Monday, 31 January 2011

Zillertal Alps - July 2010

My 2010 summer holiday was a hut-to-hut trek of the Zilertal Alps.

Stage 1 - Mayrhofen to the Karl von Edel hut
Starting from Mayrhofen, my first day's walk was an uphill slog to the Karl von Edel Hut (wasn't too bad once I'd got above the tree-line), was refreshed by a Großer Bier and a plate of Bergsteigeressen and slept well.
Stage 2 - Karl von Edel Hut to the Kasseler hut
Awoke in the morning to a beautiful clear sky and set off on the long hike to the Kasseler Hut. This is the toughest stage of the Berliner Hohenweg, crossing 7 spurs (known as the Siebenschneidenweg). Lots of ups and downs, and a section involving the use of fixed cables. Took me 9 and a half hours to get to the Kasseler hut, great views along the way, with the Großer Löffler the dominant aspect.

Karl von Edel hut
me, at Popbergschneide (Großer Löffler in background)
Großer Löffler, from Nofortenschneide

looking back along the Siebenschneiderweg, from Sonntagkarkanzel

Wollbach Spitze and Kasseler hut, from Sonntagkarkanzel
Side trip to the Wollbach Spitze.

Had a go at climbing one of the big mountains on this tour, unfortunately I didn't quite achieve this, got as far as the summit rocks and couldn't find a safe way to the top (all of this after plodding up snow slopes and crossing a Glacier), so had to turn back. Was a good walk though and I got some great views.

 Grünewand Spitze

 Wollbach Spitze

Großer Löffler from Wollbach Spitze

 Stangenjoch, Wollbach Spitze

 looking down the Ostliches Stillupkees

 summit rocks, Wollbach Spitze

 Hintere Stangen Sitze, from Stangenjoch

 Großer Löffler from Ostliches Stillupkees


 Wollbach Spitze

Stage 3 - Kasseler hut to the Greizer Hut
This was a relatively straight-forward stage, following the lower slopes of the Großer Löffler, then a crossing of the Lapen Scharte with a steady descent to the Greizer hut
Sieben Schneider

 Wollbach Spitze

Berliner Spitze, Großer Mörchner

 Mörchen Scharte

 Schwarzenstein, Greizer Hütte
Side trip to the Gigalitz
After 4 glorious days the weather turned, and it was foggy and raining when I woke up, stayed around the hut for a few hours, then at around midday it started to improve and I decide to go out for a walk with the Gigalitz in mind. The Sun came out for a bit and I thought I would be in for a good day, but then it began to rain quite heavily and I contemplated turning back, it soon stopped though and I pressed on and got to the top (involved some scrambling and was quite exposed). No sooner had I got to the top I heard a rumble of thunder, saw a flash of lightning...could even feel the electricity buzzing in my hair. Made my way back down as quickly and as safely as I could, managed to avoid being struck by lightning, just got totally soaked. Hanged up all of my wet gear in the drying room at the hut, the look on the face of the Hüttenwirtin was a picture when I told her where I'd been, she said "it's good that you don't tell me this before..!"
Had a hot drink to warm myself up, not many folks made it to the hut that night.



The Greizer Hütte
The weather did not improve for the next two days, in fact it got a lot worse; a lot of snow fell and I barely set foot of the hut during this time. A few more walkers arrived, despite the bad weather. The cheery family that run the Hut took good care of me, their food was delicious. I did get somewhat bored being stuck in the Hut though and was glad to continue the trek when the weather improved.