31 Oct 2016


Cloud Sea at the Ackerlhütte

Here she comes

Between light and shade

Girl working

Above the lower cliffs

Another great day with Barbara. We left her place at 8 in the morning. She was shocked that I didn’t want to leave earlier. Maybe I’m relaxing a little bit!

I’d tossed around several ideas for where to go. She was sad that I didn’t have a climb where we needed harnesses and rope, so I decided on the Maukspitze because at least she’d get to use her hands on some high-quality Kaiser Stein!

We found the parking lot, and started up. We had one pack. A liter of water and four bananas. We travel pretty light!

We talked about all kinds of things on the way up. Our lives go on. They aren’t simple. There are real issues, real “problems” that we have no choice but to work with. And why should it be different?


My girl

Sie steht am Grat

Barbara and our climb

She comes down

Suddenly we were above the clouds in bright sun. In general, there was an appearance throughout the day of ever greater clarity. I don’t think we’d deserve such clear, crisp sight if we didn’t have to struggle in the world a little bit.

There were only a few other hikers here and there. Barbara left her ski poles and jacket at a good place, and we started scrambling on clean rock and hummocks of grass. We stopped at a lookout point and admired the toy landscape below. We were in a kind of heaven.

Higher, we reached a steep cliff and started up. It’s grade II rock climbing, where a few pieces of metal offer assistence now and again. Two spicy traverses woke Barbara up pretty good. Higher, her foot slipped just after a section of snow which made her boot wet. “Now I’m awake!” she said.

Later, we carefully climbed out of a cave with the help of a fixed rope and metal. A younger couple descended here in a strange way, avoiding the traverse into the cave and just lowering themselves by knots in the rope. This made me tense, and Barbara too. Ach! But we climbed up okay, and resolved to traverse into the cave if we came back down this way.

Hmm, ein Bohrhaken?

Oh, Maukspitze!

Nice to be here again


Barbara and our climb

Higher, looking at the time, I decided to skip the Ackerlspitze and only climb the Maukspitze. Any other choice would mean we’d probably have to descend this steep climb because of the early sunset. So we briefly left the trail to scramble directly to the ridge crest and gain the traversing route to the Maukspitze.

Here, we saw a herd of mountain goats on a flank of the Maukspitze. This was fantastic. We sat on a grassy spur and watched, amazed at the crystal clarity of the air, and the angled fall light.

We hiked a dramatic ridge crest to the summit. It was really one of the most beautiful days I’ve ever seen up there.

We descended to the south, eventually reaching the scree basin below the grade II rock climb. I thought we’d left Barbara’s ski poles there, so I climbed up to it only to eventually remember it was below the next scrambling section. My reward for the extra climb was Barbara admiring my manly scree skiing.



I’m going down from the Maukspitze

In the sunset, we spoke with a couple staying at the Ackerlhütte, laughing about Halloween and (of course) Donald Trump. They said these days, America only exports terrible stuff, not like when it was blue jeans and Coke. Now, it’s killer clowns and Trump. WTF?

We had one headlamp, but found our way down okay. Barbara has good night vision. What a good day, yet again!