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Austria, september

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Austria, september

Postby damgaard » Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:38 pm

I have just "won" an additional week of vacation this summer/autumn, and I'm thinking about going to Austria.

Can anybody recommend any good areas/peaks for the middle of September (I'm thinking about Grossglockner/Hohe Tauern myself)?? I might not have a car, so a round trip of 5-7 days from some train station will be perfect.

I'd like to climb some peaks, but as I might be going alone they shouldn't be too difficult (PD, maybe F, rock climb max II). I have climbed Castor, Pollux, Mt. Blanc and Dom, so something of this difficulty or slighltly easier will be perfect. Via ferrate routes are most welcome

Are the glaciers safe in September?

How stable is the weather.

Any info will be appreciated.

cheers Jesper
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Postby Mathias Zehring » Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:36 am

Hi

I can recommend a trip in the eastern part of the Hohe Tauern range at Ankogel Group. This area can easily be reached by train as the main route crosses the Tauern range in a tunnel between Badgastein / Boeckstein to Mallnitz

A glacier is only safe if it is free of snow. Even if there is no fresh snow in September, this will not be the case in higher regions. So you should concentrate on the ridges. I can recommend a trip like the following:

1. by train to Mallnitz, walk up to Arthur-von Schmid-Haus

2. climb Saeuleck and proceed to Hochalmspitze along Detmolder grat route. This requires good conditions. The final ascent to Hochalmspitze crosses the upper part of Trippkees glacier, but there are no crevasses if you stay above the bergschrund. Crampons and ice axe maybe necessary. Some parts have fixed cables like a via ferrata. Descent to Giessener hut. The alternative decent to Osnabruecker hut crosses Hochalmkees glacier what is too dangerous for going solo.

3. change huts from Giessener hut to Kattowitzer hut by descending into the Maltatal valley.

4. climb Grosser Hafner (almost the easternmost 3000m-peak of the alps in the morning and walk to Osnabruecker hut in the afternoon.

5. follow the Tauernhoehenweg trail to Grosselendscharte pass and to Hannoverhaus hut. Ankogel (3250m) can be climbed on a marked route (easy ridge) in addition

6. follow the Tauernhoehenweg trail to Hagener hut. From there Gesselkopf (2974m) can be climbed on marked route in addition.

7. descend to Nassfeld / Sportgastein and take the bus to Boeckstein or Badgastein (train station)

Of course variations are possible. E.g. on day 3 a direct marked route from Giessener hut to Hanoverhaus is possible and a prolongation of the route from hagener hut into Goldberg Group.
It is a very nice area. Have fun! In september the weather can be very stable at high pressure as there is no risk of thundrstorms. But if bad weather arrives you should consider changing your plans to goals more on the south side of the alps like Dolomites.

Online map availabe at: http://www.austrianmap.at/
Last edited by Mathias Zehring on Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby damgaard » Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:58 am

Hi Mathias

Thanks for the route suggestion. I looked at the map and it looks like the kind of route I was looking for. I have a few follow up questions, you might be able to answer.

A. I can see a track leading from Hochalmspitze to Villacher Hütte across the glacier. Is this one "safe" for going solo? or is it nescesary to be 2+ persons? Are crampons and axe needed? (the route from Giesener Htt to Katowicer Htt looks rather long so this would make a nice shortcut.

B: From Gr. Hafner to Osnabrücker Htt. The "high" route over Weinschnabel looks more interesting than the "low" route along the lake. Do you know how much extra time the high route takes?

C: Osnabrücker Htt - Ankogel. The glacier route over Kleinelendkees looks tempting. Is this one "safe" for going solo? or is it nescesary to be 2+ persons? Are crampons and axe needed?

D: Ankogel - Hannover Htt. Can you walk along the ridge (Radecksch., Grauleitensp, Steinerkreuz) ?, or do you have to go down to the Goslarer Weg?

mfg Jesper
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Postby Mathias Zehring » Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:54 am

Hi Jesper,

A. Hochalmkees glacier is still a "real" glacier with crevasses, so going solo cannot be recommended. Crampons and ice axe surely are necessary. Indeed changing from Giessener hut to Kattowitzer hut through the valleys is not that interesting. Hopefully you get a ride along Goessgraben Tal valley. Where this valley meets Maltatal valley there is Fallbach-Klettersteig via ferrata on the other side. This is a difficult but interesting ferrata route that takes 2 h in addition.

B. I don't know the times. But if weather is fine I would also take the long route via Weinschnabel – if you have a full day. If you have climbed Hafner in the morning, the Weinschnabel route will be too long. I remember many ups and downs and fields of blocks between Kattowitzer hut and the lake that took longer than expected.

C. Also the Kleinelendkees glacier to Ankogel cannot be recommended for going solo because there are dangerous crevasses. It is not theat steep but probably crampons and ice axe are necessary

D. I don't know. Surely the route along the ridge requires some climbing.

If you have further questions, don't hesitate.

Cheers, Mathias
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Postby Gangolf Haub » Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:15 pm

If weather doesn't allow Matthias suggestion, you could also go a bit further south and treck Karnischer Höhenweg along the WW I trenches between Austria and Italy. The trail is easy but there are multiple mountains on the way the climb of which might be interesting to you.

I only found this German site.

The most interesting part is the first half along this ridge.
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Postby klk » Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:23 pm

Check out www.bergsteigen.at for tons of topos, photos, and other beta.
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Postby damgaard » Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:34 pm

Thanks for all the info. I have booked train tickers for Mallnitz, so hopefully the weather will be ok. The Dolomites are off course an option, but I was in Canazei for a week in July, and besides I haven't been climbing/hiking much in Austria.

A few quick questions.
1. Do you have to carry a sleeping bag, or do they have blankets in the huts?
2. Can I find a map in Mallnitz or A. von Schmid Haus or should I order it via post
3. Can you buy food for lunch at the huts?

regards
Jesper
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Postby Mathias Zehring » Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:11 am

Hi Jesper,
1. there are blankets at the huts - but you have to use a light sleeping bag for hygienic reasons. like this one
Normally you can buy such a sleeping bag at the huts. The de-lixe-version is made of silk
2. A hiking map 1:50000 (by either Kompass or Freytag&Berndt) can surely be bought in a shop in Mallnitz - if you arrive at normal business time. But the train station is 1 km outside of Mallnitz and the ascent to A-v-Schmid-Haus goes in the other direction.
The better maps 1:25000 of the alpine clubs are mostly available at the huts.
3. Huts have of course full service. For lunch during the day in the mountains you can buy chocolate bars. I'd take some bread (500g), cheese, ham, dried fruits or what you like.

There is a bus service posible that can shorten your ascent to Schmid-haus:
folder

All the best for your trip! Mathias
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