Just as we do in North America, Europeans enjoy a mixture of private and public backcountry accommodations. After a few days at the public hut atop the Dachstein, we headed to a private chalet that Dynafit mountaineers Benedikt Bohm and Sebastian Haag rent in the Alps Southwest of Kitzbuhel.
You’ve all heard of how those Europeans like to have their huts and chalets provide the best in creature comforts. In this regard, Benni and Basti did not disappoint. Their terrain is pretty good too, and due to a closed access road the area is not crowded as many parts of the Kitzbuhel area sometimes are.
|The day we ski toured was quite cloudy, but the sun broke through a few times so Basti got this shot of Fritz. The peak in the background is the Grosser Rettenstein, one of the few truly jagged summits in this area of more rolling (and perfect) ski terrain.|
|Of course, ski mountaineers the world over know that access is the key. The guy’s snowmobile is broken, so they got Fritz to bring his Pinzgauer. (In all fairness, Benni and Basti had already walked up there with a group of friends, but they need some extra stuff hauled in. As for me, after all this touring and running around I was happy for the ride.|
|Funny where those WildSnow stickers end up, isn’t it? Fritz is fond of the United States bumper sticker that says “What’s our oil doing under their land?” I think he needs one of those to go along with his WildSnow sticker. Of course the Pinz is fairly fuel efficient with a small 4 cylinder engine, at least till it’s loaded up…|
|I think I’ve seen this much beer taken on a 10th Mountain hut trip once or twice in my life — on second thought, perhaps not. The Pinzgauer’s purpose was indeed revealed.|
|Fritz installs the chains. He eventually hooked steel on all four corners, engaged both front and rear locking diffs, and mucked his way to the front door of the hut like some crazy Alabama mudder. All he was missing was a Confederate flag on a whip mast CB antenna.|
|Pinzgauer version of a cup holder, doubles as a gun rack.|
|Like I said, spinning and hogging to the front door of the hut.|
|Scene included dogs, kids, and the beers we’d hauled. Guy on right is Sam Moulton from Outside Magazine. Really nice and interesting fellow, fun to chat with. I forgot to ask him if Outside will have some Pinzgaur ads to go along with their Hummer advertising (grin).|
|The famous speckknoedel (bacon dumpling), of which these guys are masters. The joke is of course how one armed hut cooks make dumplings in their armpits, luckily I didn’t see many one armed cooks during this trip.|
|Desert was nothing elaborate, just a mountain of cookies as large as the Alps, ringed by white chocolate. True to Austrian mountain culture, the cookies were consumed down to a small pile of crumbs.|
|And now, a word from our sponsors.|
|Yeah, I got to drive. Part two tomorrow (we did ski).|