Friesenberg Haus – Breitlahner and home.
This hut had closed early this year but we wanted to do more of the high level walking on our last day so we walked up to it and along the ZRR before coming down to the valley. It was a misty morning but promised better, the Russians disappeared early up towards the Furtshaglhaus and higher things. We trudged up through the woods into a vast hanging valley meeting some of the staff from the Friesenberg coming out for the last time. An excellent stone track zigzagged out of the valley up to the hut on a higher bluff. At almost 2500m this is the highest hut in the Zillertal. It has an interesting history – built originally in the 20’s as a private Jewish establishment. As the war approached the area was used to train elite German troupes which put the hut warden in a difficult situation. But tolerance prevailed between mountaineers and there is a bronze plaque outside the hut celebrating against “intolerance and hate”. Today we sat on the steps for a short break as the shutters were closing for winter. We continued along the route in and out of clouds, it was arduous and we realised we couldn’t get as far as we had hoped. Fortunately there was a signed track leading down to Breitlahner – this we followed but it didn’t seem to be used much. Marmots were screaming at us in one area, we realised that we hadn’t seen much wild life on this trip – birds were particularly absent. Down and down we went into boggy ground and then welcome dwarf pines. The day became hotter and on reaching the valley floor we were ready for a rest. Paths led alongside the gorge, the road had disappeared into tunnels, until we emerged at the Breitlahner which turned out to be an old traditional alpine hotel. A bus whizzed us through Ginzling into Mayrhofen, the scenery was spectacular all the way.
Good to be back at the friendly Zillertal Gasthof, we enjoyed a celebratory meal featuring wild mushrooms at the excellent Tiroler Stuben – the rockman had a headache the next morning! The journey back to Janbech and Munich was easy. We found ourselves by chance in the wonderfully atmospheric Augustiner Restaurant, the Oktoberfest is just getting underway.
The SBahn train to the airport was halted because of people on the line. We didn’t really know what was happening but decided on a panicky train back to Munichost and then an expensive taxi ride had us at the airport with minutes to spare. An exciting end to our trip.
Quote of the day – “that was close” at the airport.