Thursday, 20 July 2017
Austria - Day 10
1000 metres ascent
For those who went up Innerer Knorrkogl, add 0.75 km and 100 metres ascent. The 30 minutes taken is included in the 6.25 hour timing above.
Verena and Marco provided a more basic breakfast than usual, as much tea, coffee, bread, ham, cheese and a selection of jams as you want, with - for a small charge - a self made sandwich for lunch.
It was a perfect blue sky morning, suitable for t-shirt and shorts but not too hot up at 2600 metres.
We set off at our usual time of 8 am, waved off with a present of soap from Verena and Marco (who are pictured with us outside the hut) and took an hour and a half to amble 3 km to the only col of the day, Lobbentorl (2770 metres), adorned with war and other memorials and a large crucifix.
En route were some formidable banks of flowers, including one of the biggest stands of edelweiss we've ever seen. That was after big banks of sticky primroses and banks of leopardsbane. The views into the green valley that descends to Gruben were lovely, with just the occasional distraction of some short and easy wired sections where the path encountered a steep drop.
Sue and Susan toddled off to climb Innerer Knorrkogl, a summit a hundred metres higher than the col. Meanwhile Cary and I admired splendid views across the Schlatenkees glacier to our objective for the day, Neue Prager Hütte, perched in the distance on a rocky outcrop.
From the green of the view to the south we now moved down towards the glacier and the brown and grey rockfields and debris that accompany it. It was easy going through the rockfield to reach a good path along the lateral moraine. Sue and Susan debated a shortcut across the glacier that's described in Allan Hartley's Cicerone guide. They eventually decided against it, and we now think the route is no longer safely possible due to the receding glacier.
A group of six Brits was encountered. They were heading to Badener Hütte. We are currently sitting exactly where they were last night in Neue Prager Hut. But this is being sent Much Later due to technical problems.
Quite a number of people were seen today, as we're in an area from which people ascend the Venediger summits.
After a 400 metre ascent, from the valley bottom, we paused at the Alte Prager Hut, a derelict building on which some sort of renovation work is taking place. A pause to enjoy a bird's eye view of the glacier was obligatory.
A gentle rocky path then led up the final 300 metres in 35 minutes to our home for the night, reached at 2.15.
The hut is less rustic and more impersonal than last night's abode, but quite acceptable nonetheless. We enjoyed tea and apfelstrudel before installing ourselves in room 7.
Dinner was good, and yahtse followed like a bad penny.