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.
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.
After a friend entered Leonie in the Muttersberglauf she decided she couldn’t have all the fun alone and entered me also. So we drove to Bludenz on a very wet Sunday morning. The race was short, just 8km but with 1200 m of climbing. It was a part of the world cup mountain running circuit which didn’t help our prospects of doing well.
The race started and I cruised off at what I thought was a happy sustainable pace noting that my legs were still tired from cycling. Not long before leaving the streets and entering the forest Leonie caught me up and I decided to give up on trying to go hard and treat it as a leisurely training run. So I ran with Leonie waiting occasionally but not much to the top.
The weather was pretty rubbish. It felt like running in a tropical rain forest for a lot of it, misty, cloudy, and very damp. We escaped the cloud below the summit to cross the finish line at a little hut.
After descending we drove back to Lindau at which point the sun came out and I went for a nice ride up to Pfaender and along the hills before heading down to the lake in the evening and hanging out with the Denso/Adasens/Couch surfing crew for the evening.
Daniele, Katerina, Chris, Julia, and I headed off to Götzis in search of the elusive Via Örfla klettersteig. Daniele and Katerina had looked for it before but had not found it so this time they brought reinforcements, extra pairs of eyes.
The route starts at the swimming pool in Götzis and follows a river along a marked track for some time. It then takes a left and continues up the river in the Örflaschlucht. This is a nice ravine with high cliff walls. Walking up this river feels like you have landed in the jungle somewhere in Asia. It feels remote. The track is marked occasionally with rock piles. We found the start of the klettersteig after maybe 45 minutes walking on the true left of the river.
The klettersteig is not too difficult. It feels like a B/C route. It crosses the river again and the scenery is really nice. A sharp climb with views back down into the ravine. A little more walking and you come to the end… Except you haven’t… There’s a small section of walking before you get to the last section which is more like a D and ascends directly out of the ravine (you’ve already done a good part of the climbing).
It’s a sustained few minutes of climbing and you are finished. There’s then a nice walk back down which drops back into the ravine lower down and then leads back out the way you came to where you started.
Above: A map of the area (Kompass Wanderkarte)
Today was a good day.
I was back in the B block at the start. In the neutralised section at the beginning I rode up near the front close to the motor bikes. A cyclist a few riders in front went down and was trying to pick himself up in front of me. I dodged his drink bottle and amongst the confusion we joined the back of the A block. This was a good thing for getting a nice bunch and meant I was in a good position for the first hill after the race started.
I decided there would be plenty more hills and I should refrain a little but despite this got a very nice bunch that towed me until the first major climb. It was so good that my heart rate went down to 120 bpm in some parts despite a nice pace on the flat. Gooood.
My legs were fresh for the climb but I suspected that I’d get dropped anyway. But no, no no no, although I slid to the back for a while I managed to claw my way back to the front and got to the top first with two other guys. One of them was Jerome from RIG Freiburg. We had a delicious fast descent and then a bunch of maybe 6 people formed. We rotated through for a while until the rest caught us up.
The second major climb started after a while and my legs were ok to start with and I rode near the front. Eventually they gave out though and I lost the main bunch. By the drinks station I was riding with just a few other guys. We had a 1km section of gravel to navigate and we had reached the top. We had another fast descent. On one of the hairpin bends the guy in front of me misjudged the corner locked his breaks and slid into a patch of grass near the barrier.
I dropped the others on the descent. I was trying to conserve energy for the last climb which is normally leg destroying but this year we were approaching from a different direction. Suddenly I recognised the road we were joining. We were already a good way up the last climb. This was perfect. Usually I loose a lot of places on this climb. I rode as hard as I could, grunting away. The 1 km sign was suddenly there, then 500 m, then 200 m. I put in a little sprint up the last steep bit to the finish.
A very nice stage. Really nice views out to snow capped mountains in Slovenia(?), and green meadows a little closer. Perfect weather.
I sat and waited for Leonie for a while before we cruised back to the Ossiacher See.
Tour de Kaernten 2017 Stage 3 Lokalrunde Time: Dst: 98 km Avg: Max: Ascent: