Back in Austria — Heading for Silvretta

Post by blogger | April 2, 2009      
Backcountry Skiing

Silvretta Traverse

My flight over here was as flawless as it can get. Hanging on the aisle with an empty seat next to me, slept nearly the whole time. Through customs and Ted meets me at Starbucks just like we’d planned. (and hope this is the last Starbucks I’m within fifty feet of for at least ten days). We picked up a rental car and had a bit of adventure getting out of Munich to the Barthel’s place near Kufstein, Austria. You race along these highways with big trucks blocking your view of the exit signs. You’re driving fast. Before you know it you’re 40 kilometers down the road past your turnoff. Oh well, at least everything is close together. Not like taking the wrong turn in Wyoming or something, where you can go seventy five miles off route if you’re not paying attention.

Backcountry Skiing

Ted picks up the rig. A nice guy from Hertz let us follow him out of the airport and got us going the right direction. First job when hitting autobahn was of course to see where the speed limiter was set on the rental car. Dang, it won't top 125 mph! Oh well, we'll have to see what we can do on skis tomorrow.

Backcountry Skiing

But of course... I get out of customs at the airport and this tempting array of carbohydrates lures me like a bee to a blossom. The croissants were only about $1.50 US each!

Backcountry Skiing

Always good to get with the locals. Turns out my friends the Barthels had been all over the Silvretta over the past decades. Manfred even got us dialed on some trip variations, so we added a two night stay at another hut and canceled one, that way we can do an extra day-trip instead of spending time lugging our gear between the huts.

Backcountry Skiing

Today we're headed up here.

Not sure if they have internet at the Heidelberger Hut, but they do at the next one down the line. So if things work out you’ll be hearing from me on Monday at the latest. Glitches so far: having a bit of trouble fitting my whole junkshow in my Black Diamond Alias backpack — seems this computer in a Tupperware box is a bit bulky. I’ll make it work. Oh, and the weather looks nearly perfect, at worst partly cloudy but bluebird this morning!



6 Responses to “Back in Austria — Heading for Silvretta”

  1. Simon April 3rd, 2009 7:46 am

    Well, having had a new baby, a broken arm, and a vasectomy, this season has been a real write-off for me. You wouldn’t believe how much I am looking forward to reading your trip posts!!

  2. Tom April 3rd, 2009 8:10 am

    Yeah, I’m recovering from a torn labrum, so thanks for the stoke Lou. Have a great tour!

  3. Tom Gos April 3rd, 2009 8:51 am

    I’m laid up (torn shoulder labrum and rotator cuff – at least it was on a hut trip!)and living vicariously through these reports too. Keep up the good work Lou. I have to say I instantly cringed when you wrote that you were meeting at a Sixbucks in the Munich airport. Glad to see the photo of a more proper German refueling center.

  4. db April 3rd, 2009 9:32 am

    Mmmm… croissants:) Throw that Tupperware away and treat yourself to a toughbook! I’m no panasonic salesman but mine works great.

  5. Cory January 31st, 2012 6:00 pm

    Lou (et al.)

    My wife and I are planning to do the Silvretta in late March/early April, and we have enjoyed reading about your trip. Quick question though. We have always taken our adventures on our own, but wondering if it would be best to hire a guide for this one. Thoughts? Ordinarily we wouldn’t hesitate to just go for it, but we haven’t skied in the Alps before. It seems your friends had quite a bit of knowledge about the route, etc. Absent that knowledge, would you suggest doing a first traverse guided? We are confident we can navigate from hut to hut, but are wondering about crevasse danger mostly.



  6. Lou January 31st, 2012 6:11 pm

    Hi Cory, happy to help out. If you’re up there in the spring and the weather looks ok, you probably don’t need a guide (provided you’re fairly experienced). You’d need good maps and have plotted everything on your GPS. If you rope up and follow the beat out route everyone else is taking, crevasse danger isn’t a problem in spring until things start thawing in the afternoon. Another trick is just watch when guide leaves and follow (grin). If you can afford a guide it’s still a good way to go, if not simply so they can help with nailing all the logistics. But be sure it’s a guide you get along with as you don’t need any sort of ayatollah stealing your joy, taking things too seriously… Lou

  Your Comments

  Recent Posts

Facebook Twitter Email Instagram Youtube

WildSnow Twitter Feed


  • Blogroll & Links

  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

    All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

    We include "affiliate sales" links with most of our blog posts. This means we receive a percentage of a sale if you click over from our site (at no cost to you). None of our affiliate commission links are direct relationships with specific gear companies or shopping carts, instead we remain removed by using a third party who manages all our affiliate sales and relationships. We also sell display "banner" advertising, in this case our relationships are closer to the companies who advertise, but our display advertising income is carefully separated financially and editorially from our blog content, over which we always maintain 100% editorial control -- we make this clear during every advertising deal we work out. Please also notice we do the occasional "sponsored" post, these are under similar financial arrangements as our banner advertising, only the banner or other type of reference to a company are included in the blog post, simply to show they provided financial support to and provide them with advertising in return. Unlike most other "sponsored content" you find on the internet, our sponsored posts are entirely under our editorial control and created by WildSnow specific writers.See our full disclosures here.

    Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. Due to human error and passing time, the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

    Switch To Mobile Version