As you may be aware from my previous blog post I have just got back from a family holiday in the Austrian Alps, we went to an area called Saalbach-Hinterglem to do mountaineering, walking and downhill biking. This post will cover the mountaineering and walking and at some point some waterfall and river photos may or may not appear.
When we left for the holiday we were hoping to be able to climb Austria’s heighest mountain but as with all the best laid plans, that fell through due to the weather not being good enough in the second week and due to the height of the peak it is not a good idea to be up there in bad weather! And also as the hut for this route was at 3400m we could not do it in the first week as we had to acclimatise.
It was however still a great holiday for walking and mountaineering as we managed to do a couple of great Via F erratas, one of them being the first one that I have actually found challenging and by the time I got to the top I could hardly lift my arms due to so many steep tricky vertical/overhanging sections and overhanging traverses. We also a few walks along ridges which is always nice as “recovery” day as it is not too tiring walking along the top of ridges when you get a lift up to the start of the ridge and a lift down at the end, though that makes it sound like a walk in the park it is still tiring as it is not flat and we were walking in excess of 10 miles above 2000m.
In preparation for out mountaineering route that didn’t happen we had to do an acclimatization route where we headed up relatively height for a short period of time as to get used to altitude it is good to go hight for short periods as your body will adjust to the altitude due to the exercise but not get altitude sickness due to not spending too long up high. Due to a bad forecast in the afternoon we left at the crack of dawn and were the first people up the toll road which was great as it meant there were no other cars on the amazing GrossGlockner road. The route was slightly disappointing with the amount of time we spent on the Glacier as we almost didn’t need to put crampons etc. on and in fact we didn’t until the last 10mins before we had to take them off to go up a ridge covered in scree, though there was some fun scrambling on it and the view from the top made up for all that!
What we did on the holiday was still great and I had an amazing time but it is always a slight dissapointment to come back from something having not been able to do a major peak that you were looking forward to doing, but there is always next time!