Back in Austria — Heading for Silvretta


Post by WildSnow.com 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!



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Comments

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…..cheap croissants:) Throw that Tupperware away and treat yourself to a toughbook! I’m no panasonic salesman but mine works great. http://www.buytough.com

  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.

    Thanks,

    Cory

  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

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