Dolomiten ohne Grenzen 2019

Johannes wanted to do a trip in the dolomites before leaving for Norway and Philip, Julie, and I were easily convinced.

Day 0 Lindau to Lunelli Hut

We drove from Lindau to the dolomites and up to the Lunelli Hut. It was raining as we arrived and we weren’t sure whether we would have to re-plan the trip a little.

Julie and Philipp ate the wraps that I had brought from my flat while Johannes and I sampled the polenta that was included in the halb-pension.

Day 1 Lunelli Hut to Carducci Hut

We got up early to beat the electrical storm that was expected after lunch. At 6:30 we headed off with bellies full of bread and jam. We arrived at the Berti Hütte after about an hour of ascending. From there we headed more steeply up into the mountains and the first ferrata route began. This was the Via ferrata Aldo Roghel. There were a few harder moves but it was generally quite ok. It lead us steeply up into the typical dolomite shaped mountains. We reached a pass and descended before traversing around through the rocky mountains and doing the second ferrata Cengia Gabriella. We arrived a the Carducci Hut in the evening.


Via ferrata Roghel: C, section D

Because of its length and demands, this stage is less frequently walked. There are hardly any other via ferratas in the Alps in such a wild environment. The route therefore requires solid Alpine experience and reliable weather conditions. Especially in early summer when there are still some old snow fields around, it is recommended to pack light crampons and an ice axe in your backpack. The crux of this tour is the very steep upper section of the via ferrata Roghel, where strong arms are required. If there are several climbers in the group, there is a risk of falling rocks in this steep draw. Long distances between the anchors require secure climbing and Alpine experience. The via ferrata is reasonably well secured but this could be improved. Because there is no simple short descent the tour must be continued using via ferrata Cengia Gabriella. The only refuge would be the Bivacco Cadore situated between the two via ferratas.

Via ferrata Cengia Gabriella: B,C

The route across Cengia Gabriella leads through the eastern and southern flank of Monte Giralba di Sotto to its west face. As a day tour from Rifugio Lunelli via both via ferratas to Rifugio Carducci, this is a long enterprise with over 1900m altitude. Top fitness and reliable weather conditions are required. On the upside, you will be on a little used route in a fantastic landscape!

Outdoor active has a fairly cautious description of the first day.

Weirdos (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)About to start (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)Julie and Phil (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)Phil strikes a heroic pose (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)

1) Weirdos ready to head off on a mission!

2) We had a big drive form Lindau to Italy.  It’s possible to drive to the Lunelli Hut and we did that staying the night there. Here we are for our before 7 a.m. alpine start. Julie and Phil are carrying bananas for added safety while Johannes, normally the most cautious, opted to take only his helmet.

3) We walked up the stony path to the Berti Hut in the morning arriving there after about an hour. From here the path  traversed around the mountains slightly before ascending sharply to the base of the rocky cliffs.

4) Phil takes a moment to put on a heroic pose as we get ready to start the first ferrata, Roghel.

Johannes on the first klettersteig (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)Looking back towards Phil (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)Taking a break (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)Posing (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)

1) The ferrata Roghel is mostly C with a D section. Johannes gets going.

2) Awesome views. Looking back in the direction we came.

3) Johannes and Cris taking a break in the valley above Biv. Cadore.

4) More posing in the sunshine.

Clipped in (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)On the ferrata (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)Dinner time (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)

1) My pack looks fairly large in this photo. I did really try hard to pack light though…

2) We continued around the side of the mountains.

3) We stayed the night at the Carducci Hut. The staff were friendly and the food was good.

Day 2 Carducci Hut to Drei Zinnen Hut

Good weather. We followed a klettersteig “Toni” up to a biv where we stopped for a snack. From there we were at a saddle and had a great view of the Drei Zinnen. We followed a path along below huge cliffs until we reached another saddle. From there we followed an easy klettersteig “Kriegsteig” to the Büllelejochhütte. It was crowded with many tourists so we ate our last wraps on the grass nearby before continuing to the Drei Zinnen Hut.

Phil sets off (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)Keeping low (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)Awesome view (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)Crossing snow (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)

1) Phil sets off.

2) The route had sections that required some being small.

3) Awesome dolomite views.

4) We came across a slope of snow despite it being late late August. There weren’t many sections like this though.

Cris and dolomites (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)Johannes and dolomites (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)Julie and dolomites (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)Yellow flowers on route (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)

1) Posing in the mountains again.

2) Johannes poses too.

3) And so does Julie.

4) Yellow flowers beside the track.

Lakes (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)Sitting at the Drei Zinnen Huette (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)The Drei Zinnen Huette (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)View of the Drei Zinnen by night (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)

1) A lake shortly before the Drei Zinnen Hut.

2) Us sitting outside at the Drei Zinnen Hut.

3) The Drei Zinnen Hut in the evening. It looks pretty nice but the hut itself was quite a tourist trap complete with unfriendly staff. I guess that’s what lots of people cause.

4) The Drei Zinnen in the evening looked particularly impressive.

The Drei Zinnen by night (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)The Drei Zinnen hut by night (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)

1) The Drei Zinnen in the evening looked particularly impressive especially with the cloud.

2) The hut again in the evening. Actually not the hut. We booked here but they put us in a small overflow hut nearby.

Day 3 Drei Zinnen Hut to Zsigmondsy Hut

In the morning we headed up behind the hut to do a short klettersteig up onto a rock tower. I really enjoyed it. It was steep with some ladders and cracks that we had to climb up.

We descended and headed back to the Drei Zinnen Hütte. After I had consumed an Apfelstrudel we headed up to the next klettersteig. It started with a tunnel up through the mountain that had been built in the war. We continued up to the summit of Paternkofel where we ate lunch and then along towards the Büllelejochhütte. After another Apple strudel we headed down to the Zsigmondsy Hütte for the evening.

At the top of the Torre di Toblin (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)Phil looking epic (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)Johannes climbing (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)Phil and Julie taking a lunch break (Dolomiten ohne Grenze August 2019)Route 101 (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)

1) We left the Drei Zinnen Hut in the morning and walked behind to a tower of rock. The Torre di Toblin has a ferrata on it’s Northern side. It’s graded C/D and climbs up a crack in the tower with interesting iron ladders. We’re at the cross at the top which has a good view back to the Drei Zinnen. The descent off to the North East is easier.

2) Phil looking epic.

3) Johannes climbing through the rocky dolomites. The hut in the background is the Drei Zinnen Hut and the spire behind it is the Torre di Toblin that we climbed first after leaving the hut.

4) After the Torre di Toblin we headed up to the summit of Paternkofel. We admired the amazing view from there.

5) The walking tracks are numbered.

Day 4 Zsigmondy Hut to Rotwandwiesen Hut

We headed off from the hut and began with an ascent. Then we had an easy traverse around the side of the mountains. After some time it became more technical and we ascended with steel rope. We reached a point where the path split into two. One part kept ascending into the Sentinellascharte and the other lead to the Anderter Scharte. We descended a bit and followed a narrow path into the scharte. We stopped for lunch and Philipp attempted to throw his back pack down the mountain. Luckily it was harder than he expected and we could recover it. We descended down and then along and down a ridge to the Rotwandwiesen Hütte. I was feeling a bit tired and we lazed in the hut until dinner time. It did its usual trick of raining but luckily it started after we arrived.

The Rifugio Zsigmondy Huette (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)Leaving the hut (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)Snow on route (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)Johannes and snow (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)

1) We spent the evening at Rifugio Zsigmondy. It was a pretty nice mountain hut and the food was good. I preferred it to the Drei Zinnen Huette, which felt more like mass tourisum.

2) We left the Rifugio Zsigmondy in the morning and sidled around to the other side of the valley and the beginning of our first ferrata, the Alpinisteig Strada degli Alpini.

3) We found a large patch of snow on the route.

4) Johannes and snow.

Johannes walking (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)Navigating the snow on the track (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)

1) Johannes striding purposefully.

2) Navigating the snow.

Day 5 Rotwandwiesen Hut to Lunelli Hut

The weather report made us a little uncertain what to do. Rain was predicted as early as midday and we were not keen to get caught in a storm up high. We decided to head up towards the Rotwand and if the weather looked bad at the Anderter Scharte we would bail early and backtrack the klettersteig we did yesterday and head up to the Sentinellascharte. From there we could drop down into the valley to the east and head to the Rifugio Berti.

We headed up into the hills at a speedy pace and by the time we reached the Anderter Scharte the weather was still ok. We decided to go on. The ascent to the Rotwand was fun. It began with an easy climb without rope and then continued with a steel rope. My legs felt good and I enjoyed the climb to the summit.

We didn’t spend long there as it looked like the weather was coming in. Grey clouds were forming and mist started to rise out of the valley. Instead we headed down slightly and began traversing across to the Zandonella Ferrata. The klettersteig was nice. We were descending instead of going up it. We found it reasonably technical. It felt quite alpine. We could see old snow across in the valley and the spiky dolomite peaks looked impressive.

From the bottom of the klettersteig we descended into the valley. I chose to slide down a stony scree slope to a patch of snow and glissade down that. It didn’t work terribly well and Johannes waited further down. We spent a wee while at a small but nice lake before continuing down past the Berti Hut to the Lunelli Hut where we drank hot chocolate and coffee. We then drove to Cortina del Ampezzo to camp for the night.

The following day we did a fun multipitch climb at the Cinque Torre in the hills above Cortina. It was the same two pitch climb that I did with Leonie back in 2017. This time I had friends with me and I placed them along the way.

We had a coffee at the refugio after climbing and then drove to Lake Garda.

Johannes going up (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)Green beside the track (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)Us at the top of Croda Rossa di Sesto (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)Descending to Rifugio Berti (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)

1) The following day we headed back up into the mountains. Johannes wore his tight pants again to show of his shapely butt. Or something.

2) The track on the way back into the mountains.

3) We ascended the Rotwand Klettersteig ending up at the top of the Croda Rossa di Sesto (2936m).

4) The descent via the ferrata Zandonella was steep and the weather threatened to go bad for a bit. But it ended up holding and we made our way down into the valley stopping at a little lake for a break.

Nice lake (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)Camping in Cortina (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)Cris and Johannes (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)

1) We stopped at this little lake with the nice colours for a bit before continuing down past Rif. A. Berti and back to our cars parked at Rif. Lunelli.

2) We drove to Cortina del Ampezzo and stayed the night at the campsite that I’ve stayed at a few times in the past.

3) We spent a day climbing at the Cinque Torre not far from Cortina.

View from the top of the climb (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)Phil climbing in the Cinque Torre (Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)View out from the Cinque Torre(Dolomitten ohne Grenzen 2019)

1) We did the same two pitch route that I did with Leonie back in 2017. This time I had cams so could protect the second pitch better.

2) Phillip in nachstieg on the second pitch.

3) View out into the hills from the carpark.

Dolomittenrundfahrt Lienz 2019

Hmmm, what to say? Last year was much better.

Leonie and I drove to Lienz on Friday evening. On Saturday we did a couple of klettersteige, and on Sunday we did the Dolomittenrundfahrt. I was pretty happy and a bit surprised how the race went last year. I got 23rd place in my category. This year it was a little different. Let’s start with some nice pictures of the klettersteige.

Cris (Pirknerklamm Klettersteig)

Above: Leonie and I went and did a couple of klettersteige before the race. Here I am at the start of the Pirknerklamm.

Climbing along the river 3 (Pirknerklamm Klettersteig)

Above: The route was nice, just above the river.

Cris and Leonie (Pirknerklamm Klettersteig)Leonie climbing up (Pirknerklamm Klettersteig)

Above left: The route was officially closed due to damage after flooding or something but we decided to check it out anyway thinking we would turn around if it was dubious. Above right: Leonie finds bits like this a bit spooky but she did well.

Cris waving (Pirknerklamm Klettersteig)Leoine and waterfall (Pirknerklamm Klettersteig)

Above left: Definitely a nice route up the river. Above right: We had to climb out of the klamm at the end of the first section past a big waterfall.

Leonie jumping across the river (Pirknerklamm Klettersteig)Leonie climbing (Pirknerklamm Klettersteig)Cris and church

Above left: The second was more open. Leonie tries to keep her feet dry on the river crossing. Above middle: The second section was scenic like the first. Above right: We tried another klettersteig after the first near a small town.

We both started in the elite block again. Last year the race went from zero to full speed at the gun. This year they neutralised the start a little and the pace wasn’t so extreme. We still had a police escort at the front but no police helicopter this time.

There was a crash in the bunch in front of me not long after the start but I managed to avoid getting tangled up amongst the cyclists and continued. I wanted to get a good bunch so rode up near to the front at the beginning of the first climb and cycled as hard as I could. This worked quite well for about half of the ascent and I passed many people. It didn’t work so well for the second half and a few people passed me and many people got away up the road.

At the top of the climb I hooked onto the back of a bunch and stuck with them for quite a while but I wasn’t feeling particularly springy and fresh and I realised I wasn’t going to be able to hang about with them for the entire race.

I kept up for a bit along the rolling course but then slipped back to another bunch. This continued for much of the race until I had slipped a long way back down the field. I was feeling even less springy by now. The climbing is essentially over around 80km and around the time we reached the valley back to Lienz a bigger bunch caught up again and I hung on to that. We made a good pace down the valley. I didn’t bother sprinting at the finish.

Unlike last year I didn’t go back to get my camera as I was pretty sure Leonie wouldn’t be far away. In fact, during the race I was expecting her to come flying by in one of the bunches. I was right, she rolled across the finish line about 10 minutes later. Far too close behind me for comfort! Probably she’ll be faster than me next year.

We took some posy photos at the finish line and complained a bit how we both had bad races. We headed back to the camp site and got ready to laze until Leonie found out that she had got 3rd place in her category. Hmmm…

Leonie at the prize giving (Dolomitenrundfahrt)

Above: Leonie at the prize giving.

Leonie on the podium (Dolomitenrundfahrt)

Above: Leonie did extremely well getting 3rd place in her category.

Leonie and her prize (Dolomitenrundfahrt)

Above: Leonie posing with her trophy.

After the prize giving we did some premium lazing.



Exploring Karwendel

Leonie drove to Lindau on Wednesday night. The original plan had been to go to the Brenta dolomites and re-enact the nice little trip we had there in 2016 but the weather was not playing nice so instead we made a new plan. The new plan was to go to trusty Ticino where the sun always shines. However, when we checked the weather forecast on Thursday morning the sun was not shining. Oh no, trusty Ticino had failed us. As the sun was shining in the Rheintal we drove to Götzis and did the via Örfla klettersteig leaving out the D section at the end. Then, as that wasn’t enough, we drove to Gargellen and did the Ronggwasserfall klettersteig there. Leonie powered through and didn’t need to be belayed like the first time we did it. This was good as I didn’t bring my rope. We stayed at her flat in Innsbruck/Hatting for the night.

Heading off to the via OerflaWalking to the start of the via OerflaOn the klettersteig (via Oerfla klettersteig)On the klettersteig 2 (via Oerfla klettersteig)

1) We headed off to do the via Örfla klettersteig. The sun was out and peeping into the ravine on the walk in. Leonie took a moment to bask in it.

2) The route goes up a narrow valley before taking a left and following a river.

3) The klettersteig is easy except for the last section which is graded D. You can avoid it though by escaping out of the ravine to the left.

4) We did some posing as usual.

Autumn coloursLeonie in the ravine (Gargellen Klettersteige)Leonie on the Rongg-Wasserfall klettersteig (Gargellen Klettersteige)Dinner time (Hating)

1) There were plenty of autumn looking colours about.

2) We drove to Gargellen in the afternoon and did the Rongg-Wasserfall Klettersteig.

3) Leonie didn’t have an issue with the height like she did a few years ago when we first did this one.

4) We had dinner at Leonie’s flat in Hatting.

On Friday we struggled to make up our minds what to do but ended up driving to Mittenwald and taking the gondola up into the mountains (Germany’s second highest cable car no less). We did the Mittenwalder klettersteig. It started in snow but that soon vanished and we spent a few hours wandering along the ridge. It was a mix of Grade A and B but quite nice. It was quite windy up so high. We got out of the forest in drizzle and walked back to the car in the dark before driving back to Hatting for the night.

Careful in the snow (Exploring Karwendel)Us on the Mittenwalder Klettersteig (Exploring Karwendel)

1) We did the Mittenwalder Klettersteig. The first part was under a dusting of snow.

2) Narrow in parts.

On Saturday we woke up to much grey but the webcams in the hills were saying blue sky so we headed to Hofer for some delicious goodies including the very tasty Hofer Nutbread. Then we drove to Hochzirl. Despite only planning an overnight trip my tramping pack was full. We headed off in the mist but after an hour or so of walking we left the mist into sunshine. Sunshine… We reached the Sollstein Haus after a bit under 3 hours of walking. The hut was closed for the season but the winter room was open. It’s a little building near the hut with a sign saying “winterraum” so you don’t get confused. It sleeps six but would be even more comfortable with four. There was plenty of food left in the hut. Probably we could have walked up without bringing any ourselves. There’s a small table, a bench, and a wood-fired stove. There are a few pots and plates. You could happily light the fire and cook on the stove-top. I had brought my MSR cooker though as we weren’t sure there would be wood and after all who trusts that old fangled technology anyway.

We ate lunch and later went to check out the little klettersteig near the hut. There’s an interesting wee climbing area also and the klettersteig loops around this so that you can set up top ropes. Leonie decided it wasn’t for her and I decided my crocs would be just perfect for the D section, which they were. It didn’t feel like a D section…

We shared the hut with a couple of mountain bikers in the evening and they got the fire going while we cooked a curry outside and watched the sunset.

Walking up to Solsteinhaus (Exploring Karwendel)Nice view (Exploring Karwendel)Cris waves from above (Exploring Karwendel)Autumn colours from near the hut (Exploring Karwendel)Nice sunset in the evening from the Solsteinhaus (Exploring Karwendel)Sunset from Solsteinhaus (Exploring Karwendel)Inside the winterraum(Exploring Karwendel)

1) On Sunday we risked it and walked up through the fog to the Solsteinhaus.

2) We ascended above the fog as we climbed and had a great view down into the valley.

3) I did a short sport klettersteig near the hut.

4) Autumn colours near the hut.

5) A nice sunset looking down into the valley.

6) More nice sunset.

7) We stayed in the small cozy winter room that was unlocked.

On Sunday we headed up to the Erlspitze via the Zirler Klettersteig. This involved walking up to the Eppzirler Scharte. The route up was steep and eroded. From the saddle we could see down into the valley behind and also to the start of the klettersteig. The route was easy, a mix of A and B sections but it was still quite interesting. The erosion has lead to lots of rock towers forming. Well, something caused them to form. I’m not a geologist. About 3/4 of the way through there is a D section that I did and Leonie skipped, walking around it. Then a few more easy bits and we were at the summit. We walked back down the normal route to the hut, made lunch was consumed and then we walked down to the car.

I caught the early train back to Lindau on Monday morning ending a nice few days of exploring.

In the mountains (Exploring Karwendel)Us in the mountains (Exploring Karwendel)At the summit of  Erlspitze (Exploring Karwendel)View down the valley (Exploring Karwendel)View down the valley again (Exploring Karwendel)

1) The following day we did the Zirler Klettersteig up above the hut.

2) More posing was necessary.

3) And some more posing at the summit.

4) Leonie looks down the valley.

5) Autumn colours on the descent.