Getting to the ÖtztalAs the summer of '07 was drawing to a close, a group of Dutch mountaineers gathered in the small alpine village of Vent. Our goal? A week of mountaineering in the southern part of the Ötztal Alps!
The trip was organized by the NKBV - the Dutch Alpine Club - and we didn't know each other beforehand. In all, six people had booked, only five turned up on the evening before the start. One had travelled from the Netherlands earlier that day itself, but most had come a few days earlier and had done some easy hiking to get acclimatized - Vent itself is at 1900m or so, the surrounding mountains go up to 3770m. I was the exception, as I had already been playing in the Alps for a few weeks.
The Similaun (3606m) was the first summit we planned to climb.
On the first day, we started easy and just hiked to the Similaun Hütte (3019m) and used the afternoon for a bit of crevasse rescue practice.
The second day was a different matter. We got up before dawn, wanting to start at 6. By the time all of us were ready, it was a few minutes later ...
The ascent itself was pretty easy. We followed the normal route up and reached the summit in an hour or two. We enjoyed wonderful views all around :-).
The descent turned out to be a surprise. Sure, in the program it said that we would spend the night at Eishof, Pfossental, but how exactly we were going to get there?
Well, it turned out to be a very long descent, but also very rewarding. We did a bit of downclimbing, crossed another glacier, the first part of it pretty steep, then hiked up again to the Hintere Faulwand (3413m). From there it was all downhill, mostly on a very long slope of scree mixed with boulders. Unfortunately, for the most part we couldn't ride the scree, because there were too much boulders in between. Almost on the valley floor, we crossed the tree line and not much later we came out of the woods again to a small alpine meadow. As the picture shows, we were tired, but finally, the hard work was over. From there, we just had to follow a short trail to the dirt road, and not much further was Eishof.
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