Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Barefoot hike and a play in the sand

Today we woke up to glorious sunshine and as we made our way to Reutte to go up on the Hannekahm gondola, it was 26 degrees.

Keisha and Louis were given a sweet at the Cable Car station.

We arrived at the top and immediately next to the station, the barefoot hike commenced. We removed our hiking boots and socks and made a start. It felt odd walking on the mountain with nothing on your feet and some of the sensations underfoot were painful especially in you stepped on a prickle or stones. Luckily we all avoided the cowpats, well wet ones anyway. Keisha and Louis especially enjoyed the waterbath.

We ended up at a mountain hut and were provided with foot washing facilities. We had lunch here, which consisted of a cheese and meat platter with brot (bread) and we all had fresh milk taken from the cows we could see around us that day. It was delicious. The children played in the sand pit and there were baby calves that let Mike and I stroke them.

We watched the weather change before our eyes, the black clouds were coming over and the wind was getting up, we quickly made our way back up to the cable car station and the journey down was quite windy with the cable car moving with the wind. We just made it back to the car when the heavens opened with a very heavy rain and thunder and lightning. It was a reminder how quick the weather change in the mountains and very quickly we are unable to see any of the mountains surrounding us just low cloud.

Back at the hotel, we had a Jacuzzi and then went out to Route 66 for dinner, we had found this place both on this visit and our last visit to be very hospitable and serve great food and beer. We were sad in a way to be brought a free dessert of expresso icecream as were planning to share some kaiserschmaren but sadly had run out of room, there is always tomorrow


Spot the cricket!

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Ridge Walk in the Tannerheimertal

On a cloudy Sunday morning I enjoyed a quick walk up a peak called Einstein, most appropriate for someone with an interest in the full spectrum of Einsteins work. It took 90 minutes to the summit from our apartment in Tannerheim.

By the time I’d reached the top the cloud cleared enough to reveal some marvellous views. Monday morning the weather looked fine so it was time to try something I’d tried a few years ago on that occasion, at the same time of year, there was a lot of snow and I’d backed off the route. The route was to walk from Nesselwangle to Gran taking in the peaks along ridge. These are the Gimpel, the rote fluh, Schartschroften, Hallenschrofen and Lauferspitze. The rhot fluh and the gimpel are the main attractions being quite distinctive peaks from Tannerheim.
I caught the free post bus (using our tourist card) to the village of Nesselwangle starting from the car park outside the village and near the Krinnen alp lift the route to the Gimpel hut is well signed.

The walk upto the Gimpel hut was a flog I stopped there for a glass of mineral water. My next objective was the Gimpel walking in the direction of the Judenscharte the path deviates from the main one to head to the impressive climbing routes on the south wall of the Gimpel. The start of the scramble is marked with a sign (and one displaying Nur fur Geubte), the actual scrambling route has splashes of red paint. The scramble on to the shoulder of the Gimpel was good fun sometimes requiring some quite careful moves, there was no via ferrata up here. From the shoulder the route heads up with straightforward scrambling along the east ridge to the summit cross.

I headed back down via the ascent route and acquired the path to the Judan Scharte and the summit of the rhote Fluh, by this time I was beginning to feel quite heat exhausted, de-hydrated and physically tired. I was making good time it was possible to make the final cable car from the Fussener Jochl.

After making the summit of the rhote fluh there is still a lot to do with the Friedens-steig klettersteig off the summit of the rhote fluh and the Friedberge Klettersteige to the summit of the Schartschrofen. The main part of the Friedens-steig is the descent of a chimney wall using a series of ladder rungs driven into the rock walls, via ferrata gear here is most appreciated. The ascent of the schartschrofen via the Friedberge klettersteige is quite long with a few tricky places here once again via ferrata gear is appreciated.

The final summit the Lauferspitze has a steep section which is chained at its south ridge however the north ridge is an excellent scramble and I thought that Keisha might enjoy this.

The scrambling on this route is excellent and I’m just about fit enough to do it in a reasonable time, there is one thought nagging me now. I would just like to do that bigger peak at the end called the Krinnen alp. I finished the walk with just enough time to make the last cable car down form the Fussner Jochl I wanted to spend the late afternoon/ evening with Amanda, Keisha and Louis. We played crazy golf at the Tirol Haus on the way to Visalpsee.