Potsdamer – Adolf-Pichler Hut.
Had to remind the pieman to go careful with the war jokes. Our plans to scale the Schwarzhorn en-route to the Starkenburger Hut were dampened, literally, by low cloud. The hut warden suggested going to the Adolf-Pichler hut instead with the option to continue to the Starkenburger. We clung to a hillside in the mist and worked our way up to a col which seemed to give easy access to the A-P. If we had studied the map more carefully we would have noticed the scale of the area and the size of the intervening valley. We imagined various routes through the hills that didn’t really exist, just be content and follow your red and white waymarks. There is no such thing as a short day here. You have left the big mountains behind and this region borders onto the limestone. We had great views of the ‘dolomitic’ Kalkkögel range. After losing all our height we were cheered by the lovely path heading up again – a true balcony path amongst rocks and low trees with strange bits of steps. There were views down to Innsbruck now much closer. At the next col the A-P hut appeared tucked away below the limestone cliffs and was soon reached. Despite our early arrival thoughts of continuing evaporated as instead we tucked into cheese dumpling soup and chatted to the friendly young staff. The dining room was warm and welcoming with its ceramic stove, the Kachelofen, and a good library to while away the afternoon. We failed that evening to finish the bergsteigeressen of dumplings – may not want to see another for some time.