Danno on approach

The Innsbrucker Huette

Looking down on the hut

On Habicht’s flanks

On the summit scramble

Danno and I had a day to hike, though we almost missed out. First off, I was away for so long on Saturday that we didn’t sync up. Sunday morning at 7 I called Danno to work out a trip. We would meet in Holzkirchen to carpool out to Gschnitz in the Stubai for a climb of Habicht, which was in perfect shape.

Alas! A terrible traffic jam followed. It was well after nine when we left Holzkirchen. We were hiking sometime after 11 am, a rather ridiculous time to start for such a long hike, but oh well.

We had some entertaining talks about the state of the world. And hilariously, I tried to get Danno to carry less gear, as usual, and he fought tenaciously to keep his small supply of fruit and candy bars as usual. “But the hut is open!” I protested. “Let’s just eat there!”

It was a pretty warm and sweaty hike up over 1000 meters just to reach the hut. I risked a sunburn by going shirtless, but the air felt good. We rounded a corner to see the shuttered hut, realizing indeed that we wouldn’t get lunch. The bigger problem was a lack of water. Some descending hikers gave us half a liter, which was super nice.

Looking to Innsbruck

Late afternoon high point

Descent

More views

Heading home

Nursing the disappointment from a lack of lunch, we huffed and puffed up onto a shoulder of the mountain. A descending hiker made a point to let us know we were irresponsibly late in this area, tapping his watch and wagging his finger unctiously. Thank you, sir.

Before long we crossed a gable to enter the southern flank. An entertaining scramble followed, occasionally protected by unnecessary cables. It was nice and warm, the sun felt good and the clear air made for stunning views. Danno was pretty tired, and even if I had some residual energy, it was clear we’d end up scrambling down in the dark if we pressed forward. So we found a high point on the ridge 400 meters below the summit, where the scramble trail heads off to another ridge for the climb to the glacier.

It was good to be here. We could see from the Karwendel to Italy, with the Hochferner over in the Zillertal looking especially impressive. After hanging out a while, we hiked down pretty quickly, stopping for a delicious apple and a candy bar at a pass near the hut. The final march to the car was a bit of a slog, but it was nice to see the evening shadows growing in this beautiful valley.

Alas! Again traffic bedeviled us. Why, God, why?! A couple of hungry guys finally limped home to scrounge for food in their respective houses. Thanks Danno for the day!