We left Lake Nerine in the morning and ascended the slopes to the glacier on the South side of Nereus Peak. We dumped our packs and scrambled and picked our way up over snow and rock to the rock spire that was the summit. We scrambled up to the summit. Emily decided she’d prefer a rope so after collecting the rope Steve lead the short section to the summit. It was a good view from the top but the strong wind was bringing the clouds in and the sun was beginning to disappear. We set off down the glacier. Steve did some glissading on his crampons on the last part of the glacier and then we were onto the rock and climbing down into the North Branch of the Routeburn. We walked down the valley at some point escaping the bad weather and being rewarded by sunshine and heat. Shortly after passing the Routeburn Flats Hut we found a nice swimming spot and stripped off and refreshed ourselves in the cold water possibly disturbing nearby tourists. Then it was out and back to Queenstown for some expensive restaurant food.
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.