Short Reports 2017
June 5, 2017 Early on this rainy morning, I got up and hiked up Heimgarten from Ohlstadt. Unimaginatively, but happily enough, I followed the ridiculously steep road. I was listening to the “S-Town” podcast. I devoured all seven episodes on this day. I found it amazing, and very enlightening of the human condition and our particular cultural moment. For me, the evidence for catastrophic civilizational collapse is very good. Not only in terms of projections, but also in consulting the historical record which indicates civilizations are recurring patterns that follow a predictable life-plan. The podcast touches on the theme, somewhat obliquely.
Brauneck with the kids
June 3, 2017 We hiked up an unusual way, following a suggestion from Elijah to climb a wooded slope. Once on top, we followed a steep but navigable ridge past an old chimney, evidence of a long-dismantled hut in this strange location. Higher, we connected to the Kotalm, then took usual ways to the summit. On return, after a great meal of Schnitzel on top, we followed the ridge that parallels the cable car…occasionally steep. We came to a cross, summit and benches where we took a short nap. From here, we followed game trails down to the Kotalm, and then road to the car. Interesting!
May 28, 2017 A night hike alone, following the ski run up to the lift station on snippets of occasional trail, but usually just tromping up steep grass slopes. From there a short jaunt to the summit. Beautiful nighttime views of the lake. I returned a more conventional way.
Kramerspitze (yes, again)
March 4, 2017 I didn’t want to fight traffic, so I took the train to Garmisch. I went up the usual way, and again had to break the trail around the north side. Snowshoes were great here. For some reason, nobody uses snowshoes in Germany (I’m being hyperbolic, but you know…). I pointed the correct way to three people wading around up there. On top I ran into a guy who slept in the forest the night before, it sounded great.
On the way down I took a different way that was pretty fantastic. I’m learning that this mountain is absolutely covered in trails. Like in other areas of my life, I seem to like revisiting the small, the under-appreciated, the tame…and then finding a whole world in these “undramatic” places.
Book of the Damned
More pictures here.
February 24, 2017 A fun time! I skinned up on my touring skis to the Hoehe Salve summit, about 1100 meters up from the base at Söll. I ran into Yang and Ulan on the way up, which was fun. Later, at lunch I couldn’t find anyone from the group. Oh well! I decided to spend the afternoon hiking down and back up from Brixen im Thale. Since I had tennis shoes in my backpack, I was able to hide my ski gear then walk about 500 meters down a road and snow-free slopes. I did some meditation in the sun.
After all this, I hurried back, somewhat worried that the lifts would close before I could make it to the Stocklalm on the north side of the peak. Happily I just made it! The black runs coming down from the summit were really excellent – the snow good firn, very much spring conditions (in the old days).
Hilarious dinner with the team. Lots of funny philosophical discussions. Always tinged with the absurd, the way I like it best. :)
February 14, 2017 Hannes, Camillo and I skied up Wallberg tonight. Well, they managed to keep skis on. Hannes used ski-crampons to deal with the really icy slope and I don’t know how Camillo managed! For me it was at least 700 meters of hiking up with skis on my back, and very uncomfortable side-hilling on the ice in ski boots. Ugh! But I kept up with those guys on skis and heck, it was good exercise.
This time we went to the true summit for a great starry view down to Tegernsee. It was strangely warm. We skied down in surprisingly good conditions. Only the steep/icy bit near the bottom gave me trouble. I essentially skidded down most of it. Beer and schnitzel at the Bräuhaus after – very nice!
February 4, 2017 I snowshoed up Kramerspitz on a nice day. Slowly clouds scudded in and by the end there was a light snow. The deep snow on the back side was exhausting to make steps in. I nearly turned around before then! But I continued on, running into just one person for the day, a woman approaching the summit from a post-holing ascent directly up slope from town. On the way down I saw her tracks diverge left and down – very interesting! I’ll have to try that way sometime.
Jaro, Marcel, Camillo and I skied up Wallberg after work. It was very cold, and we had lots of snow. Fun! Jaro wanted to skin right up the steepest part of the slope, and we did this (though I lost patience and made a boot track). Above this initial steep section, the skinning up was perfect. On top there was a strong wind. There was a beautiful light in the distance, where a cloud spilled over a ridge with a lighted hut on it.
We really enjoyed the ski down. We saw many parties coming up. W00t!
January 7, 2017 I was back two days later; high avalanche danger kept me out of the higher mountains. It’s simply because the uptrack is such an enjoyable trail, I didn’t mind skiing on a commercial ski mountain. I repeated what Jaro and I did exactly, but on the way down I stopped at a strategic point where the uphill track has two variations. The one Jaro and I did was to skin steeply up along the east side of a hill and the left side of a little-used piste, and then follow a steep and narrow trail in forest until making a long traverse west near the crest of the hill to a saddle above the Florianhütte. But the other route traverses below this hill on the south to reach the hut itself, climbing very slowly, and then rejoining the other route at the saddle. So I applied my skins again (elevation here is 1100 meters) and went to the Florianhütte and from there to the summit.
This gave me a total elevation gain for the day of 1300 meters, which was fine. I was in fact, well-pleased.
January 5, 2017
Jaro and I skied up Brauneck today from the Wegscheid Draxlhang lift. Kris and I taught the boys to ski here, it brought back memories. Today, Jaro and I followed the ski touring trail, which was excellent…it largely avoided the piste in favor of quiet trails in forest. Also, they were trails and not roads, which I really appreciated.