We left the Edelweiss Haus early in the morning and drove to the top of Hochtannberg Pass. The plan was to investigate the very rocky looking tower of the Grosser Widderstein on skis. We headed up to the closed Widderstein Huette where almost everyone including me decided that the tour looked like a bit too much excitement. Elmar and Roland, however, were looking for excitement and convinced me to come along with them. I agreed and we set off skinning our way across towards the mountain. I made a mental note that I’d probably regret not having attached my ski crampons and sure enough as the slope got steeper and steeper and I slithered around on each step trying to get a good stable hold on a ski edge I wondered why I had agreed to come. I definitely wasn’t keen to loose my feet on the slope as it was icy and there wasn’t a nice friendly run out and I was doubtful you’d be able to stop yourself if you slipped.
After a little while we all stopped and put on our ski crampons. Roland and I used a large ball of packed snow lying on the slope for stability. With ski crampons on it was much more comfortable and we continued edging along and then zigzagged up to the bottom of a narrow colouir. From there we continued up into the colouir with some dubious turns on the hard snow until it was clear we should make a ski depot. I was happy to get my skis off and get my crampons on as I had not been feeling particularly steady on the skis.
We climbed a steep section kicking into the hard snow and using our ice axes. The colouir then opened out onto a wider face that was now bathed in sun. We continued up on much softer snow until we reached the summit. After a bunch of posy photos and a schnapps at the top we headed back down to our skis. The snow had softened by this time and we had an enjoyable descent back down to the road where the others were waiting.
A very nice ski tour/mountaineering trip. A bit more tricky than I’m used to.