We had enough time for a quick tour before driving home so we headed up to the Vordere Karlesspitze (2574 m) near the hut. The snow was definitely much worse than the previous three days and the there were sections of the dreaded ‘breakable crust’ which is a nightmare to ski. Still we had a nice little plod up to the summit and a strenuous ski back down before getting lunch at a restaurant in Oetz and then driving back to Freiburg.
Above left: On our last day we headed up for a quick tour to the Vordere Karlesspitze. The nice powdery snow was being replaced by nasty breakable crust snow but still it was a nice little tour. Above middle: Rolland ascending to Vordere Karlesspitze. Above right: Elmar nearing the summit of Vordere Karlesspitze.
Above left: View of the ridges near the summit of Vordere Karlesspitze. Above right: At the summit of the Vordere Karlesspitze
We headed up to Salzkogel (2828 m – coincidentally the same height as Pirchkogel, or 3016 m if you believe OpenStreetMap…) today. The weather down low was not so great but once we got up high it was blue sky and goodness again. I was feeling like zooming so did just that…
Above left: Elmar doing a “Spitzkehre” near the Salzkogel summit. Above middle: The weather lower down was not so good but we reached the Salzkogel summit with blue sky. Above right: Mmmm creamy white snow.
Above left: Alex, Elke, Elmar and co. plot a route down the valley. Above right: Oh.. oh… the boss has had a crash. Elmar succumbs to the powder snow leaving a little crater of destruction.
We left early and headed up next to the piste towards the peak for the day. The weather was good and the snow was too. We left the piste after some time and skinned up a valley before climbing steeply at its head. From there we attached ski crampons and ascended towards the summit of Gaißkogel (2820 m). Near the top we gave up on the skiing, attached our skis to our packs and walked the last section to the summit. It was again very windy at the top. The views were great though. We crossed a very small ridge and sheltered from the wind behind the banked snow. The descent was down a 40 degree(+?) couloir followed by steep powder slopes that eventually eased off. We had hundreds of vertical metres of virgin snow which we carved up much to the annoyance of an old Austrian ski tourer making his way up the mountain.
Christian and I went for another ski tour in the afternoon a few hundred metres up the mountain across from the hut to make the most of the weather and great snow.
Above left: On our second day we headed up to Gaißkogel. The tour started on the ski slopes but after an hour or so we headed off piste. Above middle: Heading off the ski piste up the valley through nice powdery snow. Spot the little dog at the back that came along to the summit with an old Austrian guy we met along the way. Above right: Christian clambers towards the Gaißkogel summit.
Above left: Cris at the summit of Gaißkogel (2820 m). Above middle: Elmar looking happy after we descended through a very steep couloir/”rinne” to a delicious powdery mountain side. Above right: Sigi looks happy after descending in delicious powder.
Above left: Christian laps up the powder snow on our delicious descent from Gaißkogel. Above right: Christian and I went for another tour in the afternoon up behind the hut for an hour or so.