Sunday, 16 July 2017
Austria - Day 8
1300 metres ascent
A fabulous mountain day. Markus joined us for the morning's walk to Eissee Hut, over the 2955 metre Zopat Scharte. A lovely cool ascent of 800 metres in the shade of the steep mountain side.
The col was in the sun, allowing us to linger at this high point. After the recent rain the air was wonderfully clear, with views to many Austrian summits, and to the Dolomites to the south.
During the day several ptarmigan were seen, one with a young family. Marmots sprouted from all angles and there was a distinct absence of cows on the steep ground.
After leaving Johannis before 8 am, we reached the Eissee Hut at 11.30. Lunch was enjoyed there in an idyllic setting on the verandah, before hordes of visitors arrived from the valley. It is Sunday, after all.
Whilst Markus then went on his merry way back to Dornbirn and an environmental project that starts tomorrow, the rest of us enjoyed the gently undulating belvedere path that ends in a meandering ascent to this welcoming Hut. The schnapps was most welcome. Thank you.
We took 7.5 hours, but with no threat of a storm we savoured the route and could have moved more quickly, though care was needed on the wired sections. Edelweiss and spring gentians lined this afternoon's path, as well as the alpine moon daisies that I photographed.
Various birds were seen, including an eagle soaring on the thermals high above this hut.
After arriving here at 3.30, time has flown as we've chilled out and washed our shirts and knickers etc, and before we knew it we were tucking into an excellent buffet meal.
Some projects were hatched during discussions with Markus:
1 LEJOG by mountain bike
2 Transalp bike ride - 6 days in late August/early September 2018
3 Eastern Lake District backpacking before the Calderdale MTB Marathon in October 2018