We headed away up the valley from our lime stone camp. A quick snack of apple struedel was had at a hut with a view down into a deep valley. From there we headed towards a rocky saddle. We climbed over the saddle and looked down at scree disappearing over cliffs. An impossibly thin track wound its way along the cliffs. It seemed to disappear in places and there was always a huge drop from the track to the valley below. We were dubious as to whether the track would be useable. It looked like there had not been many people using the route for sometime.
Above left: Chris descends to the start of the via feratta route. Above right: Spot the easy route through the cliffs!
We headed down a dodgy scree to a position a handful of metres above where bits of rock fell away into the void. Slowly we traversed around to the first part where the track seemed to disappear. To our suprise, when we got closer we could see that the track had been only hidden in shadow. It was wide enough to walk in single file and there was protection by way of a long wire running along the cliff on the right. We put on our harnesses and via feratta gear with anticipation and proceeded around the cliff. We continued for about an hour. Each time we looked ahead it appeared as if we could not continue and then we’d find the track picking its way through patchy exposed bits of rock sometimes with protection and sometimes without. Still, none of this was as bad as the hairy ridge we tried to walk out along on our Ivory Lake trip a couple of years ago. Therefore, Greig, Clare, Joe, etc. would be loving it…
Above: Climbing along the via feratta route.
Below left: Cris on route. Below middle: Em and Chris down climbing. Below right: The cliffs that we climbed through.
We reached the main track and rejoined the throngs of tourists. Sadly we had to descend a couple of hundred metres before climbing back over another saddle. We screed down the other side to a bivouac. There were about 8 people there from the Netherlands and 2 from Czech. They were friendly and we spent sometime amusing them by showing them what we were carrying. The biggest hit was the two cabbages. These sent them into fits of laughter. As luck would have it they were eager to swap 500 g of pasta for some of our heavy veggies. Luckily this means we can eat lunch on the last day.
We stayed the night in the winter room in the biv for free. For future note, bivouacs seem to be run by mountaineering clubs and have winter rooms that are free to use. At least, there was nobody there to charge us for them. Others camped outside in front of the no camping sign.
Above left: Trampers at the biv. Above right: No camping!
[gmap lat=’46.391275′ lon=’13.821795′]