Leonie and I headed off early again, this time to Passo Valparola a bit further on from Passo di Falzarego. We followed the technically easy Kaiserjaegersteig up to Rifugio Lagazuoi where we had a delicious hot chocolate and apple struedel to reward our efforts. Then we headed back down through a tunnel system that was built in the war. The tunnels were long and constructed right inside the mountain itself. Occasionally there were passageways leading to openings to the outside. From there there were views to the surrounding mountains and down to the Cinque Torri.
We woke at the Hofpürglhütte to clouds followed by rain. As this wasn’t the best for climbing we had breakfast and wombled down to the cars. We then drove to the Wolfgangsee with some creative navigation that involved us driving over a pass. Unfortunately this cost us 10 EUR for the entertainment but as we are positive people we saw the positive side and intensely enjoyed the mountain air, the winding road, the cows, and all that could be enjoyed.
We drove to Gasthof Kleefeld for lunch and did the Brustwand klettersteig, the same one that Leonie and I had done a few weeks earlier. Then it was off for a swim in the lake briefly as the sun was coming out. It was then time to look for our accommodation between Strobl and Bad Ischl. It turned out to be a very large arty apartment with room for nine people at least. It had a balcony facing onto a river and it was all quite excellent.
We set about cooking dinner and spent the evening listening to chilled out music, drinking wine, and chatting. Sam and Sebas turned up from Munich in time to enjoy the evening too.
Above left: Rain forced a hasty getaway from the Hofpürglhütte and we drove to Kleefeld at the Wolfgangsee and did the Brustwand klettersteig. Above right: All went well.
On Wednesday night Johannes, Ari and I escaped to Munich in the Ari-mobil. We landed at Sam and Sebas’ and hung out there for the evening.
Then on Thursday the journey continued to Filzmoos in Austria. We drove from there up to a car park below the hofpürglhuette where we meet Brendan and his lady Domi. The weather was much nicer than expected and we sweated our way up the short distance to the hut (about 50 minutes).
The hut is pretty nice. Typical alpine hut. We found a spot in the mattress area and sat out on the terrace for some lunch. In typical Ari fashion, Brendan, Johannes, and I shared most of her lunch.
Then it was off for a via ferrata route that turned out to be mostly a walk with a few not strictly necessary cables near the end. It was nice though and we had patches of snow to cross which amused us and we got to kick steps with our soft shoes in the soft snow.
There was a nice view from the summit of the Steigkogel and we could see back down to the hut.
Suddenly terrified that we might get back too late for our Halbpension evening meal we headed off back down. This time we made use of the patches of snow and we did some premium glissading down to the main track. The snow was suitably soft and the gradient not too steep so as to make it safe.
We were all quite successful except that Brendan decided that his shoes were then too wet and that his bare mountain feet would be more appropriate for the rest of the way back along the stony route.
We ascended a short distance back to the Steiglpass before heading back down towards the hut aided by more snow.
After dinner we got a little bit of sport climbing in on a couple of the 150+ routes in the area. We headed back down to the hut at dusk shortly before 10 pm. A nice day. Life is good.
We crawled out of our tent and got ready. It was cold in the valley but once we crossed the river and climbed a little we reached the sun. It was a perfect weather day. Even more perfect than yesterday. We headed up to Galdhøpiggen, the highest peak in Norway (and not at all technical) with a large horde of other tourists. Most were very slow so we passed them.
The view from the summit was very nice. Steep cliffs and glaciers. We ate our Lom bread further down and arrived back down at the car park 6 hours after we started. After packing up our tent we had a delicious descent back down the gravel road to the main road. It was probably the most enjoyable riding of the whole trip. Lots of rolling, nice and warm, great scenery.
We rode back into town arriving after the bakery had closed but luckily one of the women closing the til out the front let us in and I came back out with two loaves of fruit and nut. Victory a second time.
We camped down by the lake in Lom in the evening and did battle with the mosquitos.
Above left: We headed up to Galdhøpiggen with the hordes of tourists doing the same. It took about 3 hours to the top at what was a fairly easy pace for us. Above middle: The views from the summit were nice. There is quite a drop from the summit to the glaciers below on one side. The route that we followed was not at all technical though. Above right: We headed back down to Lom from Spiterstulen after climbing Galdhøpiggen. The descent was nice. The gravel road was mostly smooth with a few potholes to make things a bit more interesting.
Above: We found a spot down by the river just outside of Lom to camp for the evening.
We hurried off to the bakery in the morning only to find that we had been foiled again. The fruit and nut bread would not be ready until after lunch. Oh dear. We went to the tourist information and re-planned the rest of our holiday around the bread. As you do.
We went for a walk for a couple of hours in the hills above Lom while the bakery baked. The weather was perfect, nice and warm, and not a cloud. The views of the surrounding hills were very nice.
We headed back to the bakery at 2 pm only to be told that the bread was now too warm to be sold. We gave up and bought an olive bread instead. As we were leaving I went in to reserve a loaf of fruit bread for tomorrow, but was surprised to find that they were now selling it. Norway mission accomplished!
We packed the bread and started riding up the valley in the sunshine on a quiet side road. We then turned onto the b55 and later headed up towards Spiterstulen. The plan was to spend the night there and do some walking the next day.
The road after leaving the b55 if gravel and ascends to about 1000 m. We took a break along the way and some nosey calves came to check us out. They took an unhealthy liking to our fruit bread and Leonie had to sacrifice some of our walnut bread to be able to lead them away while I frantically repacked.
We fluffed around looking for a camp site at the road end. There were a million other tourists and a little village of tents. We found a spot further down the river and cooked a curry and drank hot chocolate. Important things.
Above left: After failing a second time to get Lom fruit and nut bread we settled for walnut. Above right: We went for a walk into the hills while the bakery was baking our fruit and nut bread.
Above left: The views into the valley were nice. Above right: We hid our bikes around the back of this little shack before we went walking.
Above left: We took a break. Above right: Disaster! Three nosey calves tried to make off with our Lom fruit and nut bread and also showed unhealthy interest in my shoes and inner soles.
Above left: The road up to Spiterstulen was 18 km long and gravel but quite nice to ride. Above middle: It took us a while to cycle up to Spiterstulen and we arrived in the evening. Above right: There were a bunch of Rudolphs down by the river.
Above left: We spent quite some time fluffing around trying to find a place to camp. Above right: This is the view into the Jotunheimen National Park from Spiterstulen.