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.

Stage 4 - Greizer Hut to the Berliner Hut
After a few days of bad weather, conditions improved and I continued my tour. Was joined today by some German lads that I'd met at the Greizer Hut. To begin with, we had to descend quite a bit then cross the valley before the steep climb to the Morchen Scharte. The snow that had fallen during the past few days was quite deep, but thankfully there were footsteps to follow (I wouldn't have liked to have been the first one to cross the pass after that snow). We had a drink of Schnapps at the summit, then made our way down towards the Berliner Hut, stopping at the Schwarzsee on the way.

Großer Mörchner, Kleine Mörchner

 ascending the Mörchen Scharte

Großer Mörchner, Kleine Mörchner

 Gigalitz and the Lapenscharte

 Großer Mörchner, from Mörchen Scharte

 Zsigmondy Spitze

at the Mörchen Scharte

 Kleine Mörchner and Großer Mörchner

 looking down to the Berliner Hütte

 Berliner Spitze

 reflection of the Berliner Spitze in the Schwarzsee

Schwarzsee video clip

 reflection of the Großer Möseler in the Schwarzsee

 Berliner Spitze, Großer Möseler

 Großer Möseler

 Großer Möseler, Furtschagl Spitze, Schönbichler Horn

 Großer Mörchner

Stage 5 - Berliner Hut to Furtschaglhaus
After another bad weather stay spent cooling my heels in the hut, I had a nice day (needed it too) for today I was going to be crossing the Schönbichler Horn - the highest point on the trek. Posed for a photograph, then set off on my way.
Furtschagl Spitze and Schönbichler Horn from Berliner Hütte

Got some nice views down the valley, before starting the ascent to the Schönbichler Horn

Olperer, from Gletscherweg Lehrpfad

  Großer Möseler

 Großer Möseler

 looking down the valley to Alpenrose Hütte

 Berliner Hütte and Zsigmondy Spitze

and as I got higher up the views got even better...
 Furtschagl Spitze

looking back to the Berliner Hütte with the Mörchners in the background

 Berliner Spitze


 Furtschagl Spitze

 looking back to the Mörchener Scharte on the way up to Schönbichler Horn

 me, again

 Schönbichler Horn

Schönbichler Horn ridge

looking down the valley

 Großer Möseler

 Furtschagl Spitze

 Furtschagl Spitze from Schönbichler Horn


 looking back to the Mörchen Scharte from Schönbichler Horn

 on the Schönbichler Horn

 Berliner Spitze

 looking back to the Mörchen Scharte from Schönbichler Horn

Schönbichler Horn panorama (part 1)

Schönbichler Horn panorama (part 2)

 descending from Schönbichler Horn

 looking back to the Schönbichler Horn


This was one of the best days of the trek, good weather, superb views and a challenging walk. Met 2 lads from Germany on the way up (Nils and Daniel), walked with them for a few days, was nice to have some company along the way.

Stage 6 Furtschaglhaus to Olperer Hut
This was only a short stage, staring with a descent to the Sclegeis reservoir, we had plenty of time so we stopped at a restaurant for a drink. It started to rain whilst we were in there so we stayed for lunch, and played cards for a while. The rain did not stop, and we had a rain-soaked plod up to the Olperer hut. The Olperer hut was superb, recently re-built - it's very smart inside, lovely rooms and a restaurant/lounge area with big windows and a great view. Excellent food and a variety od Schnapps on the menu - I recommend the Zirben Schnapps!

Furtschagl Spitze from Furtschaglhaus


 waterfall, below Furtschagl Spitze

 Speicher Schlegeis

 Speicher Schlegeis, from Olperer Hütte

 Goats, outside Olperer hut

Stage 7 - Oplerer Hut to Friesenberg Hut
This was only a short stage, just a morning's walk in the snow. Not much up and down on this stage, I would have done a side-trip to the Hoher Riffler but the weather was so bad (more snow) so we just stayed in the hut.

Stage 8 - Friesenberg Hut to Gams Hut

Awoke to a beautiful, clear morning. Superb views to the Hochfeiler

 view of the Hochfeiler


 Großer Greiner

 Schwarzenstein and Berliner Spitze from Friesenberg Hütte

Gefrorene Wand-Spitze


  Friesenberg Scharte

 Gefrorene Wand-Spitze

Hochfeiler, Speicher Schlegeis

  Gefrorne Wand-Spitzen, Friesenberg Hütte

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