Day 11. Yesterday I slept already at 8.30 pm. At 6.30am my alarm wakes me up. I have another long day ahead of me with more than 1800m altitude to hike uphill.
Start is again easy with about 5km in the valley to Rangersdorf. From there it becomes much more steep but manageable for me. I have decided to take it very slowly today and take at least a short break every hour. I also have plenty to eat and chosen to not record my trip with Komoot, but save the phone battery to listen to music when it gets tough.
At a water source I sit down to relax, drink water and eat a little. Further uphill it goes, through forest and gras. The signs are hard to find and often the trail invisible so I navigate as best as I can, using my gpx track from time to time.
When I arrive at the lake Gippersee I take a long rest and at least put my feet in the water. A bit further is a hut where two men have a chat with me and invite me to a beer and vodka. How nice, but I still have to hike 90minutes steep uphill to the Hugo-Gerbers-Hütte where I am staying tonight. The remaining hike is beautiful, I meet beautiful horses who aren’t afraid to come close for a cuddle. Further upwards two sheep are taking the same path and are always checking for me if I follow them well.
The last part was a bit tougher on me so I am happy when I finally reach the hut. Time for a quick wash outside at the water source – no running water inside the hut! The hut is so cute and the couple taking care of it for two weeks are already preparing dinner. It smells good as I talk to the few others staying with me. Three women (mother, daughter and a friend) and two couples. As always they are curious about my trip and ask plenty of questions. The daughter is hiking a lot and tells me that usually she does 100 summits every year! Impressive!
Dinner is wonderful and we even get a refill (I am now always hungry!). We are sitting besides the fire and have a nice chat. As always I leave for bed around 9pm (out in the cold to brush teeth!). The view from the bedroom on the sunset is beautiful. I wake up a few times as the others have difficulties to sleep, but pass out again very fast.
Day 12. Perfect weather and even better breakfast. Freshly baked bread, good cheese, Bircher Muesli and good company. Just the quick morning wash outside in the ice cold was hard. Starting at 8am I walk again very slowly. Today will be one of the best hikes so far. The view is amazing all the time and the trail rather difficult which makes it interesting. It takes about 2h30 to reach the summit Hochkreuz. For once I am not the only one, a couple arrived just before me, from the other side.
I sit about an hour and enjoy the view. Until it gets too cold. I continue through beautiful terrain to the 14 Lakes where I find a nice spot without wind where I have lunch and do some stretching and exercise for my back. When the insects tap on my nerves too much, I continue the hike to the Hut. Hopefully the rest in between and the short day (I already arrive at 3pm), allow my body enough rest to be stronger. Otherwise I will have to take soon a rest day, I might have reached a limit where my muscles need some rest. The climbs are much more exhausting than what I have done in the past.
The hut is empty, I wash myself and some clothes (warm water for free!). Then I just sit and relax and write my blog. As there isn’t any Internet I can post it tomorrow from the next town stop.
I have dinner and am invited to sit in the kitchen with the hut tenant and two people who work for him for a few weeks. We have a nice chat and play dice while drinking some alcohol. Not too bad to be the only one at the hut and have afterwards my own cosy room. Tomorrow 40 people have booked and the hut will be overcrowded!