04 Feb 2018

The Schöntalspitze

It had been a long time since I’d done a good old fashioned ski-tour in my old stomping grounds, the Sellrain. But now was the time. The night before, I bought harscheisen (ski crampons). I’d done without them for a long time, but it can be pretty unpleasant when you really need them!

However, I could have left them at home today. Beautiful fresh powder over a thick base of snow is what I found. I paid 4 euros at the trailhead, then followed tracks up the hillside. Higher, I was full of memories of an occasion last summer when the boys and I climbed the Schöntalspitze and took an adventurous way down this very valley. I’d forgotten about that trip! I’ll have to write it up…

The day was perfect and cold…snow crystals sparkled in the air for some reason. I drank some tea in a patch of sun at around 2600 meters elevation. The altitude already seemed noticeable.

The ski route on Schöntalspitze (link)

People approach the summit (link)

Along with a few others, I made the final awkward switchbacks to a ski depot on the steep north-east face, about 200 meters below the summit. Clumsy climbing in boots up loose rocks dusted with powder, then big steps in an icy trough got me to the summit.

The Lisenser Fernerspitze (link)

Looking to the Neue Pforzheimer Hütte (link)

The imposing Grubenwand (link)

Good stuff!

I returned to my skis and started down, finding it pretty tough at first. But after a few minutes I was enjoying the powder. For the next 1000 meters of descent I was grinning ear to ear, even though I have no ski legs, and had to rest often.

The final descent down a steep forest avalanche path through “chop” was less pleasant, but it worked out okay.

I drove home through Seefeld and along the Walchensee.

Skiing is fun again! (link)

Goodbye, Sellrain… (link)