Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Clouds over the Defereggental

We had a splendid stay in the Gabershof farmhouse run by the Erlsbacher family. The family were very welcoming we enjoyed restful days with fresh milk and bread every morning. The weather was excellent for our first couple of days in the East Tyrol and the Hohe Tauern National Park. Quite suspiciously there was an incredible build up of cloud  later in the day. None the less we made the most this and travelled to Hellingblut which was the starting point for the first successful attempt of the Grossglockner, the highest mountain in Austria. We enjoyed our journey along the Grossglockner high alpine road and descended to the Pasterze glacier. Keisha and Louis quickly appreciated the power of the glacier as a force for change and for shaping the mountain. There were many points to stop and appreciate the splendour of the Hohe Tauern. At the end of the day we stopped at the end of Hellingblut near the chapel at Zlapp there was a fantastic via Ferrata which runs through the Moll canyon. With 5 cable bridges, I had to give this a go. The guidelines at the start are very helpful I completed the route in the 1 hour, indicated in the guidelines. It was great fun, on the harder second part of the route there was interesting, perhaps disturbing surprise.
 The Gabershof Farmhouse


 The Grossglockner and the Pasterze glacier

The Glacier Lakes and Ice Caves

After a couple of fun filled rainy days the weather appeared sufficiently settled to attempt a fairly long day and a good three thousand metre peak, a good peak achievable from Gabershof was the Lasorling. Although there was still a lot of cloud cover at least it wasn't raining. I started my route from St. Jakob in Defereggen, walked up to the collection of cottages known as Togisch and commenced a climb to the Gasser Horndle. My plan was to follow the path (numbered 315) to the Lasorling Hutte and from there attempt the south side of the Lasorling (path numbered 90 on the map). 

The route followed the track numbered 315 to the Lasorling hutte.


Although beautiful and peaceful, it was great to break out of the trees and head out onto the high alpine pasture it wasn't long before I started ascending the short ridge to the summit of the Gasser Horndle. This was a great warm up which I enjoyed so much. Given time I would have attempted a circuit of peaks including the Hohe Rast, Kastal, Hofspitze and Scheibe. This would connect to the col over which path 315 passes to go to the Lasorling Hutte.
Looking from the Gasser Horndle to the Hohe Rast and Kastal.

The lakes above the col (leading to the Lasorling Hutte)

The route followed the track 90 and then 82 leading to the south side of the Lasorling.  The return to St Jakob in D was via the Berger Torl and returned along track 314 by the Togischer Bachl.
A view from the Mullitztorl. (The lasorling hutte is visible in the distance)

The Lasorling and Lasorlinghutte

When I arrived at this point, I looked at the Lasorling and thought wow, I was quite excited to try this. It seemed to be clearing a little I hoped it might hold out.

I had lunch at the Lasorling hut.

The Lasorling

The tracks were very easy to follow. Posts have useful reference information for emergencies.

Some of the posts also displayed these rather interesting signs. There is a good explanation on wikipedia (South Tyrolean Freedom).

I steadily made my way up the south side of the Lasorling.

A short but fun scramble lead to the Summit cross on the Lasorling

A view back down my ascent ridge.

Although the cloud had bubbled up there were still some good views along the ridges. It was tempting to ascend via the west ridge via the Niedere Hohe and Pragrater Torl. I was sensible and retraced my steps back along the path and returned down the south side to the track which leads up to the Pragrater Torl. The weather had worsened as I made the descent, I had full waterproofs on anyway so not a problem. It had cleared sufficiently so as to enable me to have some appreciation of the summit with the views down the ridges.

At last the valley to return me to St Jakob in D.

It was nice that the weather cleared up a little when I dropped back down the valley.

A Dwelling for a Hobbit

For this route I used the GPS tracking service MapMyRun, which reported that the route was 11.6 miles and had a 9110.9ft height gain. Note the phone battery went flat! So the tracker missed the last 6 miles of the walk to return along the river valley to Gabershof. Also the height of the Lasorling is 3098m above Sea level (the Adriatic) i.e. 10164 feet. MapMyRun appears to indicate the maximum elevation is 9613 feet, a curious discrepancy.

The day was thoroughly enjoyable, this exploration was excellent fuel for further exploits. One such possibility is the Klettersteig on the north ridge which is best attempted from the Lasnitzenhutte.

Comments and route descriptions are available at:

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