Day 22. Hall- Hallerangerhaus. Easy day.
Yesterday after our trip to Innsbruck we watched TV for the first time in weeks. While preparing the next days and using the Wi-Fi extensively, we watch the Olympics. Then we continue with a stupid music film, sleeping only at 10.30pm…Funny how this has become very late for me in the past weeks but at home I never manage to sleep earlier.
Although it’s will be a short day we have early breakfast at 7am as a thunderstorm is announced for the afternoon. Today we will hike from the valley at about 500m to the hut at 1700m via a 2000m high notch. First an hour road walk, then into the Karwendel.
The region was formerly a salt mining area and a lot of closed mining huts and buildings along the way remind this time. It’s a beautiful day and the ascent is not too steep. Close to the notch it rains for not even half an hour.
Afterwards the weather is great so we get off trail to enjoy our lunch with the great views. Lunch is followed by an hour of sleep, only interrupted by the annoying flies. Even though it takes some time to wake up afterwards, it was so great to relax and enjoy an easy hiking day. Soon afterwards we are already at the hut. Claudia joins me for my stretching and back exercises before we sit outside in the sun.
The tenants of the hut are very nice. We eat early (as always I am still hungry afterwards) and chat with some other hikers. Plenty will do the same tour as we tomorrow and are anxious about the weather and possible thunderstorms. We can get breakfast early at around 6.30am and as we are tired anyway we go to bed at 8pm. After some reading I sleep OK but wake up often due to the snorer next to us.
Day 23. Hallerangerhaus – Karwendelhaus. Extremely exhausting but great.
Today we have to hike 1550m up and 1550m down altogether. It’s a lot but I have already done more in the past weeks so I am not particularly worried.
We start easily at 7.15am as first of all we are hiking down about 500m altitude on a very easy trail. The views are awesome as the sun raises further.
Then a turn into the next valley to go upwards for 1550m altitude. From easy it will become more challenging and finally exhausting as we climb up very steep Schotter and Geröll parts. For two steps up you glide one down.
There are plenty of hikers around us and everyone is pretty exhausted and fighting their own way. It will be long hours until we make it to the last part, which is a ferrata climb up to the notch Schlauchkarsattel.
At noon we are finally up there and have lunch inside the biwack with two guys from Innsbruck. I ask them about life there as I am still thinking if I should move to the mountains and where. It seems it’s a young university town, for 130,000 inhabitants they have 30,000 students. We then leave our backpacks in the biwack and climb up another hundred meters of altitude to the summit, the Birkarspitze. The view is worth it, such a great panorama and we almost forget the pain of the ascent. I actually think it was one of the toughest days so far on my hiking trip.
But then we still have to hike down and as dark clouds are coming in we are starting the descent. Especially the beginning is tough and steep again but it gets easier as we go. We finally reach the green Latschen trees and hike further until we see the hut. We see it but we are just above it and to challenge our legs one more time we need to climb down on a ferrata stretch before we can finally reach the hut.
We are in a very big dormitory under the roof but luckily got rather good places. We wash ourselves and relax a while. When writing zlthis it’s almost 5pm and I can already smell the dinner and I am so hungry! I really wonder if I will be able to go back to normal eating after this trip. Claudia manages much better, she is eating less and never as hungry as I am!