Goof on the Guffert

Post by blogger | March 8, 2012      

The day ended well, with a pile of home made schnitzel.

The day ended well with a pile of home made schnitzel and 10 schnitzel fingers displayed by Erhard, one of the guys on the tour and a certified schnitzel wizard.

Guffert Spitz is in the Rofan area somewhat north west of Innsbruck.

Guffert Spitz is in the Rofan area somewhat north west of Innsbruck. Today's tour would be with Axel Jentzsch-Rabl of and his friend Erhard Mitsche.

Map below shows the location, Guffert is the snowy peak in the middle of the map frame, our route was the open slopes on the south side. As always, I’m amazed at the plowed road access in the greater Innsbruck and Kitzbuhel areas of the Alps. This due to thousands of years of agriculture as well as a high population density. I’d estimate that for every alpine access road we have in, for example, Colorado, these guys have ten or twenty. Of course that means much less wild Wilderness. Me, I’d take a few more roads, though not to the extent that things over here are roaded.

Overall, after you’ve done backcountry sports in a European area such as this and seen the road mileage they have, complaining about “roading” some of the backcountry lands in the Western U.S. is laughable. What’s more, it is quite interesting to me how the mountain roads here in the Tyrol are used for what’s obviously careful timber harvesting, which in turn supports both forest materials production as well as alternative energy.

Sure, you see plenty of timber work being done in North American regions such as PNW, but the way they do it here seems more elegant in some way that I can’t quite put my finger on. Perhaps just illusion, a value judgment I’m making on “garden” forests as opposed other approaches. In any case, it all gets you thinking about the purposes of roads.

View Larger Map

This same region holds the Achensee.

When driving to the ski, you pass by the largest lake in the Tyrol. Achensee is classic, with Euro villages on the shore and Alps rising above.

Morning, up through larchen that's nicely blanketed by the white.

Morning, up through larchen that's nicely blanketed by the white.

We climbed just over 3,000 vert, the terrain gradually steepening as we got higher.

We climbed just over 3,000 vert, the terrain gradually steepening as we got higher. In this shot, Erhard Mitsche is looking easterly into Germany, as is common the Alps go on farther than the eye can see.

The day's climb finishes with a short steep couloir.

The day's climb finishes with a short steep couloir that Axel is 'enjoying' in this photo. Even though we got a fairly early start, we were about an hour late for 100% safe safe snow conditions so we climbed most of the steep, but quit at a flatter spot just below the top. The snow was getting so soft, it seemed like saving even 10 minutes was critical. We did a quick turnaround, worked down a few hundred feet of steep couloir, then skied slush and a bit of breakable back to the car. Goof, an hour earlier and we'd have been skiing nice semi-corn snow for most of the descent. Even so, nice weather and good companions today in the Alps.

Guffert steep section.

That's me trying to use skis on the short steep section. The snow was so slushy on the surface I wasn't sure I could turn without riding a sluff, so I just hacked my way down by sidestepping a few meters, then made some manky turns to get to the bowl. Always interesting how quickly the sun morphs the snow when it's not consolidated. At this point it was still early enough in the day to not worry too much about slab avalanches, nonetheless I was feeling like we needed to get out of there, so we did.

Guffert Spitz, some of the better snow.

Guffert Spitz, some of the better snow.

To get us back on track after the somewhat rushed day, Axel offered up a lunch of homemade wiener schnitzel. Erhard seemed to know what he was doing. The kids always show up for the schnitzel, though they did mention they liked Chick McNuggets as well. Ouch.

Preparing wiener schnitzel

Preparing wiener schnitzel. In this recipe, I'm told you first go with flour, then dip in an egg batter, then bread crumbs.

The expert told me if the oil is too hot the schnitzel is too brown. Apparently this is just about perfect

The expert told me if the oil is too hot the schnitzel turns too brown.

Wiener Schnitzel

Wiener Schnitzel

Check out Axel’s website and books at, he’s got quite the publishing business going on.


10 Responses to “Goof on the Guffert”

  1. Gentle Sasquatch March 8th, 2012 10:46 am

    Schnitzel is great… I also like the variation with Ham and Cheese called Cordon Bleu. Same as Schnitzel but put a slice of cheese and a slice of ham in between the tenderized schnitzel, fold and then flour,eggs and breadcrumbs.

  2. Greig March 8th, 2012 12:53 pm

    Thoughts and prayers for Steve Romeo and Chris Onufer missing in the Tetons.

  3. AJ March 8th, 2012 1:39 pm

    RIP Steve and Chris

  4. CalamityChris March 8th, 2012 2:57 pm

    I’m an American spending a year as an expat in Germany, and I’ve got some skiing and a few tours lined up while I’m here. But do you know what I’m jealous of, more than anything? Your network of Austrian friends. To me, having local friends that can share the essence of the Tirol with you is one of the greatest experiences you can ask for. I say this as I eat a pre-packaged schnitzel from the store!

  5. Oli C March 8th, 2012 4:53 pm

    ..and of course washed down with weiss beer!

    did you get a chance to try the weiss beer from MBC whilst in Cham? my favourite brew in Chamonix Valley

  6. Mark W March 9th, 2012 1:51 am

    Very cool skiing, very cool victuals. I’ll definitely check out Axel’s website.

  7. Arthur von Boennighausen March 9th, 2012 9:27 am


    I gave my first edition copy of Lou Dawson’s book: “Wild Snow” to Dr. Steven Myers – Orthopedic Surgeon to the United States Ski Team.

    Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Myers I now have two artificial hips made of Titanium and have been ski mountaineering about a dozen times since the surgery.

    The hips feel great but I am out of shape from several years of walking ever so slowly with two canes. Near the end, I was confined to a chair and taking synthetic morphine for the pain.

    34 years of ski mountaineering and alpine climbing with heavy backpacks had simply worn out my hips at age 55.

    Thinking allowed….

    Arthur von Boennighausen @ The Sierra Mojada Ranch

  8. Patrick March 9th, 2012 8:08 pm

    WHOA, Lou.

    Please don’t wish more roads on any US state. Get along with those you have and help to eliminate (decommission) ‘problem’ roads.

    It’s much better for all of us to work a little harder to get into remote areas.
    In North America, we have (or had) the opportunity to recreate in wildlands that include (or did include) an amazing array of wildlife.

    Western Europe has been domesticated so long that their wild lands are the equivalent of ‘side country’. Their wilderness was pretty much eliminated centuries ago (with very few exceptions).

    Wildlands are just too important to Americans and Canadians who love to recreate in them or to know that’s there’s enough habitat to sustain really wonderful critters.

    When’s the last time you came across a grizzly bear in Colorado? Roads, Lou, roads and human access contributed to the elimination of viable Colorado griz habitat. Road density is makes it increasingly difficult for griz throughout the lower 48 states. You might come across a griz in ID, WY or MT, but there are so few you have to be very lucky, even though you (and like-minded folk) spend a lot of time in the backcountry.

    Roads (and accompanying road-stream crossings) have extensive and intensive negative impacts on land and water critters. Think: grizzly bear, mtn caribou, trout, wolf, wolverine, and many others. Think about water quality (e.g., sediments that spoil fish habitat). Think about truncated aquatic habitat connectivity (due to low budgets MANY roads aren’t maintained, recall culverts you’ve seen that are suspended high above creek beds). And think about soil stability (landslides) caused by poor road design and maintenance. For a review of road impacts, see pages 69 to 71 in -Summary of Environmental Impacts of Roads-

    Support organizations that are trying to reduce the impacts of roads: e.g., Wildlands CPR in Missoula, and even (you betcha) the US Forest Service.

    Patrick, recently retired forester

  9. Rob Mullins March 10th, 2012 1:46 pm

    Good points Patrick, enough Roads, preserve remaining pristine areas.

    The current real threat to pristine winter lands here is the unregulated offroad snowmobile free-for-all. We in the US are allowed to have guns, and snowmobiles, unlike in Europe. However, some management of the snomo free-for-all is needed, since now even without roads much of the pristine offroad Forest is overrun by heavy snowmobile riding.

  10. Patrick March 11th, 2012 2:18 pm

    Right-on Rob.
    For nearly a decade, the US Forest Service has portrayed -Unmanaged Motorized Recreation- as one of its FOUR THREATS.
    See US-FS Position Paper at:
    and FOUR THREATS at:
    PS – In Canada, we have ample hockey sticks, not so many guns. 😉
    Regulating ORVs, ATVs, snowmobiles is REALLY difficult, lack of budget to police the motorized vandals and law-breakers.

    Thanks Lou for your European travel updates, I’ve enjoyed them all.

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