Sonnenjoch Ski Tour – WildSnow EU, Day 3


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | January 12, 2010      

The Alps get weather, that’s for sure. It might not snow a ton during some months, but you can count on wind, clouds, humidity, and perhaps some rain lower down to dissolve all hope of a good snowpack like yesterday, when we did a short tour out of Alpbach during a windy and cloudy day with a nice solid base of grass to keep the snowpack supportive. Good exercise, but definitely not the Alps I had in mind.

Then sometimes you get some fresh powder and a blue sky like they show in the tourist posters. Like today.

Your intrepid blogger getting some blue sky turns on Sonnenjoch (2,287 meters) today.

Your intrepid blogger getting some blue sky turns on Sonnenjoch today.

I love the low angled light of the Alps in January. Always some photo opportunities.

I love the low angled light of the Alps in January. Always some photo opportunities.

My guide for the day, Manfred Barthel at the summit. Just pray you're as fast as he is when you're 75 years old.

My guide for the day, Manfred Barthel at the summit. Just pray you're as fast as he is when you're 75 years old.

One thing I both like and dislike about ski touring the low alps is nearly every destination is as well signed as an autobahn. At least you can be sure about your location instead of resorting to pesky things like map reading.

One thing I both like and dislike about ski touring the low alps is nearly every destination is as well signed as an autobahn. At least you can be sure about your location instead of resorting to pesky things like map reading.

Manfred kicks up some fluff from last night's storm.

Manfred kicks up some fluff from last night's storm.

Yer blogster starting the down. On a pair of Dynafit Manaslu 178 cm, still the answer to difficult conditions as far as I'm concerned.

Yer blogster starting the down on a pair of Dynafit Manaslu 178 cm, still the answer to difficult conditions as far as I'm concerned.

Map below is centered on the Sonnenjoch in western Austria, or at least I think it is. These are lower Alps but plenty alpine and a terrific place to ski tour during midwinter conditions when the higher alpine may be too windy, cold and avalanche prone. More civilized, if you will, though the incredibly huge crowd of six other people really bummed me out.


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Comments

14 Responses to “Sonnenjoch Ski Tour – WildSnow EU, Day 3”

  1. Lee January 12th, 2010 2:48 pm

    6 people! Must have been a tourist route.

  2. Lou January 12th, 2010 2:51 pm

    I just couldn’t believe those guys were out there tracking up OUR snow. :angel:

  3. David Butler January 12th, 2010 3:00 pm

    75 and still gettin’ after it like that? My new hero.

  4. Lou January 12th, 2010 3:09 pm

    Hamish, yep, both. But it really sings down low on these mountains when you’ve got 18 inches of weird snow on grass.

  5. Hamish Gowans January 12th, 2010 2:52 pm

    The Manaslu is “still the answer to difficult conditions” but also the boot-top goodness, apparently…

  6. Robie January 12th, 2010 11:03 pm

    No “guess the desert ” kinda of a let down 🙁

  7. Randonnee January 12th, 2010 11:06 pm

    Marvelous blog! Thanks for sharing it!

  8. alyn January 13th, 2010 1:26 am

    Can’t see the feet! How are the NEW green boots??

    Wow, looks like an amazing day, though. One day, i’ll make it over there for some ‘old world’ touring…

  9. Lou January 13th, 2010 2:00 am

    Oh, I’ll get some pastries in here eventually! Just didn’t want to repeat the same stuff, might have to go to Vienna for something new! Or perhaps we can find something in Switzerland? :angel:

  10. Jack January 13th, 2010 1:39 am

    Exceptional, Lou! Seventy-something, stoked & skinning – a new goal!

  11. RHSMan January 13th, 2010 6:29 am

    The Alps are real mountains for sure with forever changing conditions. Keeps you on your feet!

    http://rhsman.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/nursery-022.jpg

  12. Tim 'Gonzo' Gordon January 13th, 2010 10:15 am

    All right, so I need to figure out how to get that job when I’m 75 of skiing fast with a bunch of young’ns…

  13. Nick January 13th, 2010 11:56 am

    Looks good! Always enjoy the Wildsnow Euro Reports.

  14. Ski Travel January 6th, 2011 3:30 am

    Looks absolutely great, and a 75 year old guide that looks close on 50 – must be the clean mountain air, and all the skiing exercise.

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