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Throbbing in the Black Forest: Sauna as an Extreme Sport

At its best a sauna is a place of extremes. And sometimes it requires all my will to take it to the max. It’s not the heat that gets me so much as the cold.

The sauna I frequent is a little hut at the bottom of the garden. (Fairytale settings just spring from the German ether – thank you, Brothers Grimm)  Around 5.30pm the potbelly is lit with pine. About an hour later it’s ready – depending on the ambient temperature and one’s predilection for heat. Fifty degrees Celsius is sufficient for my ageing parents. (Bear in mind that the highest air temperature ever recorded in Death Valley was 57°C (134°F) in July 1913.) However, for me it still feels clammy at 60 degrees.

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