26 Apr 2010

Lüsenser Spitze and hiking

I had a day free but no partners. After much hemming and hawing to myself, I decided on the Lüsenser Fernerkogel, which dominates the view above Gries in the Sellrain Valley. I skied up, getting a kind of late start (7:30 am). Pretty ice slopes down low were tricky sometimes. I even saw people using ski crampons! I’d lost mine over the years…

Enjoying myself, I skied up and up and up, finally reach the glacial plateau. A low angle but somehow punishing slope followed, to reach the point where you skin steeply up on a rocky slope to gain a glacier below the summit. A fellow was above me, having lots of trouble without ski crampons. Hmm…

I decided to take the easy way out and go for the lesser summit of Lüsenser Spitze. It is 100 meters lower, but you can ski right to the top without the icy difficulties. Next time I’ll bag the Fernerkogel!

The view on top was amazing. I talked to the other three people hanging around there, then skied down. It had been a long 1600 meter climb, but the descent was so fast, at least until halfway when I caught a ski in an icy rut. The fall was rather painful as my bindings didn’t really release…but I eventually kind of twisted out of the skis…at some cost to 1 ankle and 1 knee. Ouch! Oh well. I slowed down a bit. I got a bit lost on the lower slope which steepens into a set of cliffs and gullies. I ended up making some awkward traverses across avalanche debris, then skiing ungracefully to the road. Whew!

Back at the car, it was only 1 pm. I ate some lunch and decided to spend the afternoon hiking. I drove to Innsbruck, trying to park my car at the Hungerburg lift station, but a bike race threw a monkey wrench into that plan. After a long walk in city streets and a bus ride, I eventually started hiking up the steep, dusty slope beneath the Seegrube lift. I started out tired and stayed that way all the way to the top, 1100 meters above! But I was happy…I’d given myself a 2700 meter day uphill, with 1600 meters skiing down. Now I’d reward myself with a beer and pie, and a great sunny view to the town and mountains around. Then take the lift down, who hoo! :-)