We tag along with a group of Tirolean locals for this one. Fun folks to hang out with and quite a bunch of competent alpinists, thanks Erich!
I had a date with Glungezer. Last time I was here, I went to the trouble of skiing most of the way up this 2677 meter mountain near Innsbruck, Austria only to be shut down by a whiteout so dense the resort skiers on the approach piste were pinging off each other like a physics experiment — with me as the random particle collision. Barely made it out of that one alive.
Glungezer is one of those easier summits you find rising southerly from the Inn Valley autobahn, south of the greater Innsbruck area. You can see these mountains as you roll, up there all glistening white. Some have high roads you can use for access, for others you hike the resort piste or avoid the grunt by purchasing a cable ticket.
The weather had been funny lately, much colder than normal and recent new snow. Theory today is that powder will remain skiable on northern reaches such as those of Glungezer. Time to find out if that’s true.
For the approach, you climb quite a bit of recently closed ski resort.
On the alpine portion of the trip, looking northeast at the vast ski touring terrain this area offers. Much of what you see is terrific during winter months when the higher Alps can be hit-or-miss due to extreme weather. Thousands of huts and alpine restaurants are tucked in nearly everywhere. If you've never been here, visit and you'll be amazed at the ski touring culture.
Erich got this shot of his friend on the classic uptrack.
View over Inn valley, looking steeply down more than 6,000 vert, average relief for many parts of the Alps.
WildSnow honeymooners about half way up the climb, looking fresh?
WildSnow Girl and the usual classic summit cross.
Our friend, Erich, who hosted us on this trip, reaching the summit.
Attack of the Tiroleans.
Erich, the Tirolean powder farmer.
The crew again, classic track set.
Lower portion of the route took this nice forested area before re-entering the closed resort, where we followed the pistes down to our parking at a restaurant.
Yes, you WildSnowers might be getting tired of the Austrian restaurant shots by now.
Nice to be along with a few other couples. More, for purely scientific reasons I try to get a sense of the female to male ratio of the ski touring population when I'm out on these popular mountains with lots of other people. Today, more women than men. Heads up, boys.
Lisa thought she had this all to herself. Yogurt fruit cake.
So much for Lisa's cake. Likewise, that's it for this year's European skiing adventures, thanks everyone for following along these past months! We'll follow up with a few gear reviews covering some of the items we used in Europe. Beyond that, summer is here -- though we're still backcountry skiing.
I should mention that during valley to peak snow coverage, hardcores do this Glungezer tour from the Inn Valley floor as one HUGE slog. I’m told once is enough, as most of the ski is up low angled pastures and you’re “walking walking walking — seemingly forever.” Perhaps we’ll try that some day, but the quality skiing portion of this route is easily accessed via a classic steep road that winds up through a bunch of farms and pastures, to terminate at the Gasthaus and resort lifts. For those of you who get serious about this tour, the access road starts from the Hall West exit off the A12 Motorway, road map makes it obvious.
Map below shows Glungezer location. And yes, you can enjoy a hut near the summit.
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