Ski touring Kühtai, March 2013 – Day 4 Ski tour Vordere Karlesspitze

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.

Trekking up Vordere Karlesspitze (Ski touring Kühtai)Rolland on tour (Ski touring Kühtai)Elmar enjoying himself (Ski touring Kühtai)

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.

Ridge nearby (Ski touring Kühtai)At the summit of the Vordere Karlesspitze (Ski touring Kühtai)

Above left: View of the ridges near the summit of Vordere Karlesspitze. Above right: At the summit of the Vordere Karlesspitze

Ski touring Kühtai, March 2013: Day 3 – Ski tour Salzkogel

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…

Elmar turns (Ski tour Salzkogel)Reaching the summit (Salzkogel)Delicious looking snow at the summit (Ski tour Salzkogel)

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.

Ski touring into spring (Ski tour Salzkogel)A powdery crash (Ski tour Salzkogel)

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.

Ski touring Kühtai, March 2013: Day 2 – Ski tour Gaißkogel

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.

Heading off for a ski tour (Ski touring Kühtai)Heading off to Gaißkogel (Ski tour Gaißkogel)Nearing the summit of Gaißkogel (Ski tour Gaißkogel)

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.

Cris on the summit (Ski tour Gaißkogel)Starting our powdery descent (Ski tour Gaißkogel)Sigi (Ski tour Gaißkogel)

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.

Christian shows his moves in the powder (Ski tour Gaißkogel)On tour with Christian in the afternoon (Ski touring Kühtai)

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.

Ski touring Kühtai, March 2013: Day 1– Ski tour Pirchkogel

We drove down from Freiburg early in the morning to Kühtai in Austria and set up camp in the Dortmunder Hütte. We headed out for a quick assisted tour in the afternoon. We took the lift up the mountain and toured up to Pirchkogel (2828 m). It was blowing a gale on the top so we didn’t stick around and instead we floated down the mountain on the nice fresh powder. Actually, in my case it was more float, crash, float, crash so much so that my little GPS tracker manage to exit my bag and came to a cold death in the snow.

We hung out at a cafe for a while before Rolland, Christian, and I went for another little tour a few hundred metres up the hill before skiing back down to our hut.

Snowy mountain (Ski touring Kühtai)Walking up the mountain (Ski touring Kühtai)

Above left: Sun, and clean white powdery snow on our first day ski touring. Above right: We started a bit late after driving from Freiburg in the morning so we first took the ski lift up into the hills and then set off from there.

Christian on tour (Ski touring Kühtai)Ascending (Ski touring Kühtai)Christian at the summit (Ski touring Kühtai)

Above left: Christian seems to be enjoying himself. Above middle: More happy trekking. Above right: It was quite windy at the summit so we didn’t hang around long.

Skiing in Allgäu

Brendan, Andreas, and I met in Allgäu for the weekend. We stayed with the lovely Katha who kindly hosted three rowdy boys. We headed out with Katha and some of her friends on Friday night. On Saturday we headed off to Wertach, hired some touring skis and toured up Wertacherhörnle. The weather was delicious, the snow was fluffy, sunshine and lollipop were everywhere. There was, however, not a lot of the fluffy stuff and suspicious patches of grass could be seen in some places. From the summit we had a tasty descent into a little basin before skinning back up to the summit and descending back down the mountain, stopping briefly at a little hut for some suppage. We dined in with Katha in the evening. She had to work again on Sunday so we headed to Tannheimer Tal for a day of skiing on the piste and in the powder off it. We found a hundred different ways to descend through the forest. Andreas had told us how he hadn’t skied for 15 years but it seemed he hadn’t forgotten. We carved down nice powdery slopes through the trees. Back to Freiburg in the evening.

Andy touring (Ski tour Wertacherhörnle)Brendan walking towards the summit (Ski tour Wertacherhörnle)

Abpve left: Andy heads up through the forest towards Wertacherhörnle. Above right: The weather was fantastic. Blue skies and sun. Brendan does some trekking in short sleeves.

View towards the summit (Ski tour Wertacherhörnle)View towards the real summit (Ski tour Wertacherhörnle)

Above left: View looking up towards the summit. Above right: We cruised along the ridge to the real summit complete with gipfelkreuz.