Day 8. It rained heavily the whole night but luckily when I get up at 6am, the rain stopped. It is very foggy and cloudy though. The hotel took care of me nicely and a huge breakfast awaits me. I pack the bread rolls for later and only eat some yoghurt and muesli. I start at 7am. My direction is further into the clouds. For the first four hours though I am at about the same altitude and luckily not in the clouds yet. The streets are empty as I walk along a few towns such as Wörth and Bucheben to the Bodenhaus. It’s mainly on asphalt and to my right and left are endless farm fields with cows and occasionally sheep or horses. The trail is rather flat and I can walk at a good pace for once. Luckily, as today I have to do 25km and 1500m altitude up.
After the first 16km I get a coffee at the Bodenhaus and prepare myself mentally for the hike upwards into the clouds.
The Knappenweg is however not very steep and well maintained. After a few minutes I am already at the gold mining point (a tourist attraction in this former gold mining area).
Afterwards I continue through the Rauriser Urwald, an area that for hundreds of years has been let to itself and the nature and plants are beautiful. Up and up I hike but luckily today it is never really steep and the clouds only come close when I am almost at the hut. After a long hiking day, I finish at 3h30 pm at an empty hut. The whole camp is mine again! I look forward to reading, relaxing and writing further for my blog as I even have a plug next to my bed to charge my phone. Usually the plugs are so scarce that I avoid using the phone too much once in the hut.
Dinner is delicious! A handful other people have joined, some because they didn’t find the right trail to the next hut. I hope that the weather tomorrow will be good as I have the option to hike up the Schareck, the highest summit option for this hike. It is difficult though and with bad weather I don’t want to risk anything.
I have a nice chat with two girls hiking on their own for a week. We are also asked to stay and watch the soccer game France-Iceland. For the first time I am staying in a hut with TV! But the game starts at 9pm and at 9.15pm I say goodnight as I am always so tired in the evenings. Getting up at 6am and hiking all day means my body needs sleep! No idea how others make it with less sleep.
Day 9. The sun is shining this morning but we can also see some clouds coming. I am tempted to hike with the girls to the Sonnenblick summit, but I don’t think I can fit it in my schedule plus it would be exhausting. And I already am exhausted, the trail is not easy on my body. The start at 7am is already rather steep. Then snow fields. But not nice and easy ones, no this time icy snow. I walk extremely carefully and am glad that I have at least my hiking sticks. Some parts feel very dangerous but what can I do other then continue?
After almost 3 hours I am finally at the Fragranter Scharte. I decide to do the detour to the Ernst-Herzog-Spitze and see if a climb up the 3000 Schareck is feasible. But about 100m altitude below the Ernst-Herzog-Spitze I cannot continue. It is just too steep and snow covered. With spikes and an pickaxe it could be possible, but not for me and not today. A bit surreal is the view on the glacier with people skiing and the lift going up the Schareck. The view shows how the nature was destroyed due to the skiing tourism. I feel like in a different world as I hike along the artificial lake and the snowfields. It was pretty exhausting already today and a bit scary.
From this point it is going down to the hut, another 900m of altitude. It is only 2pm but I feel like it must be much later. It is nice to hike down with the guys and have a chat and some company. At around 4.30pm and a long hiking day finally arrive at the hut, the Fragranter Schutzhaus.
I have a very nice evening chatting with the guys, playing cards and drinking some lemon vodka one of them brought from Poland. Thank you so much for taking care of me and all the good laughs!