I took the train to Jenbach Friday night, where I stayed at the Gasthof Rieder. It’s on a hill about 25 minutes walk up from the train station if you can find the right trails in the dark!
In the morning, I dropped back into town, and started up the Stanser Joch on a faint and steep trail. A long and silent journey up through the deep forest…
Forest on the Stanser Joch (link)
Snow became deep enough for snowshoes, and I continued up, with only the tracks of Gämse to keep me company. After a long time, I reached more open country.
Looking to Maurach (link)
Towards the summit of the Stanser Joch (link)
Above a warming hut at about 1500 meters where I drank some tea, the route-finding up the steep rolling hills on the ridge became fun and interesting. The final walk along avalanche control fences with broad views was gorgeous despite an icy wind.
The Sonnjoch from the Stanser Joch (link)
The Bärenkopf from the Stanser Joch (link)
I thought about going down a different way, to the Bärenbadalm, but I was looking forward to reversing my journey along the broad high ridge. Plus I wanted to save energy for the next day. In the end, with the hill-walk back up to the Gasthof, it was a 1600 meter elevation gain day, whew!
I had a great dinner of beer and schnitzel.
Boy, was I sore! But I wouldn’t waste a beautiful day. I made my way across fields and through woods to emerge on a highway at the grandly titled Panoramarestaurant Kanzelkehre, where I would have bought a coffee but they weren’t open yet. Now I had a long journey up the southern forested slope of the Ebner Joch to the Astenau Alpe, at about 1480 meters. I had put on snowshoes only just below the Alpe, and now I was happy to see that I wouldn’t have to break trail the rest of the way to the summit – snowshoe tracks already there! Beautiful hiking in short switchbacks to the 1957 meter summit followed. The views were incredible. I shared the summit with another fellow, then remained a while alone after he descended.
Looking west from Ebner Joch (link)
The mighty Stanser Joch (link)
Descending from Ebner Joch (link)
The way down to the restaurant on the highway was long and interesting in the upper part for the icy trail which seemed easier on the way up! On the way down I took a slightly different way since I didn’t need to visit the Gasthof, but the train station instead. I walked through Jenbach to the station, then waited a while with a Radler and Apfelstruedl. Soon I was zooming home.
Pleasant forest above Jenbach (link)