Greizer Hütte to Berliner Hütte.
From the balcony of the hut today’s route looked impressive – straight up the couloir on the opposite wall to a pass at 2872m, Moerchen Scharte. Breakfast was fairly miserable – a tray with two pieces of dry bread, cheese and coffee, we had to buy more of the same for lunch. Within less than a kilometre we lost about 350m dropping down to the valley to cross awkward rocks in the river bed before clambering up the otherside, these rivers must be dramatic in flood. A 6m metal ladder, straight from B & Q, was loosely attached to the buttress in front of us making a novel start to our climb. For a while wires protected us crossing steep rocky ground on the edge of the couloir but they were hardly needed. The path then came out onto a large grassy spur up which it zigzagged interminably. The morning was enlightened by two fit girls passing us at a trot, one carrying a dog, kangaroo like, in a front pouch. They soon disappeared from sight.
The grass ended at a minor col and here was a large boulder field stretching upwards, two people were struggling through it but whilst having lunch [that dry bread and cheese] we spotted a higher traversing path on the right avoiding the difficulties. Towards the top more chains were used on a rather loose buttress depositing us at the pass. A lone lady was sat there unconcerned, she followed us down later but then disappeared. The clouds were coming and going from the tops but we had a good open view of the glacial systems on the Schwarzenstein range.
The track wound endlessly down through fascinating rock formations. The granite contained tourmaline, quartz and agate crystals which I probably would have missed without the rockman. The agate was collected in this area in the last century.
The Berliner Hütte seemed miles away and we lost a lot of height getting to it. There was a well paved way, previously for mining or hunting? Our arrival coincided with the start of the rain. This hut is built on a grand style, all wooden paneling, creaking floors and chandeliers. It was started in 1879 and extended in 1911 to its present size. Photos early last century show the glacier almost at the back door, the ice has now retreated hundreds of metres up the mountain. We had a great two bedded wooden room, the dinner was good but the whole place felt a little impersonal which is a shame for such an historic place.
Meant to say I somehow forgot my camera on this trip and all photos are from my phone. One disadvantage of the phone touch screen is I have to take off my gloves to operate it.
Today’s quote – “I just have to be in the mountains” the rockman expressing his joy of the day.