Monday 23 July 2007
After the usual cheese and ham breakfast, we had a brief chat with a man from Colorado. He'd packed up his tent after the wind got up in the night and resorted to the hut. He is surprised that he finds no one else camping in the Austrian mountains. (Ed - wild camping is illegal in Austria, since at least 2010.)
At 7.55, we set out in a stiff breeze, wearing fleece and gloves. Path 502 forms an arc around the end of the valley, and even the boulder fields are paved with flat boulders. There is a small amount of cloud on the tops, but as the day progresses, the wind clears it. Streams flow down from the glaciers, and there are wooden planks with handrails (see above) which are bouncing in the wind. Gaiters were useful as we stepped across rocks with water pouring down.
Large Flowered Leopardsbane near the start of the walk
The view ahead
Views across the valley to yesterday's route were clear, and the Ahornbahn cable car station could be seen at the end of the ridge. Lots of leopardsbane and ox-eye daisies.
Looking towards Stillupgrund
Heard rock fall, and just caught a glimpse of the culprit - rock pouring down the end of a glacier.
Following a nicely paved section through a boulder field, we descended to a precipitously steep section which was wired and also had a fence. Much round-leaved saxifrage here. After one more stream with a wooden bridge, we started the long climb to the col.
The slope was wide and green as we wound upwards. Had a break where path 518 meets ours, then continued climbing over progressively more rocky ground, with the wind increasing in strength. Saw two people coming in the opposite direction - the only ones passed today.
A fleece was needed over the col - the wind was strong and cold. Nice views to adjacent rocky summits, and across the next valley to the glaciers.
Highest point of the day - Lapenscharte at 2701 metres, with Gigalitz – 3001m – towering above us.
Arrived at 12.25 - quick check-in as the hut was busy with day visitors. We are in a room for 6 on the second floor.
Installed ourselves at a corner table with nice views and enjoyed goulash soup (S) and cheese omelette (M).
An afternoon stroll from 2.30 to 4.00 took us above the hut to get a closer look at the glaciers and down the valley. High point 2240m. Sunny, but a cold wind. We were alone again, apart from 5 goats.
Manfred is here, plus a couple of others from last night. We join him for dinner, as the wind gets up again, rattling the windows.
Manfred tries to reassure me - "You don't start to slow down until you are 65." He is 67 and I am 58. I try to take his comment to heart and forget about what I have been feeling since the age of 50 or earlier!
There are two horses outside - used to bring supplies up the valley to the hut. We are warned about having to sleep with the horses if allocated to the 'Winteraum'. (Luckily the hut is not full tonight.)
Pigs: Martin 3: Sue 1.
Here’s our route – about 9 km with 900 metres ascent.
I’m using Viewranger software to display these maps. I’ve not worked out how to place arrows at kilometre intervals on the maps, nor how to change the colour of the route line from red. Any ideas?