Like a rising lake of cotton balls, fog moved in during the night and covered the Kreuzek Hutte in smothering white. But the cold air of high altitude Bavaria also pulled enough moisture from the froth to make a few more centimeters of fresh snow.
This at the Dynafit press event in Garmisch, Germany, a few weeks ago. Dynafit figures the way to work with media is to hold a mini-conference up at an authentic mountain lodge or hut, then evangalize the captive audience with the Dynafit way by having top mountain guides take the group on various ski tours for the day. Works for me, as they make great stuff so I’m an easy sell. Today’s goal: Alpspitze, a Bavarian classic alp that rises just to the east of Zugspitze, Germany’s highest peak.
View of Alpspitze (left) and Zugspitze from parking lot at cable car. You take the gondola for the first 1,000 meters up to the hut, above there the human powered tour and climb to Alpspitze is a bit more than 1,000 meters.
Extreme skier and mountain guide Luis Stitzinger gathered our group in front of the Kreuzeck Hutte for a talk and beacon check. From the looks of things, I was wondering if he had a GPS and we were going to simply follow a track to the summit and back, with no view. Nice to be wrong, as we soon climbed above the fog.
What Alpspitz looks like from the hut without clouds. The ski climbing route swings way around to the left, while a few cable routes take the rocky faces.
Clearing clouds, strong legs and a summit you've never been to, that has to be one of the best combos in mountaineering.
The chamois around here are prolific.
Our guide Luis Stitzinger is known for his recent climbing and skiing on Nanga Parbat. He's a really personable fellow, and unlike the stereotypical European alpine guide spent quite a bit of time chatting folks up and pointing out different mountains and routes.
After a bit of slogging through forest and ski resort, you crest a shelf and Alpspitze looks good rising above. Up route takes left ridge, down route takes the steep bowl..
Looking easterly, nice mountains.
And, the obligatory pointer shot.
This is Federico, manager of the Dynafit boot line. He's the guy who's been leaving those informative source comments about Dynafit boots. Thanks Fede! Parts of the ridge climb were actually somewhat exposed, a cable route helps with some of it, but during parts you're on a knife ridge and you'd better keep your balance! (Fritz Barthel photo)
Another view easterly.
Your friendly blogger on the summit, Zugspitze in background.
Skiing the nice line on the face turned out to be rocky and crusty, but we got some good turns lower down. That's me getting started. (Fritz Barthel photo.
Back at the Kreuzeck Hut, it was time for a few brews and an earful of Dynafit. For sure this was one of the nicer alpine tours I’ve been able to do over here. Lots of history, a nice summit, some challenging skiing — excellent.
Check out the video of this trip at Bergsteigen.at
(I blogged a few days ago on the highlights of Dynafit’s new gear (start here and read ahead), and I’ll soon file a few more blogs covering their accessories and clothing.)