For a few days I am staying at a hotel close to the Drei Zinnen / Tre Cime national park in South Tyrol and enjoy a few day hikes from here. The nice family owned hotel Rainegg is in Olang and offers not only home made food as half board but also great advice for hiking tours and nice chats. Although two highlights are already clear for me: the Drei Zinnen and the Pragser Wildsee of course. After the thunderstorm while driving here, the next day looks rather promising and as early as breakfast permits I am driving to the Pragser Wildsee. For 5€ (well, usually 6€ but the friendly guy gives me a discount) you can park your car close to the lake. At 8.30am there aren’t many people around yet. Despite the clouds, the light at the lake is magical as I hike to the other end.
Up there is the summit of the Seekofel, just some 1300m above myself
My destination for today is obviously not just the lake but the mountain Seekofel. The clouds don’t show it much yet but the summit is around 1300m altitude above the lake. Not many people are hiking yet, but a few are overtaking me on the three hours climb to the summit. Not that I didn’t get any training during the last weeks but it seems my lungs are just not made for hiking easily uphill. I have a short conversation with an Italian about the destination until we agree on our same destinations (again, in South Tyrol everything has a German and an Italian name which are often very different).
The hike is better the higher I am getting. From easy trail to rough mountains and after the hut it’s even easy climbing from time to time. I can see big clouds coming but I can’t hike faster. The very fast Italian is already coming back from the summit and is apparently happy that I am brave or strong enough to go to the summit “brava, brava”. If he knew that I haven’t done anything else besides hiking the last weeks he would have kicked my… for not being faster 😉
Finally I reach the summit at 2810m of altitude just to see white clouds. It’s now really cold as I stop hiking and I put on all my clothes and have some lunch, waiting for the clouds to clear so I can see the lake! At last I can see it way down below me.
As it is getting too cold I cannot stay to wait for the clouds to disappear for good so it’s time to hike back down. Now plenty of other hikers are coming up and I am happy to have been at the summit all by myself.
The descent is getting a bit long and heavy on my knees but back at the lake I sit and enjoy before hiking back on the other side of the lake to my car.