Hiking report

Hiking from Ronsdorf to Schwelm!

After last week’s hike, I thought any the hikes would be easy. Now also the summer is coming, what should we be afraid of? Well, during the hike today, it turned out that the stuff was not that simple.

Until yesterday, the weather forecast was saying it would rain today, although the probability was constantly decreasing. This morning, however, Google weather was showing more or less 0% rain, which is a huge thing because if they are at least a little bit unsure about it, usually they don’t write 0%. As soon as I saw it, I put away all the rain stuff, which is not quite light and flexible, just horrible to carry in case it doesn’t rain.

While waiting at Düsseldorf central, I was observing the first drops pouring down, not quite realising that this was just the beginning.

Even though no one noticed, we’ve been to Ronsdorf already twice, although in both cases we exited from the other side (West side). It’s because on the West side of Ronsdorf, there’s the S9 line surrounds Remscheid, so that we have more flexibility regarding the stations. There used to be a railway line, Wuppertalbahn, between Wuppertal and Radevormwald, which is to the East of Ronsdorf, but the service stopped in the 1970s. This area apparently followed more or less the same fate as many parts of the Ruhr region. We indeed saw the railway today, as you can see on the photo above.

We were about to leave Ronsdorf and enter a field, when it started … hailing. Well, last week’s temperature might have been a bit extreme, but it didn’t have to start hailing either. Especially in this vast field, the view would have been wonderful if only the weather had been better.

Then the field turned into forest, while the hail turned into rain. My cotton jacket was getting heavier and heavier, while I was cursing the Google weather forecast. It turned out that I was the only one who relied on Google weather, and Google weather was the only one that failed so badly today.

When I was making the trail a few months ago, I noticed that there was a problem at one point. It looked quite steep. Even though I was very much aware of this problem all the time, I decided to go according to my initial plan, just out of curiosity. And as it turned out, it was not quite a path that you can go. We did a small detour and decided to go that way anyway. Fortunately the rain had stopped, but a sunny fun hike on a Sunday afternoon turned into a painful march. I hope the newbies were not overly shocked to see this.

There was a wild deer park on the way. They must have been wondering what we were doing there.

But the story is not over yet: I planned a break at a highway service station, which is usually somewhat separated from the surrounding area, although there is usually access. As we were nearing the service station, I noticed a long fence along the way. The problem was that it actually didn’t end. So, even though we were standing in front of the service station, we couldn’t enter it. So close, yet so far. In the meantime, there was one guy who climbed up the fence and went to the fast food restaurant you can see on the photo. They didn’t have a key to open the porch. So in the end, we all had to stay outside for the break. I really can’t remember to have organised it so badly anytime in the past. At least it was not raining in that moment.

The worst thing came actually towards the end of the break: There was a small path close to where we were sitting, but just far enough for me to see it from where we were standing. From there, it was actually possible to enter the area. So in the end, we were staying outside for no reason. I was starting to hate Ronsdorf (or Schwelm or whatever). So if you happen to be at this service station: yes, it is possible to sneak into the area. Just look for the small path to the West of this area.

After the break, it looked like we were only going up all the time. Actually even though the distance was shorter today than last time, this one was more tiring in total, probably because the steep paths after the break were somewhat quite unexpected.

I must say, this one was one of the worst hikes so far, although my perception is certainly biased by the horrible weather today after we had so many nice days, and maybe also the fact that the small beer that I got at this empty beer festival cost me 4€50. The only one good thing was I could sleep really well after the hike, not quite surprisingly.

The trail can be downloaded from this link (in kml-format) or this link (in gpx-format)

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