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#YouRockStoneman: „Radeks toughest challenge!"
For me, it was my first Stone Man ever. I had never experienced such a significant altitude gain in one day, so I wasn't really sure if I would be physically and mentally able to complete it. I tackled this challenge with my best friend, Marek Fryček. It was his second Stoneman; he completed the Gold Stoneman in the Ore Mountains last year.
We were fortunate to have amazing weather. We woke up at 4 AM, had a hearty breakfast to prepare for the tough day ahead, did some stretching, and double-checked our equipment. We were ready to go. I turned on my Garmin tracking at 5:01 AM.
By 6:38 AM, we had reached the first summit, Hochgrundeck. During the initial climb, we enjoyed the picturesque scenery. The bright orange light cutting through the trees and revealing the forest was captivating. The dark morning transitioned into daylight surprisingly quickly. We were pleasantly surprised by how warm it was at the top by 6:30 AM.
At Rossbrand, we spent some time with a group of cows, just relaxing and savoring the moment. Then, a local cyclist approached us and struck up a conversation. He warned us about a long walk to Oberhütte, explaining that the bike path had been blocked due to a landslide. He also provided a lot of encouragement and cheers when we told him we were on our way to completing the Gold Stoneman.
The climb to Obberhutte was the most challenging part. Some of the rocks were wet and slippery, and I began to question why I had taken on this challenge. However, as I passed through the forest and reached the path to the top, I encountered many people who offered support. Their kindness was incredibly uplifting. It was just a short ride from there to Oberhütte See, where we took a refreshing bath in the cold water. We replenished our energy with some Kaiserschmarrn and then faced the last 200m ascent to the summit, carrying our bikes on our backs.
This part was quite challenging, but once we reached the top, the sweat and pain felt entirely worthwhile. The panoramic view was breathtaking, and we began to understand why it's called the "360 Alpine panorama." The last, difficult, long downhill section led us to the incredible Johannesfall, which was truly energizing. We took the last long ride to the bottom of the final climb easy and reflected on the long day and the amazing experience it had been.
At the top of the last climb, we met our friends; one was 55, and the other was 64 years old. They completed it over two days. We were thrilled to have achieved our goal of finishing in under 10 hours. We celebrated with a few beers and savored the final moments of a fantastic bike ride.
The Stoneman spirit demonstrated that everything is achievable in life when you set goals and believe in yourself. Moving forward, we're excited to discover new challenges that can push our boundaries even further.
Kind regards, your Radek Joachimsthaler
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