27th Aug – 4th September, Austria Hut to Hut
Present: Dan (organiser), Claire, Alan, Paula, Dave, Bruce, Steve, Andy, Keyna, James, Simon (P)
Location: This was a superb 9 days high level route, walking from hut to hut (from Frassenhutte above Bludenz to Augsberger Hutte above Pians), several hours a day, usually involving at least 1,000m of ascent (and descent).
The highlights were:
1. The journey there – by car, plane (to Zurich), train, bus replacement service, train, train & cable car. The 1 minute transfers between platforms were particularly exciting and challenging!
2. The few inches of snow together with a clear blue sky on the first day making the walking and views stunning – so much so that Dan took us up an extra peak (on top of the planned two) to make the most of it. We nearly missed dinner at Freiburger Hutte.
3. James leaving his i-phone on top of Gamsfreiheit (2,211m), and not noticing until a couple of km’s and 500m descent later. Keyna sent it a text message with a return address, and it was there waiting for him in the post when he returned home! What nice people there are in the Alps!
3. Katharine the waitress at the Ravensburger Hutte, dressed in tight lederhosen hotpants which the boys couldn’t take their eyes off (trying to read the word across her bum – which when Dan asked her, it turned out to be her home town).
4. Looking forward to pizza and chips at our only road crossing of the week at the ski result of Zurs – only to find it was closed for the season, but it did have that all important cash machine, a drinks machine, and a friendly police station for a loo stop.
5. Dan’s promised “rest day” which involved most of us climbing the Valluga (2,809m) twice, once without our packs (the unknown practice run), and once with.
6. A highlight for James and Keyna whilst most of us went up the Valluga again was crossing the funky closed trail which meant they got a giant sized beer – maybe 4 litres – well before anyone else got to the hut.
7. The dotted paths marked on the maps, which were exciting via ferata in disguise
8. For those of us not brave enough to attempt the exposed Augsberger Hohenweg route, attempting to cram an “easier” 2 day route into 1 day to meet up at the final hut – a valiant attempt by all concerned – but special mention to Bruce for climbing an extra peak to get a mobile signal to send the message out that we were all ok and spending the night at the Memminger Hutte instead!
9. For Dan, James and Keyna, the big day doing the Augsberger Hohenweg – the mountain was just a slag heap waiting to fall down around them.
10. The wildlife – particularly the marmots, and the giant rabbit at the Ansbacher Hutte.
11. The Wiener Schnitzel and chips in St Anton at the end, after a week of soup, goulash and pasta
12. The spectacular sunsets – particularly those from the Stuttgarter and Ansbacher hutte’s