Since some weeks I have had email-contact with SP-member Nikman (Niklas) a well experienced mountaineer from Gerlingen near Stuttgart in Germany. We arranged to do some ski tours in April and May. We planned two ski-trips to Berner Oberland (Fiescherhörner) and Saas Fee (Rimpfischhorn and Alphubel) including sleeping in a tent on the glacier. Getting to know each other I thought about a small ski tour to Tyrol. The only problem we had was that we had only one day with nice weather and this was Saturday. So it had to be a one-day ascent on a nice mountain! A high mountain! Because, the whole week before was very hot and the snow melted away. The search for a good aim was short. PITZTAL GLACIER! WILDSPITZE or HINTERER BROCHKOGEL. Both summits are one of the highest in Austria and are reachable within 2,5 hours by using the cable-car to Pitztaler Glacier Ski Resort. PERFECT! I had done Wildspitze last year, so I suggested Niklas to do Hinterer Brochkogel via the North-Ridge. As a passionate Swiss-Mountaineer he never did a alpine ascent in the Eastern Alps before. So this trip would be the best thing to show him the beauty of the Eastern Alps. Climbing a very nice ridge on the fifth highest mountain of Austria with a fantastic view to Wildspitze and Weisskugel the second and third highest summits of Austria, after that a two hours ski descent through the Taschach-valley with its wild icefalls, this sounded fine. We had a deal!
We had to work on Friday. So I drove to Stuttgart after work. We reloaded my stuff in his car and drove very quickly to Tyrol. (You know german Autobahn? You know what I mean!) We reached the cable car station more than a hour quicker than the navigation system had calculated. We planned to stay the night in the car on the parking of the cable car station. We drove to a dark part of the parking next to some motorhomes. We prepared our stuff, heated the car for the night and slipped in our sleeping bags. After a while it knocked at the window. Outside in the dark! I was afraid, who the hell was it? Was it somebody from the cable-car-company who wants to forbid us to sleep on the parking? No, it was more worse! A very angry swiss woman shouted (after I opened the door) what we want on her parking area and that our great hullabaloo would wake up the other people in the motorhomes. Noise? No! What the hell,...?! We were very confused while looking at a woman shouting about disturbance of the peace by night. After this funny incident we felt asleep.
We woke up and prepared our stuff. We wanted to get the first cable-car to the ski resort, but Niklas didn´t found his car key. After 20 minutes of intensiv search we found the key hanging on the skis ;-) The first cable car was gone. No problem, we had enough time. We used the second cable-car. After getting to the top, we skied down to the new Mittelberg-ski-lift. (Up to now I don´t know why this cable-car opens not before 9:15 a.m.) So we waited in front of the ski-lift with many, many other ski-mountaineers. Seeing this crowd I was happy to climb Hinterer Brochkogel and not Wildspitze, the more prominent peak. We got to Mittelbergjoch, the notch to the Taschach-valley. There was a big traffic-jam for the descent. Oh no!!! After getting to the deepest point we prepared ourself for the ascent. The weather was very nice and we were very fast due to the well prepared track. At Hinterer Brochkogel we turned to the North ridge. The whole crowd was heading towards Wildspitze.
We were very happy to be alone with only two other mountaineers on this mountain. Thanks God for the not prominent class-B-summits! We prepared our equipment for the climbing. We dicided to go with two ice axes but without a rope. The snow should be good enough despite the warm days before. The snow was handy due to the cold temperatures. We had sunshine but it was cold and windy. Our drinking bags (camel bags) were frozen in the backpack. We ascended the whole ridge were quickly. The ridge line was half blank ice and half handy snow. VERY NICE CLIMBING up to 50°. We reached the top within a hour. On top we had a fantastic view to the crowded Wildspitze ;-) and the other prominent mountains south of Hinterer Brochkogel like Piz Bernina, Weisskugel, Ortler, Gran Zebru, Cevedale and Similaun. We made some nice photos. After enjoying the view, we descended via the South-East-ridge, the normal route from Mitterkarjoch (The notch on the normal route to Wildspitze from Breslauer Huette). On the descent the sunshine was gone and it becomes foggy, very windy and cold. We reached our ski depot at the foot of the North-ridge after traversing the north-east-face of Hinterer Brochkogel. We skied down to the Mittelbergjoch where a group asked us if we want to ski down via the long and wild Taschach-valley. First I thought it would be no good idea to ski down an icefall after such a warm period and after this lousy crappy winter with very bad snow conditions. PRO & CONTRA, we decided to ski down. "WE ARE MOUNTAINEERS! WE DON`T USE CABLE-CARS FOR THE DESCENT !!! ... only for the ascent ;-)" The route through the Taschach-valley was a very wild ski route over blank ice and crevasses. It was a nice experience. After 2 hours we reached the cable-car-station.
We had a nice mountain-day. We ate a Viennese Schnitzel and drunk a beer in Sankt Leonard. We drove back to Stuttgart,... very quickly!
Now, we are looking forward to our trips in April and May.