Trip Report Rax (2007 m)
(2005 middle of February, 3 young men, 2 days)
1st day: from Payerbach train station (483 m) to Raxalpe Berggasthof (1545 m), 7 hours, weather: sunny and light snowing, +2 Celsius
We started 12am: Payerbach, Reichenau an der Rax, Hirschwang an der Rax villages along the main road, than following the route to the forest. Knee-deep snow and deeper and deeper as we got higher. All the way pine forest. 3 pm, the route joins a ski-track, and from here the tarrain shifts to steep till Berggasthof. 2-3 m deep snow, the signs disapeared. Map navigation following the ski-track (off the route), sunshine +5 Celsius, snow falls from trees, avalanche danger. We met a cross country skier, he suggests to follow ski-track up to Berggasthof. Soon we arrive to a red session of the track, here even with snowshoes we sunk till hip and sliding backwards with the snow at every step. Alavanche nets everywhere, full with 4-5 m snow. We have to climb, takes 2 hours we reach the cables of Rax-Seilbahn. We cross under them, and follow the ski-track. Quick sunset and darkness, -10 Celsius, 6 pm. We find a radio-tower on a lookout top, but the scrogs around hiding the Berrgashof. We have two option, to follow the ski-track (quite hard in the dark forest even with headlamp) or follow the cables we passed behind untill the top-station and Berggasthof (which means climbing). At this point we meet 4 montain rangers with rescue dogs (they were on a backway after rescuing by chopper a lost team on the Rax-platou). One of them with skies and dog escorts us to Raxalpe Berggasthof (ridiculously close), following the ski track. After this he returned to Hirschwang an der Rax joining the others. 7 pm, in Berggasthof we meet the rescued team the owner and two friends. Hot shower, dinner, and warm room with soft bed and with vista to nearby Semmering litout ski-resort.
2nd day: from Raxalpe Berggasthof to the Preinerwand-Kreuz (1783 m) and return to Payerbach train station, 5 hours, weather: sunshine, +10 Celsius
Now with the two friends we start 8 am after breakfast. Growing wind as we take the route on the edge of the platou, passing by Otto Haus (1644 m). Fantastic panorama, open snow fields, some rocky parts, 4-5 m high snow formations. 10 pm, at Preinerwand Kreuz (1783 m) huge wind, hard snow. We descend to Neue Seehutte (1648 m) at a nearby valley. Friends going on to Karl-Ludwig Haus (1804 m), we return along the valley to Berggasthof. No wind, sunshine, sparkling snow, some pines. We met more and more hikers, skiers. Back at Berggasthof, 12 pm the house is full of people. As snow remained we descend the same way as upway. At the red ski-track session we can not catch ground, we flow down with snow on our backs in 10 minutes! 2 pm railway station Payerbach.
Essential equipment we needed: shell (waterproof-windproof-breathable, top-bottom-gloves-gaiters), ski mask-goggles-sun cream, semi hard boots-snowshoes-walking poles, map-compass-thermometer-headlamp
We checked weather before start: www.wetter.at at skiwetter/bergwetter session
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