Nobody was against it, that for the first part of the trip a 'snowmobile' was
hired to get us from Ischl to the hut at 2244 meters. Besides, it's after 4
o'clock PM and it will be dark quite soon now. All equipment and backpacks are
loaded onto the roof of the snowmobile. There seems to be just enough space
inside for all of us. I get acquainted with the other group members. It
is the first time for most of us and nobody knows what is going to happen the
next days ...
Before we start the first day-trip, the two guides take the time to inspect
our equipment and eplain how to make it ready. The skins are 'glued' onto the
skis, the bindings are put in 'walk position' and there we go ! The weather is
nice. Altough, it's well freezing it doesn't feel cold.
After a few breaks and a couple of hours walking the summit of Ils Calguns is near. The last meters are done without skis because the ridge it too narrow. The view is splendid. The way down lets us experience the first deep snow. It's not always easy !
The day starts with the same scenario as yesterday : a short briefing,
preparation of the equipment, bindings in 'walk position' and upwards ! A few
hours later on top of the Piz Val Gronda we take some group pictures and
admire the view. The cabin where we started this morning is just a small point
in the white scenery below us.
After a while a cloud surrounds us, so we better get down if we don't want to loose our way ! The descent is better than yesterday, we enjoy the soft glide in the deep snow as never before.
Bad luck ! It has been snowing last night and it is still going on this morning. The view is less than 20 meters and it doesn't seem to change for the rest of the day. So, the trip scheduled for today is cancelled. It's no use to climb a peak if we don't see where we are. Besides, the snow cover is unstable, it may provoke avalanches too easy. The guide decides to go for a small tour to experience the basic techniques.
We are fortunate today, the bad weather has passed by. We have to cross to
another valley via the Kronen Joch mountain pass at 2974 meters. A nice
weather can always help. The beginning is quite easy but as we climb higher
there is a hard wind coming up. It blows ice particles from the surface into
the face. After three hours climbing we arrive at the pass.
While some slower members of the group are going down immediatly to the next mountain hut, I join the other part to climb the Breite Krone (3079 m). An eagle flies over our heads when we reach the top, he doesn't seem to like us standing in his biotope. The wind is even blowing harder now and clouds are coming up, so we better hurry to join the others. It grows dark when we finally reach the Jamtal Hütte.
We make a day trip to another peak today, the Hintere Jamspitze (3156 m). This
means almost 1000 meters of climbing and of coarse the same amount of downhill
skiing afterwards. Unlike the past days it is really warm today. I suppose
it's still freezing but the difference with yesterday is remarkable. No cap or
jacket, it would kill me with such a 'hot' weather !
The scenery is marvelous, snow, glaciers and peaks wherever I look. Suddenly, we hear a thunder-like sound. The guide stops and looks around. This is an avalanche ! The guide examines the mountainsides, but he can't see anything peculiar. The valley here is quite open, but nevertheless, some years ago two people died here in an avalanche... After a minute of quietness, we assure ourselves that the danger has faded away and we can continue the ascent.
We climb the last part without skis because of the rocky surface. Pictures are taken at the top. Half an hour later, when skiing down the guide warns us : "This is a glacier area, we have to spread our weight, so don't come too close to each other and always keep your skis on, you might be standing on a crevasse !" Back in the hut we celebrate our new altitude record.
It's the same nice weather as yesterday. We are going in the same direction as
yesterday, but after a while we take a route on the right side of the Jamtal
Ferner (glacier) to the 'Obere Ochsenscharte' mountain pass (2977 m). As we
walk in the shadow, it feels significantly colder. After a break on the pass,
we ski downhill over the Vermunt Gletscher to the Wiesbadner Hütte (2443 m).
A cool beer on the terrace of the cabin, that's all we need ...
It's still very cold when the first sunrays touch the mountain peaks on the opposite side of the valley. We had to get up early because the guide has to be in Galtür at noon. For an hour we follow a road downhill that leads us to the Silvretta Stausee. It is an artificial lake that is completely frozen now. We cross the lake right in between. But the crossing is long and tiring, the other end doesn't seem to come any closer. At last, we reach the dam en from there on we continue on a prepared road to the first bar we find and drop down in fromt of a well deserved beer ...