freitag, 17. Februar 2012

Bushcrafty Hike with Zee Aylienz

 It has been some time that I had much in common with the members of the team that I founded. We had our quarrells, and I was being a bit over-enthusiastic and often harsh when stating my observations and uttering warnings on social processes going on. And I realized I was being too weird even for my own creation;-), (since I was one of three founders of that club, hooray I´m famous, not);-). So I was slightly amazed when I learned recently that many grievances I had have gotten rid of themselves, and I am slowly resocializing again. Turns out my take on the outdoors might be even welcome. So I met on Sunday with some of the mountainbikers from Zee Aylienz mountainbike club, to... go for a hike with them. We met in Haspe city and made straight for the hills, as straight as possible, infact, and there was a small degree of whining as to the trail I was guiding, but they kept it good-natured and with a laugh.

On top o´the hill we came across these St. Jake´s sheep (does that make sense? They are called Jakobsschaf over here...).

 There, by incident, we met krazee Karo, our team´s event manager, who was going on a solitary outing all by herself. we had a nice chat with her and went on our respective ways.

 Bastian was there, too. he only but recently broke his collarbone when mountainbike riding down a tricky technical trail and stacking up spectacularily. My best wishes go to him. Get well soon. If only for that we don´t have to carry your gear any more;-) (no bother, really!;-)).
 Sheepy was being curious...
 Scenic vistas on our way. Damn cold it was, but that was a good thing: No morons on the trail...
 ..except for those here:-). Jandark, Seppel (Bastian) and BärLee enjoying the scenery and talking a huge pile of rubbish you´d need a helmet to listen to...;-).
 Came across a camp in the woods some weirdos:-) made....
 That´s the cooking site. Note the details, there´s something to learn! The site was cleaned, firewood prepared and stacked, and even cooking utensils had their place.
 Jandark learning summat:-).
 Schnaaapps!!!! Flaaaaiiissscccchh!!!! BEEEER!!!!!
Seems those guys (gals?) know how to live...;-).
 On the next hill we met with Kai, that mad bastard;-), who rendezvoused us there. Had difficulties finding us at first (STOOOOPID could not find his arse with an armchair*ggg*), and Jan was on the brink of exposing his purple smoke grenade, ooh, bah!*ggg* to alert him. Fortunately, he made it in time*ggg*. I am kidding, of course, as to Kai´s difficulties finding us, he normally eats the lot o´them spread thinly on toast for breakfast when forestry is concerned.
 I love that...
 You know that vista well, for it´s one of my favourite places. The lake was frozen solid, yap, that´s ice down there.
 On towards the abandoned stone quarry I love so much. As a kid, we built whole fortresses there, complete with dry stone walls and murus gallicus timberwork, most of which is still there in ruins.
 There, we paused to practice some primitive fire building techniques. Here Jan tries to make a bowdrill with paracord cordage.
 We took some rotten timber that lay there just to try it out.
 The drill and a stick to try out the principle.
 Dry grass for tinder, for I have yet to make some amadou.
 Kai looked slightly sceptical all the while, and he was being right.
 Seppel and Bär Lee were enthused to learn summat;-) and helped out questing for tinder materials without telling them so..
 Jan demonstrated some knots, primarily the Prusszic knot. Jan is an avid freeclimber and does some extreme geocaching, too, and he knows a thing or two about knots.
 That´s a (true) Prusszic knot. This knot enables you to fix it to a branch. You can really trust your weight to it, for the internal friction of the knot prevents it from moving, but you can also loosen it easily, when the need occurs.
 More bowdrill practice.
 It did not work out, and we have to do it again with some more time. We learned a lot by simply trying out the principles. I did some quick practicing with the ferro rod (a Karesuando wildmarksstickan in case you ask;-)) and dry grass for tinder. it all went well. Of course, I put out the flames immediately and checked and doublechecked if it really was put out. Advice: A forest burns easily. Don´t do this in summer!
 Knot practice.
 This is a simpler version of the prusszic.
 Detail of the Prusszic knot.

 The underside...
 And a dirty trick version. Take two loops, wrap them around the branch or twig in this case, then pull the two lines through... voilà a "false" Prusszic, that serves nearly as well, but is made much more easily.
 The Prusszic can also serve as a loop to guide another line through.

 We paid the ol´quarry a visit, too, and climbed right through. Here come Bär Lee and Kai acrawling from the wall.
 Pretty icy on the trails, eh... I love the beautiful forms the ice can take.
 We passed by an ancient mine that now serves as a habitat for bats. In summer nights, there is a load of them fluttering around. That´s great, for it is a huge step towards a tiny bit of repair to the ecosystem we damaged. It´s not all bad, and it fills my heart with hope.
 Jan threatening again to show us his purple smoke grenade*ggg*. Kai was shocked, I can tell you. Not that Jan threatened to do so, but that he was being so civilized as to announce it...*ggg*.
 Ice crystals. I like to see through the surface and explore the fantasies of perception and hypnagogic reference .
Jan showing off again...*ggg* braggart!*ggg*.

I found this quartz crystal embedded in the ground...

 ...and those rabbit droppings testify that wood is inhabited.
 The trail went on and down into the Ennepetal, where we paid a visit to this root stock from a hundred year old beech tree.
 This is the reconstruction of an ancient ore mine. Mining iron ore and processing iron was a big issue in the Ennepetal. Everywhere in the woods you can find the "Sinnerhoopen", slag heaps and caches of slag, disposed of by smithies from the iron age up to the 19th century. Of course, Jan had to play at trench fighting again*ggg* kids will be kids, I guess*ggg*.
 ...summat ter learn again...;-)
 Kai refreshing and having a chunk of cheese.
 more ice, without words..
 What´s that? Jan playing the ice guitar? *ggg*
 Inspecting the icefall...

 Some photo experimenting...
It was getting dark, and so we made for the nearest village, where we had some delicious Greek food and a beer. Then we took the bus, for we were tiring a bit after some 22-25 km (Jan´s GPS went mad;-), so I can´t tell precisely).

When I got home, I was very fluffy, but it was a very great outing with everything in good balance, learning, bushcraft practice, a good laugh, great company, good food and a beer on top... what more could you ask for? Have to do it again sometime soon, folks!

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