tirsdag 13. august 2019

INNHOLD/CONTENT
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Bjørn Lytskjold langs GTA (Grande Traversata delle Alpi).
I bakgrunnen Monte Leone

2019 Karnischer Höhenweg - Österreich/Italia

8 tour day, ↑7000 ↓7400, 100 km
Our route: Helmhanghütte – Sillianer Hütte – Obstanserseehütte – Porzehütte – Hochweißsteinhaus – Wolayerseehütte – Rifugio Lambertenghi – Rifugio Marinelli – Gasthof Valentinalm – Rifugio Fabiani – Malga Pramosio – Timau

My Tour Slide Show: Click here.
The tour plan (Norwegian): Click here.
The GPS track: Click here

Down at the lake Obstanserseehütte (2304) is waiting for us


















Introduction
THE ROUTE
The trail Karnischer Höhenweg (KHW) is a "civilized ridge walk" in Karnische Alpen (German) / Alpi Carniche (Italian) / Carnic Alps, the mountain ridge just north of the famous and popular Dolomites - le Dolomiti. The 100 km long east-west oriented ridge, forms the border between Austria and Italy (click map).
1-8 July 2019 we walked a major part of Karnischer Höhenweg. The fabulous trail, marked by Austrian ÖAV, runs on the mountain crest along the very border between Österreich and Italia. During the first 3-4 days the route follows military trails & roads build 1915-18 during World War I, when the Karnische Hauptkamm was part of the 'Alpine Front' between fighting Austria-Hungary and Italy. The well marked and good trail Karnischer Höhenweg is often rather exposed. This is not a tour for people with fear of heights. This is not a trail to walk in bad weather. Neither thunderstorm, heavy rain & nor strong wind. The trail would be very difficult to walk before all snow is gone on the mountain ridge. When snow fills up the narrow military trails it is more or less hopeless to find alternative options - without climbing skills & equipment. The highest point on the route is Pfannspitze (2678) (Day 3 in description below). The trail is marked with red-white-red signals and 403 KHW.

ACCOMMODATION
On our tour we stay at nice mountain cabins with staff, and one Gasthof, sleeping in dormitories/multi bed rooms. I had booked places well in advance. Even in early July, famous for being quiet in the Alps, this is recommended. All places served good and plentiful meals.
Typical costs in Euro (2019): Bed in dormitory, 32. Half-pension (dinner+breakfast), 35. Coffee, 3. Beer (0.5), 4. Coke, 3. Bottle of wine, 25.

GETTING THERE
For a most of us is a bit tricky to get to Karnischer Höhenweg. Most walkers we meet started their hike from the northern and Austrian side of the ridge, like from the village Sillian in Hochpustertal. Sillian has OK train connections, both from Austrian and Italian cities, check www.bahn.de.
We arrive from south, from Venezia / Marco Polo Airport. Since we are a big group we use a minibus (www.goopti.com), to save time and money. Our hike, therefore, starts above the village Sesto/Sexto on the southern and Italian side of the ridge. Sesto/Sexto has bus connection with Innichen/San Candido, the village with train station west for Sillian, see bus schedule. Innichen/San Candido has train connection with Venezia. 

GUIDE BOOK
The guidebook we see every day along the tour is, like my copy,  Evamaria Wecker's Karnischer Höhenweg - von Sillian nach Thörl-Maglern, published by Bergverlag Rother. If you look for an English option, why not try John Hayne's The Karnischer Hohenweg - a 1-2 week trek on the Carnic Peace Trail: Austria and Italy, published by Cicerone.

Tour description - day by day

Day 1 - Monday 1 July 2019

Transport stage: Norway - Venezia - Karnishe Alpen
With a slightly delayed 07:00 flight with Norwegian from Oslo we arrive Venezia Airport Marco Polo at 10:15. From the airport we continue with our booked minibus from GoOpti (www.goopti.com) to Helmhanghütte, a guesthouse/restaurant on the hillside above the Italian village Sesto/Sexto. Venezia-Sexto: 170 km, 2.5-3 hours. Price for 8 persons: ca 250€.
It is possible to drive all the way to Helmhanghütte (or Rifugio Pendio Mont'Elmo), but since I'm a bit too helpful with the navigation we never make it all the way. Sorry Dario! The steep road I guide us along suddenly stops on a small farm. We decide to walk the 10 minutes up to Helmhanghütte, despite the intense rain out there."May we use your barn for dressing up for walking?" In my best German I ask the farmer fixing his tractor. "Jaja, Naturlich. Kein Problem. Bitte einkommen". Despite being in Italy, here they speak German.
Wet arrival, Helmhanghütte.
We have booked lunch at Helmhanghütte. The big terrace is excellent for lunch, in good weather. Today we're happy to eat indoor. Irmgard Holzer, running the place, knows how to welcome and treat hungry foreigners. I really like it here. With recharged batteries and smile on our faces we wave Irmgard goodbye at 15:20. It is time to start our hike along Karnischer Höhenweg - KHW...

Helmhanghütte (1610) – Sillianer Hütte (2447)
↑850 5 km, 2.5 hours
The rain has stopped as we leave Helmhanghütte and follow a local trail up to the cluster of old houses named Negerdorf (according to the information board: A code name used during the Great War). Up there, on the ridge high up, we spot Sillianer Hütte. From Negerdorf we follow the good  trail "Heimatsteig" towards Helm (2433), through rather open forest up to 2100 meters. We don't climb Helm, but pick the trail leading straight towards Sillianer Hütte. Arriving just in time for dinner. Luckily we didn't arrive a day earlier: Today , 1 July, happens to be the reopening date for the renovated hut. The hut is very, very nice. So is the crew. And the servings.

Sillianer Hütte (2447)  Renovated, reopened 1 July 2019 and very ready for new guests.

Day 2 - Tuesday 2 July 2019
Sillianer Hütte (2447) – Obstanserseehütte (2304)
↑450 ↓550 9 km, 4.5 hours
Today's stage follows the mountain ridge top, so we need fair weather. 
Bad weather options: Wait a day (or try to find a option. I have to to find out more later...).

Our first morning up on the Karnischer ridge could not have been better: Calm, blue sky and fog in the valley. To the south: The enormous view towards the Italian Dolomiti di Sesto. To the north: Myriads of Austrian mountains I still have to learn about. Breakfast is served from 06:30, with a smile. Good and plentiful. Thank you Sillianer Hütte Staff for the nice stay you gave us.
At 07:30 we are ready for the rather short day to Obstanserseehütte, along the Karnischer Ridge System that we will follow eastwards for the coming week, crisscrossing the Italian-Austrian border a number of times (after this hike I may not be able to answer the questions: How many times have you been to Italy or Austria?). The trail - marked 403, red-white-red and KHW - follows the military trails  built up and carved out during World War 1. All over it is remains of trenches, shelters and foundation walls made during this dramatic period. Today we are very grateful to walk on top of the big mountain ridge this easy. Without the road system it would have been impossible. 
Today's hike is so beautiful. The ridge itself is changing all the way. We make an extra short climb to Hornischegg (2550), walk above shining lake surfaces at Hollbrucker Seen and bend our neck a bit where the trail is dug into the mountain. To the south the view is close to overkill: The Dolomiti di Sesto Dolomites with the famous Tre Cime / Drei Zinnnen. After Hochgräntensee - with the old churchyard - the trail becomes narrow and more challenging. This stretch along Schöntalhöhe (2635) and Eisenreich (2665) you'll like to have good weather conditions. And a good head for heights. As we start the descend towards Obstansersee the trail and terrain get more gentle. 
Obstanserseehütte (2304) is a very nice place to be. Next to the hut there's a lake to take a dip in. Inside the hut there are very nice people who bring us beer and lunch. Our big (?) plan about climbing an extra peak after lunch fades away when seeing the wet afternoon forecast. I go for a siesta instead. Around 18:00 the bad weather hits the cabin; strong wind gusts, rain and then hail. Very good to be safe and dry indoor now, with a glass of Aperol Spritz. And it is dinner, served at 18:30.

View towards Hochgräntensee

Day 3 - Wednesday 3 July 2019
Obstanserseehütte (2304) – Filmoorhütte (2350) – Porzehütte (1942) 
↑850 ↓1000 12 km, 6-7 hours
The first part of this stage follows the mountain ridge top most of the way to Filmoorhütte; fair weather is needed.  The bad weather options goes via Roßkopftörl (2493) east of Obstansersee, marked Via Alpina Red or Südenalpenweg, to Filmoorhütte. Filmoor is the perfect place to eat lunch. From Filmoor to Porzehütte, the trail takes a big loop into Austria on the northern side of the main ridge.

The breakfast at Obstanserseehütte is served around 07:00; bread, cheese, ham and omelet. Coffee, tea and milk. Just what we need. Outside the sky is high and blue. Most groups set of from Obstanserseehütte at the same time as us, around 08:00. It is a stunningly nice morning, meant for frequent stops to take in the beautiful scenery. And to manage the rather long climb up to the highest peak along our tour: Pfannspitze (2678). The trail to the top is a bit exposed along the highest part, but very good. The view eastward from Pfannspitze (2678) is alone worth our long travel from Norway: A complex, dramatic and never ending range of peaks and ridges. All the way to Slovenia. Sorry Dolomites! I know you are there just south of us, but here and now the ridge view is what fascinates me.

Karnischer Höhenweg east of Pfannspitze (2678)
The trail east of Pfannspitze gets rather exposed time to time. I'm happy that the weather conditions are so perfect. This would easily have turned into trouble if wet, windy or foggy. Several places I really have to concentrate to manage it. The many small Alpine flowers - in full bloom now - are good to rest my eyes on when it is a bit too many steep cliffs below me. Getting closer to the peak Kleine Kiligat the trail runs om the southern/Italian side of the ridge to the pass Kinigratscharte (2515), the along the tailus/gravel slope below/south of Groß Kiligrat to the small plateau Filmoorsattel (2453). From here it is a short way - on an old Wold War 1 Road - down to the hut, die Filmoorhütte, or Filmoor-Standschützenhütte. 5 out of 8 head for the cabin, while 3 of us first take the short detour up to the top of Groß Kiligrat (2689).

Feel more at Filmoorhütte (2453), a very good place on earth. 
Filmoorhütte (2350) is one of those cabins where I just want to stop, to stay, to be. Hüttenwirtin - hut warden - Johanna Köberl runs the place, with two kids and man. 'Free pick' of cold beer floating in the log water basin outside. The hot sausage soup. On top of this good hiking friends that we now have learned to know a bit. Like Klaus, with his anti hero comments and old hiking friends. Klaus, pointing out the mountains and valleys he knows and have walked/climbed in this part of the world, lighting another cigarette. Unfortunately we will move on, Klaus and his group will stay for the night. My best greetings when waving goodbye is: "I want to be Klaus to you".
When leaving Filmoorhütte it is raining. The trail towards Porzehütte heads downward below the cabin, towards the lake Oberen Stuckensee (2032). The light rain & fog - and the fact that I have to climb back to Filmoor because I've forgot my mobile there - make it a bit difficult to take in the big view. I'm sure a dip in the lake would be the thing to do when the sun is out. From Oberen Stuckensee the trail climbs towards the pass Heretriegel (2170). The rain keeps on, all of us have now strapped our umbrellas on to the backpack as we cross gentle (and cloud covered) Roßkar.

Proper rain gear, walking over Roßkar
We can look over and down to Porzehütte now. However, the trail makes some extra ups and downs around the mountain knob where the power line 'mast' sits. Zigzag and slippery slope, before the last and long flat stretch toward our goal for the day: Porzehütte (1942). Despite umbrellas, good rain gear and boots: Yes, we are a bit wet. The cabin has all what we need: Good drying facilities. Good rooms. Good beer. An then a dinner served around 18:30. Good stuff, with pancakes & cream for dessert. Despite the good food, despite the nice cabin: Something is missing about how the staff runs the hut tonight. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day...

Day 4 - Thursday 4 July 2019
Porzehütte (1942) – Hochweißsteinhaus (1867) 
↑1170 ↓1240 16 km, 8 hours
This is another fair weather stage, on top of the ridge: In poor weather walk the trails on the Italian side of the ridge from Tilliacher Joch and via Hochalpljoch (2278) SW of Hochweißsteinhaus. 

The morning birds at Porzehütte (1942) 

Sunny morning, and a plentiful breakfast is ready for us at 06:30. Yes, it's a bit early for me, but we have long day waiting. The breakfast is just perfect. Müslie, yogurt, juice, fruit, bread, ham, cheese, good coffee. And we get thumbs up for making a sandwich lunch pack.
We leave Porzehütte 07:30, once again along an old, impressing World War 1 Road zigzagging up to the pass Tilliacher Joch (2094). Good views from here: To the north we look down at the Austrian village Obertilliach, with the mountain ridge Hohe Tauern as an impressive backdrop. To the south we look into a fascinating Italian combo of mountain, valley and summer farms. Wish I knew the names. The climb continuous on and on, to the top of Bärenbadeck (2430). 500 meters up within an hour and a half, that's a tough way to start a day. In Evamaria Weckers's guidebook Karnischer Höhenweg, published by Bergverlag Rother - this stage is named Die Königsetappe - the King's Stage. A good name on this lofty and exposed route, with the very, very good views.
From Bärenbadeck our trail  follow the very ridge most of the way to Winklerjoch (2248), at many placed rather exposed and narrow. Once more we are thankful for - and impressed by - the old World War 1 roads which make it possible to 'wander' along this wild mountain ridge. And very happy that ÖAV - the Austrian Alp Club - maintains and keeps this route so well. After a rather long ridge walk the trail runs on the Italian/southern side of Gamskofel (2415), in more gentle terrain to the pass Hochspitzenke (2314). From here the trail further on looks rather serious. Maybe not exposed, but very steep around the southern slope of the peak Hochspitz (2581). And tough it is. Not dangerous, but steep, with ropes and cables to grab on to. Silly me try to act hero, carrying two backpacks up the steepest part. Close to the top something 'snaps' in my right knee. For the rest of the tour it is never the the same...The trail further on towards Steinkarspitze looks OK on the map. Walk-able it is for sure, no panic. Still it hides steep parts with ropes to cling on to.

Climbing the ridge towards Steinkarspitz (2524). Westwards view : The 403 KHW trail, Mitterkar and Hochspitz (2580).
From Steinkarspitze we go for the trail marked Hochweißsteinhaus (leichte Variante), an absolutely good choise. Then, from Laggauer Sattel (2404) we walk along a very good old road toward Laggauer Törl (2232) and the tiny lake. Far away, on the other side of the valley, direction SE, we now see Hochweißsteinhaus.
The trail is good, but we feel very well all the meters we have to descend down, down, down to elevation 1700 meters - through scrub, bush, forest and vegetation. Then, at the end of our long day it is the Hüttensteilhang - walking the 150 meters up to wonderful, fantastic Hochweißsteinhaus (1867). What a place! What a crew! This is for sure a place to spend an extra week! Of course we need glasses of cold beer now. Then a shower (or why not a dip in the creek). 
The dinner is served at 18:30 - with smile and style. And wherever I look I see well known Karnischer Höhenweg Hiking Faces. Hochweißsteinhaus hurra, hurra, hurra!

Hochweißsteinhaus (1867). What a place. What a crew.

Day 5 - Friday 5 July 2019
Hochweißsteinhaus (1867) – Wolayerseehütte (1959) 
↑1000 ↓900 16 km, 6 hours
This is the first day not walking on the top of the ridge. A long and varied day that may be done even if the weather conditions are not the best.

Hochweißsteinhaus Crew, I love your style!
The good breakfast at Hochweißsteinhaus is ready at 07:00. Today's walk is rather long, with no real options for having lunch. Better dig into the morning meal, and make sandwiches to bring along.
Hochweißsteinhaus is another places I just want to stay longer. However, this July day one of these mornings perfect for moving on. The sky is high and very blue. At 08:15 it is "bye, bye Hochweißsteinhaus Crew!" I love your style.
The walk starts with the beautiful 150 m climb up to the pass Öfner Joch: Close to the pass we are "wading" in Alpenrose. After a short flat stretch it is then downhill for a while, heading SE into the Val Fleons. We pass the summer farm buildings at Casera Fleons di sopra (1864). This is obviously avalanche prone terrain: The buildings have no real walls, just roofs, simply letting the avalanches run undisturbed over the buildings.
A bit lower we meet the larch forest, many places badly destroyed by heavy wind (we learn later about the October 2018 hurricane), before coming to the rather messy summer farm Casera Fleons di sotto (1571). Here we miss the trail for a stretch (next time we'll look more carefully for the trail markers). No worries. Soon we are back on the good trail heading for Casera Sissanis di sotto and then the pass Sella Sissanis (1987). We're not alone today in the beautiful Sissanis valley: 3-4 shepherds with clever dogs are busy with a big, big heard of sheep.
We have our sandwich lunch near the tiny Lago Pera (1960) east and below Sella Sissanis. Unfortunately the lake is not good for a dip; the sheep have been here as well. In addition cold weather a week back was deadly for the frogs. Now they lay dead, pale and swollen on the bottom.
I really like the terrain we walk through now. First a green walk along small swamps and shallow ponds with cotton grass just east of Lago Pera. Then traversing the grey gravel-covered slope south of the mountain Kreuzen, with the Lago Bordaglia and green meadows far below. In addition the special vegetation: Dense and low pine bush clinging to low ridge tops. And high above it all: Huge and grey Wolayerkopf (2472).

High above Lago Bordaglia
From Giramondopass (1971) we zigzag rather steep 200 vertical meters down into the Wolayer Tal, then turn southwards through forest and over talus. The trail is a bit 'bumpy', but well marked all the way to the meadows and dirt road below the summer farm Oberen Wolayeralm. Our guide book mention that milk is for sale at the here. We make other findings as well: Beer and Radler and juice. And very smiley and welcoming owners. From Oberen Wolayeralm the trail follows the Wolayerseehütte dirt road for shorter parts, but most of the way we walk on trail. After a long and warm day I really feel the last 150 vertical meter climb up to Wolayerseehütte (1959).
The lake that gives the name to the hut, Wolayersee, is clear and tempting, so we skip the hut shower and go for a dip in the lake. Yes, it is still rather 'spring time cold'. Back at the cabin, offering fancy and new 'cafe fascilities' overlooking the lake, it is time for a big, cold beer. And at 18:30 dinner.
Since this will be the last evening with our big and nice Karnischer Family I have a suggestion after dinner: "Let's have a night cup in Italia, just 500 meters away! At the cabin behind the hill south of the lake, Rifugio Lambertenghi Romanin (1955)". A perfect idea it is for sure. The crew at Romanin is so happy to see our big group showing up. Per favore. Grappa! Limoncello! Cioccolata calda! We soak in the warm and friendly Italian atmosphere. Next time I will book at Romanin! Wolayerseehütte, you have a lot to learn. Tonight, however, we have to walk back to our beds in Austria.

Heading for a dip at Wolayerseehütte (1959)

Day 6 - Saturday 6 July 2019
Wolayerseehütte (1959) – Rifugio Lambertenghi Romanin (1955) – Rifugio Marinelli (2120) – Gasthof Valentinalm (1220)↑550 ↓1250 13 km, 7 hours - via Sentiero Spinotti
This stage is very different from the five previous days: The steep climb along Sentiero Spinotti. The big Italian lunch at Rifugio Marinelli. This as a hike done in good conditions only.

We are more than ready for breakfast at 07:00. Out there a new and sunny day is waiting. Our group will split up today: 4 of us will walk the trail named Sentiero Spinotti to Rifigio Marinelli and then  Plöckenpaß to Gasthof Valentinalm. The other 4 will walk the direct route via the pass Valentintörl (3128) to Gasthof Valentinalm (1220), ↑200 ↓900 9 km, 3 hours.
It is time to say goodbye to most of our new touring friend, such is life. Luckily our "Group Spinotti " of four has added to six: Brigitte & Sabine - 'the locals' - are joining in as well J. The very first must on our hike today is a stop at Rifugio Lambertenghi Romanin (1955), to say hello and thanks for the wonderful yesterday evening. And buy a Ritter Chocolate (the "Kvadratisch, Praktisch, Gut" one).
Superfriendly Rifugio Lambertenghi Romanin (1955)
From Romanin we walk down and south along the main trail for a short while. Ahead of us is the naked cliff where the 'infamous' trail Sentiero Spinotti is supposed to run. From here it looks impossible to me. "No stress", says my friend, "the mountain will lay down as we get close to it". And yes: The scrambling up the steep trail prove to be absolutely doable. A steady ladder at the low part of the cliff sets the standard, this feels safe. Higher up the steepest parts have steps, rails or cables. What might have caused a problem is the steep snowfield about two thirds up. However, today it is soft and easy to cross. To sum up the Sentiero Spinotti: Steep and exposed, but for sure no problem for a non-climber like me. It is a very exiting, beautiful and fun trail to try out.
Above the steep part of Sentiero Spinotti.
From the top of the "Sentiero Spinotti Cliff " it is another 3 km, 250 m up & 250 m down, along good trail, to the fabulous Rifugio Marinelli (2120). The cabin is a popular starting point when heading for the highest Karnische Alpen peak: Monte Coglians/Hohe Warte (2780). I've emailed Marinelli in advance, about having our lunch there. Now the Norwegian flag is flying. We agree it is for us! The clock says 11:00 as we unload our packs on the huge terrace. Despite being a bit early in the day: It is time for a big Italian lunch. The sun is baking. The view is grand. The food is fantastic. The staff very Italian and friendly. We raise our glasses for the perfect Austrian-Norwegian Group Spinotti.
Time runs at a place like this. Somehow it is already 12:30, we realize it is time to move on. Thank you Caterina, Queen of Marinelli! You really know how to treat people like us.
Rifugio Marinelli (2120) - a perfect spot to fulfill  mountain dreams.
From Rifugio Marinelli (2120) we follow the excellent trail 146 towards Plöckenpass, down the grassy hillside. Having walked about 3km and 350m down it seems like the trail stops in front of a cliff side. We have reached La Scaletta - The Ladder - where the trail climbs up stone steps though a tiny cave/tunnel. Really fascinating trail work! Above the tunnel the trail climbs a bit more, before following the hillside all the way town to the buildings and 'busy' road in Plöckenpass.
Up and through the tunnel at La Scaletta - The Ladder.
It is time for a glass at the cafe in Plöckenpass. It is time to say goodbye to our two friends from Österreich. We'll meet again, that is for sure! Of course the nice women easily fix a lift down towards Mauthen in Gailtal. We, the remaining four, walk on towards Valentinalm. Like normal we struggle most when having to find our way in build out areas, like here in Plöckenpass. The trail toward Valentinalm is not well marked, still we manage to find it: Walk to the concrete tunnel opening north of the pass, and climb up on top of it. That's were the trail runs. A bit more north, and down, we meet the gravel road which we follow, heading north first, then  west into the upper part of the valley Valentintal. Here as well the forest is badly destroyed by the October 2018 storm. We pass logging machines parked for the weekend, cleaning up the mess. Worst of all is the area around Gasthof Valentinalm where the forest is simply torn away.
At Gasthof Valentinalm (1220) we - the Group Spinotti - get a warm welcome by the other four. We had hoped for some decent rooms this night, but the Valentinalm crew is simply not in the mood: Our place is in the rather cramped, and very hot, dormitory in the "barn".
The dinner, served at 18:30 on the terrace, is very good. We take the night rather early; and are well in bed when a really severe rain and thunder storm hits Valentinalm.
Gasthof Valentinalm (1220), wind destroyed forest. High above: Mooskofel (about 2300).

Day 7 - Sunday 7 July 2019
Gasthof Valentinalm (1220) – Rifugio Fabiani (1539) 
↑1450 ↓1200 20 km, 8-9 hours
This long stage takes us through a landscape that is rather different from what we've had so far. East of the Plöckenpass road the the peaks are lower, and the terrain more gentle and green. For those continuing along the classic Karnischer Höhenweg the natural stop for the night is Zollnersee Hütte (1750). On our tour we drop Zollnersee Hütte: We add on 2 km extra to the Italian Rifugio Fabiani (1539).

At Gasthof Valentinalm a good breakfast buffet is waiting for us at  07:00. Outside the air is clear and nice after the heavy rain last night. We get thumbs up for making our own lunch sandwiches. At 08:00 we are ready to go. From the guesthouse we follow the dirt road/trail that leads towards Plöckenpass for ca 2 km, then continues on the trail through forest and over meadows down to the road at Gasthof Plöckenhaus. The guesthouse is closed this early Sunday, so no snacks for sale.
Preparing for the only road crossing on the tour at Gasthof Plöckenhaus  near Plöckenpass.
East of the Plöckenpass road we walk though more farmland. A bit east of Grünsee the long, long climb towards Köderkopf (2167) starts. The trail is rather good, but has been damaged at bit here and there by the October '18 storm. Beyond Obere Spielbodenalm (tiny summer farm house at ca 1820 m) the trail follows the contour line, more or less, for 3-4 km in big and beautiful terrain. 
Long climb towards Köderkopf (2167)
Getting closer to Köderkopf the trail has a steep and 'muddy' part. And getting even closer the rain sets in. East of Köderkopf the route drops rather steep towards SSE, on a good trail. We don't see too much the first part, because of the fog. Further down the trail runs toward east, descending though a landscape that gets more and more green and lush. Here and there the track has some narrow and slippery parts (we still walk in the rain below our umbrellas). Around 1500 masl. we get on to the dirt road going towards Zollnersee Hütte. This one we follow a bit beyond/above the summer farm Obere Bischofalm, then continue on good trail towards the pass Zollnertörl (1797). East of our trail we now see Zollnersee Hütte (1750). 
A local at the Italian side of Zollnertörl. 
From Zollnertörl it is a 1 km walk, dropping 250 meters, to super charming and Italian Rifugio Fabiani, where hutkeepers Tiziana and Nino give us a warm welcome. In Italian of course. We are the only guests tonight, and do get the very best treatment. Rifugio Fabiani is the kind of place "worth a detour".

Day 8 - Monday 8 July 2019
Rifugio Fabiani(1539) – Malga Pramosio (1521) – Timau (830)
↑700 ↓1200 10 km, 5 hours
The stage from Rifugio Fabiani to Malga Pramosio that we follow, 448a, runs along steep and grassy hillsides, on a rather narrow trail. Trail 407a may be a less exposed version.

Italian breakfasts are infamous for being plane and boring: White bread, jam, honey and cafe latte. The Italian Fabiani breakfast is just fantastic, including home made bread, cheese and ham. Perfect for a bunch of hungry Norwegians. It's no need to rush today. Fabiani is such a good place to be, and we have a rather short day ahead of us. Still it is only 09:00 as we line up for group photo, then wish  Tiziana and Nino a very good summer season and kiss "arrivederci"!
Rifugio Fabiani (1539): The kind of place "worth a detour".
Nino tells us to walk trail 448a, via Creta Rossa, out from Fabiani. That's the normal way, as I understands it.  On a morning like today I think it is a bit scary. The narrow trail runs along very steep and grassy hillsides. The never ending and steep slopes below my trigger my fantasy in a strange way. The terrain is very beautiful, with big views towards south and east. Since we are no more than 50 km west of the Slovenian border I'm convinced (!) that I spot Triglav (2864), their highest peak.
Steep section ahead along trail 448a from Rifugio Fabiani to Malga Pramosio.
The highest point we have to climb is the pass just north of Crete di Mezzodi (1980). From pass - about 1850 masl. - it is downhill all the way to Timau (830). However, our first important stop is lunch at Malga (= cabin) Pramosio (1521), a rather big cabin and restaurant sitting on a pleasant meadow. A rain shower forces us to eat indoor. Pramosio, again a place to recommend. The lunch is big and very good, and the to girls serving us are very helpful and nice. The first for a while speaking English. For the last days we have survived on our German and Italian.
Wonderful lunch at Malga Pramosio (1521).
My legs and knees are very soar now. Whatever the reason may be (not good enough preparations/training, getting old, too long stages & up & down): I'm not in the mood for walking the steep trail down to Timau. The road seems to be a better option today. For sure longer, but also more flat. 
8 days of hiking comes to an end when arriving Timau.
The little village Timau has beautiful setting in the Val Grande. We have booked at Albergo Ristaurante "da Otto", the only hotel I found on Google Maps. Clean and nice, but long, steep stairs to my room at the very floor. Oh aching legs! Before dinner it is time to check out the village, maybe find a nice place to eat. Today is not the day, it is all very, very quiet. And the closed restaurant we find is not very tempting. Luckily we have our Albergo Ristaurante "da Otto". They have both dinner and wine for us.
A big surprise arrives for dessert: Nino from Rifugio Fabiani. "What brings you here, fratello?" "Guarda, i tuoi occhiali." Nino has come to deliver the reading glasses I forgot at his cabin! What a man, what a service.

Tuesday 9 July 2019
Transport: Timau – Venezia 
– Norway

Albergo "da Otto", Timau
Game over. Time to head home. Such is life. From Timau there is bus service south to Udine (see Moovit.com) which has frequent train connections to Venezia. We, the group of eight, have once more booked a minibus from GoOpti (www.goopti.com). At 09:30, spot on time, it stops in front og Albergo "da Otto". 2.5 hours later we are dropped off at Marco Polo Airport in Venezia. At 14:00 it is takeoff for the Norwegian plane. At 16:40 we land safely in Oslo...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Thank you my touring friends for yet another fabulous walk in the Alps.
8 good people for 8 good days.
Apart from soar knees and thighs: No injuries or mishaps.
I cross my fingers and hope we are all ready again soon.


Thanks to all the good people we met along Karnischer Höhenweg, hikers and hut keepers.
I hope we'll meet again. High or low. Sun or rain. South or north! 

søndag 7. april 2019

2019 Silvretta, Tyrol

Turgjengen : Cecilie, Brage, Øyvind, Tore, Helge og Bjørn
23.-30. mars 2019

Ruten: Ischgl - Heidelberger Hütte - Jamtalhütte - Chamona Tuoi - Wiesbadener Hütte - Wirl/Galtür.
Turtall: 6 dager   ↑6550  ↓6650  72 km    

Turbilder / tour photos: Åpne bildeserien HER
GPS-sporet mitt kan du laste ned HER

Om Silvretta: 
  - Et skikkelig brukervennlig skiturterreng, hovedrutene er som skapt for oss nordmenn.
  - Ingen av rutene vi fulgte hadde særlig bratte kneiker, vi hadde ski på beine hele veien. 
  - Alt ligger 1000 meter lavere enn Haute Route, både spor, hytter og topper à tykkere luft å puste i. 
  - Frokost serveres først kl 07:00. 
  - 30-40% rimeligere enn på hyttene langs Haute Route i Sveits.
  - Egnet for en ukes rundtur med start/slutt i skistedene Ischgl/Galtür
  - Grei adkomst med tog og buss fra f.eks. Innsbruck, Salzburg og München. Eller Davos.
  - Sol og drømmeføre 5 av 6 dager (siste uken i mars 2019...)

Jamtalferner - på vei fra Jamtalhütte til Gamsspitze (3107)
Silvretta var et nytt turterreng for hele turgjengen, anbefalt av skiguide Christoph Küng (2014): «This is my local area, and I love it in the winter». Han beskriver turen som lett / middels, med Piz Buin (3312) som den vanskeligste. Vi må ha med sele, stegjern og isøks, flere steder går ruten på bre. Hyttene har dusj (ikke Tuoi), og god mat og drikke.

Utreisedag: Lørdag 23. mars, med Norwegian 11:00 fra OSL til Salzburg 13:15.
Hjemreise: Lørdag 30. mars, med Norwegian 14:00 fra Salzburg til OSL 16:15.

Kartblad : Silvrettagruppe 1: 25 000 (kjøpt fra www.freytagberndt.com)


Turbeskrivelse - dag for dag

Reisedag – lørdag 23. mars 
Turlaget på fire voksne herrer og en langt yngre møtes på Gardermoen. Nå skal vi til Østerrike og prøve oss på "Silvretta Haute Route". Norwegian-flyet vårt som skal gå kl 11:00 fra OSL blir stående og vente i nesten en time. "Slot-problem", sier kapteinen. Godt vi har god slark i Salzburg før vi skal videre med med tog til Landeck.
Vi er på Salzburg Flughafen ca kl 14:00. All bagasjen kommer, hurra! Det er ikke noe vi tar for gitt, litt for ofte har vi manglet en sekk eller et par ski. Fra flyplassen tar vi Omnybus 2 (2 €) i 20 min inn til togstasjonen, Salzburg Hbf, der vi låser inn sekker og ski i oppbevaringsskap. Så går vi i flott vårvær til uteserveringen på Die Weisse, spiser Bratwurst-lunsj og smaker på hveteølet.
Kl 16:56 går toget vårt fra Salzburg Hbf til Landeck-Zams. Vi har forhåndskjøpt billetter til hyggelig pris på ÖBB, 22€ per pers. Toget har restaurantvogn. Flott togtur til Landeck-Zams, der vi ankommer kl 19:30. Stasjonen ligger ca 2 km utenfor Landeck, så vi har bedt hotellet å bestille maxitaxi til oss. Det funker så det suser, og 8 € er alt sjåføren skal ha for kjørejobben.
Hotel Schrofenstein har alt vi trenger, gode rom, god restaurant og hyggelig betjening.

Turdag 1 – søndag 24. mars
Buss Landeck - Ischgl
Heis Ischgl - Piz Val Gronda
Piz Val Gronda (2812) – Ils Chalchogns (2792) – Piz Mottana (2895) – Heidelberger Hütte (2264)
↑600 ↓1100, 3 timer 10 km

Skiposer og ekstra klær får vi oppbevart på hotellet. Så rusler vi den korte veien bort til busstoppet Landeck Zentrum der vi tar buss 260 kl 08:45 til Ischgl Florianparkplatz (7,40 € ). Fremme kl 09:30.
Heldigvis er det ingen heiskø på Fimbabahn. Dessverre er det kun mulig å kjøpe dagskort. Tross stiv pris, 54 €, velger vi dette i stedet for å gå inn de lange 14 km til Heidelberger Hütte (hytten tilbyr også beltebiltransport inn. Dette hadde vi ikke bestilt/undersøkt). 
Skianlegget i Ischgl er digert. Et hyggelig Ischgl-par stiller opp og loser oss trygt opp og ned gjennom anlegget. Etter fire heisturer og noen fine nedkjøringer står vi på Piz Val Gronda, en topp ovenfor Heidelberger Hütte, under en knallblå himmel. Etter råd fra "guidene" våre drar vi ikke først ned til hytten, men går til to velbrukte turmål, toppene Ils Chalchogns (2792) og Piz Mottana (2895). Jeg lærer "the hard way" at det ikke er lurt å prøve nye varianter på rutevalg. Mitt forslag endte fort i en litt vel bratt fjellside.
Fra Piz Mottana (2895) er det ned til Heidelberger Hütte, og noen kalde pils på terrassen. Masse nordmenn her, tre-fire grupper med guide fra Bre og Fjell, og et skikkelig trivelig vertskap. Fem-mannsgruppen vår får et eget digert soverom. Herlig, selv om dyner mangler. Her går det i doble ulltepper.
God middag serveres kl 18:00. Nye venner får vi også, Iain og Adrian i turgjengen fra Skottland. De skal samme vei som oss i morgen. Til sengs litt over kl 22. Ute skinner stjernene, men værmeldingen sier væromslag.
Fimbatal, dalen hytten ligger i, er som skapt for dagsturer. Her går det godt an å ligge en dag eller tre.
Heidelberger Hütte har en eksotiske setting:
- Den eies av DAV (den tyske alpeforeningen).
- Den har postadresse og betjening fra Østerrike/Ischgl.
- Den ligger i Sveits.

Brage klar for Heidelberger Hütte (2264)

Turdag 2 – mandag 25. mars
Heidelberger Hütte (2264) – Kronenjoch (2974) –  Jamtalhütte (2165)
↑750 ↓850, 3-4 timer 11 km

Frokosten starter først kl 07:00, det liker vi. Her er det rikelig med godt brød og frokostblandinger.
Ute er det grått og litt snø i luften. Vi takker pent for oss, og får med en tube solkrem faktor 50. Kremen Brage brukte i går virket veldig dårlig...
Mye folk som skal sammen vei første biten, det er gode spor opp Fimbatal og til høyeste skaret vi skal over, Kronenjoch (2974). Vi dropper turen oppom Breite Krone (3078), det føyker og blåser surt her oppe i høyden. De som går opp på toppen legger om til stegjern og øks. Skiføre er det dårlig med der oppe.
Sammen med den skotske gjengen tar vi det pent vestover ned dalen mot Jamtalhütte. Sikten er dårlig. Vi har et OK GPS-spor, men vet ikke hva dalen har å by på av skavler, fonner og søkk. Lit t nede i dalen blir vi liggende bak en større gruppe med guide. Så er vi plutselig fremme ved store og spesielle Jamtalhütte. Klokken er bare 13:00, men været frister ikke til mer tur i dag. Det snør, sikten er dårlig og fjellheimen ny for oss.
Vi får et flott 5 sengers soverom, også her med doble ulltepper. Perfekt for solid siesta.
Jamtalhütte er et flott hus, og sjefen sjøl er vennligheten selv. Men: Resten av betjeningen har en underlig måte å håndtere gjester på. Jeg sier ikke mer...   
Middagen - en god fireretters - serveres kl 18:30. Vi blir bedre kjent med skottene, og etterhvert noen i store gruppen med politifolk som øver på aksjoner i fjellet. Helikopterpiloten er en stødig trekkspiller og sanger. Stemningen er høy når jeg kryper til sengs i halvtolvtiden, mens snøen daler ned der ute.
Navigatørene Helge og Bjørn på vei opp mot Kronenjoch (2974). Foto: Øyvind Tufto.
Turdag 3 – tirsdag 26. mars
Jamtalhütte (2165): Dagstur til Gamsspitze (3107) og platået NØ for Jamjoch
↑1300 ↓1300, 6 timer 13 km

Frokost kl 07:00. Ute er det knallvær og drømmeføre, rundt 15 cm nysnø har det kommet siste døgnet. Vi har bestilt to netter på Jamtalhütte, i dag er det dagstur med lette sekker som gjelder. Brage må dessverre stå over. Føttene hans er ikke venner med støvlene og gir trykksmerten inne i foten. Dermed er vi bare fire som setter kursen opp Jamtal denne morgenen: Øyvind, Tore, Helge og Bjørn. Vi er - som vanlig - blant de siste avsted. Lengre oppe i dalen ser vi de andre gruppene. De fleste skal til Wiesbadener Hütte etter det jeg har skjønt.
Skiføret er av ypperste merke i dag, det er 5-6 minusgrader, vindstille og sol. Og terrenger: Vemodig vakkert. Her der det bare SÅ masse med turmuligheter.
Turen vår går opp breen Jamtalferner til Gemsspitze (3107). Vi går på ski til vi er nesten helt på toppen. Opp den siste bratte kneiken - ca 50 høydemeter - går folk til fots, i dag tar de fleste på seg stegjern. Vi også, for å være på den sikre siden.
Gamsspitze (3107) er en av mange grensetopper mellom Sveits og Østerrike. I sør sveitsisk og italiensk fjellheimen. Her ligger Engadin med Piz Bernina (4049) og skisteder som Livigno og Bormio. I vest har vi fjellheimen rundt Davos, i øst østerrikske Ötztaler Alpen, i nord fjellene rundt steder som St. Anton og Lech.
Det er skikjøring med store glis ned  Jamtalferner. Dette er for godt til å være sant. Vi må ha mer, så nede på ca 2700 meter legger vi på fellene igjen og setter kursen mot Jamjoch i SØ. Vi gir oss når vi er på ca 3000 meter. Feller av igjen, så er det smil, jubel og skidans ned vestre løpet av breen. I dag er det så gode forhold at jeg nesten tror at jeg er flink på ski.
Tilbake på hytten ca kl 15:00 er det tid for noe godt og kalt i glasset, og en siesta. Brage har hatt en liten runde opp til Steinmannli (!) sør for hytten, og fått skjenn av noen lokale fordi han gikk alene og uten sekk.
Middag 18:30, av serveringsgjengen som kjører samme stil som i går. Her er det ikke mye smalltalk eller slinger i valsen. Selv om vi ikke kan dy oss helt - vi må bare prøve hvor grensene går - får vi en snaps på huset og klapp på skulderen før vi går og legger oss. 
Jamtalhütte ligger, som Heidelberger, perfekt til for dagsturer. Likevel seiler den ikke opp som favoritt på stedet å bo...
Tore på vei opp Jamtalferner til Gamsspizte (3107) 
Turdag 4 – onsdag 27. mars
Jamtalhütte (2165) – Hintere Jamspizte (3153) Chamonna Tuoi (2250)
↑1050 ↓960, 5 timer 10 km

Frokost kl 07:00. Drømmeværet og -føret har satt seg. Tross solskinnet er det kaldt nok til at puddersnøen overlever. Klokken ni legger vi avsted opp Jamtal igjen, langs samme sporet som dagen før. Første turmål er Hintere Jamspitze (3153). Ruten går opp østre løpet av Jamtalferner. Føttene til Brage har det ikke bra i dag heller, så vi legger kursen mot det lille skaret og knausen rett sør for Hintere Jamspitze. Her skal Brage vente på oss andre, mens vi går til toppen uten sekkene. Turen opp til Hintere Jamspitze er grei, vi har skiene på til vi bare er noen meter under toppunktet. Jeg kunne godt tenkt meg å ha på skarejern opp siste kneiken, men de ligger i sekken... 
Etter klassisk fjelltoppoppførsel - bilder og stolte smil - røsker vi av fellene og kjører tilbake til Brage. Han har hatt 'besøk' av en turgjeng på truger. Trolig på grunn av litt skrantende engelsk hos trugefolket tror en av damene at han er alvorlig skadet i foten. Hennes løsning er håndspåleggelse og bønn for den unge mannen, før de går går videre ned mot Tuio-hytten, sammen sted som vi skal bo.
De 900 høydemeterne vi skal kjøre ned er dekket av verdens beste snø. Og knapt nok et spor (bortsett fra trugetråkket. Under oss har vi dalen Val Tuio. I vest kneiser selveste Piz Buin (3312). Solkremen som har brukt navnet til toppen er sikkert bra, men fjellet selv er av et helt annet kaliber. Mørkt og bratt og majestetisk. I denne settingen får vi lov til å danse nedover; en på telemark og fire på alpint turutstyr/randonnée. Nok en gang sender vi en takk til styggeværsdagen for litt siden som la igjen all denne flotte snøen. 
Vi prøver å være høflige og holde masken når vi feier forbi trugegjengen som stabber nedover. Men lett er det ikke... Dette er bare så herlig at vi må storsmile og synge litt.
Den sveitsiske hytten Chamonna Tuio er en skikkelig fjellhytte, akkurat sånn som bare sveitserne (?) kan bygge: En flott miks av steingammelt og friskt nytt. Med hyttesjef Christian Wittwer og hans to hjelpere, proppfull av varme, smil og glede, blir Tuoi uten tvil favoritten på Silvretta-runden vår. Vi benker oss på terrassen, selv om det er en sur trekk ned fra Piz Buin høyt der oppe. Er vi i Sveits må vi ha Rösti og øl. Helst spist ute. 
Tuio også stedet for at annet høydepunkt for turen vår: Cecilie kommer opp fra Guarda nede i dalen, bli med på resten av turen. Plutselig er vi samlet alle seks, og feirer det ved å by alle gjestene på reinsdyrpølse på knekkebrød, og akevitt. 
Episode ved middagsbordet:
Ved nabobordet sitter trugegjengen. En av damene spør oss: "Did you hear about the accident below Jamsspitze?" Vi må svare nei. "Joda", forteller hun, "det var en person der som hadde brukket foten, som satt alene og ventet på helikopter. En nordmann." Vi må nok en gang svare at dette har ikke vi fått med oss. Plutselig skjønner Brage at dette er damen som ga han håndspåleggelse. Forklarer at det var han, og at han ikke hadde brukket foten, bare ventet på oss. "It was not you, the man had other clothes." "Something like this", sier Brage, og trekker opp dunvesten... Lettelse, lett forvirring og latter. Dramaet til damen er plutselig oppklart og parkert. 
Rundt klokken 22:00 tar vi kvelden. På soverommet (fornøyde med å ha fått rommet "Buin" er det herlige dyner). Hurra for SAC!

Tore, Helge, Brage og Øyvind ovenfor SAC-hytten Chamonna Tuio. Bak til høyre: Piz Buin (3312)

Turdag 5 – torsdag 28. mars
Chamonna Tuoi (2250) – Piz Buin (3312) Wiesbadener Hütte (2443)
↑1200 ↓1000, 7 timer 11 km

Vi er i Sveits nå, her begynner frokosten kl 06:00, men varer heldigvis til 08:00 på Tuoi. Vi benker oss klokken syv, til hjemmebakt brød og müsli, kaffe/te. Savner bare litt juice. Ute er det grauttjukk tåke, men hyttesjef Christian beroliger oss: "It is only in the valley, up high it is superduper! No worries". 
Klokken 08:30 er vi klare. Tusen takk for oss Christian & Crew & Chamonna Tuoi. Kommer gjerne tilbake hit. Tåken blir litt tynnere, men det er godt å ha et spor å følge ut fra hytten. Høyt der oppe ser vi silhuetten av Piz Buin. Dagen begynner med en real 500 høydemeters-kneik mot vest, mot skaret 2847. Plutselig er vi over tåkehavet. Solen skinner. Snøen er av beste merke. Landskapet er mektig og innbydende. Heldige oss som får være her og på tur, fem godt voksne og en toogtyveåring. Vi ser knapt andre folk i dag, bare to grupper som prøver seg på vakre Piz Fliana i sør, og så to skikkelig voksne karer med guide på vei mot Silvrettahütte.
Nistepakken tar vi før den seige kneiken opp til Fuorcla dal Cunfin (3041), med utsyn mot stolte Torache (3218) og det vide Silvrettapass. På det flotte føret vi har er bakken opp til Fuorcla dal Cunfin (3041) helt grei å gå uten skarejern. På skareføret ville jeg garantert ha klipset på haikjeftene. Oppe i skaret (der vi møter tre energiske italienere på karbonutstyr som har gått fra Guarda (1700) til Piz Buin (3312) og nå er på vei hjem igjen) skiller vi lag. Brage - med de vonde støvlene - og jeg tar ett tau og drar ned Ochsentaler Gletscher til Wiesbadner Hütte, på snø det bare er lov å drømme om. Cecilie, Øyvind, Helge og Tore vil prøve seg på Piz Buin. Den gode kvartetten kommer et godt stykke oppover, men Cecilie, Øyvind og Helge gir seg når det blir luftig. De har ikke tatt med tau, og føler det riktigst å snu. Fjellgeiten Tore klyver til topps på Piz Buin (3312).
Brage og jeg er fremme ved Wiesbadener Hütte ca kl 13:30. Turen fra Tuoi har tatt 5 timer.
Cecilie, Øyvind, Helge og Tore kommer rundt kl 16:00.
Wiesbadener Hütte (2443) er stor hytte, med proff og vennlig betjening - og en terrasse med usannsynlig flott utsikt. Absolutt et sted det går an å bo noen dager. Også her er det masse flotte dagsturer å gå. Både Silvrettahorn (3244) og Dreiländerspitze (3196) frister som turmål. Vi får et flott seksmannsrom (doble ulltepper). Som på de andre østerrikske hyttene er det dusj. 
Middagen serveres kl 18:00. Vi unner oss en ekstra flaske denne kvelden; siste dag i fjellet med gjengen.

På vei opp mot skaret Fuorcla dal Cunfin (3041).

Turdag 6 – fredag 29. mars
Wiesbadener Hütte (2443) – Rauer Kopf (3101) – Wirl/Galtür (1640)
↑650 ↓1450, 4 timer 17 km

Ute skinner solen, inne er vi klare til frokost kl 07:00: Brød, frokostblanding, kaffe & te. Men ikke annen juice/drikke. Må huske å bestille ekstra neste gang. Matpakker har vi bestilt, eller: Lunsjpakker. Noen digre greier med brødskiver, eple og sjokolade. Vi fyller flaskene våre med "Marschtee" og er klare til å legge i vei litt før klokken ni. Brage velger nok en rute som er snillest mulig for føttene: Ned langs beltebilsporet til vannmagasinet Silvretta Stausee og ut dalen Klein Vermunt til Wirl og bussen der. Vi andre fem legger i vei mot Rauer Kopf (3101), øst for hytten. Solen har tatt såpass på snøen at det er blitt skare i natt. For første gang denne uken får jeg bruk for skarejernene. Litt høyere oppe er snøen tørr og fin igjen. Turen til skaret Raukoptscharte er tydeligvis populær på en fredag som denne, det er mye folk på tur i dag. Jeg gir meg oppe i skaret, mens de fire andre vil prøve seg på Rauer Kopf (3101). Øyvind og Cecilie snur før de når toppen, det var noen vel luftige parti der oppe. Tore og Helge kommer seg til topps.
Etter å ha spist nisten i Raukoptscharte setter vi kursen nedover Bieltal, som ligner en diger halfpipe. Skiføret er rett og slett til å bli i godt humør av. Vi får svingt oss masse nedover mot Silvretta Stausee (2032). Tore sliter litt nå: Limet på G3-fellene hans har "smeltet". Nå henger halvparten igjen under skiene hans. Puddersnø + klister = elendig gli, plunder og heft.
Vi svinger ikke bortom dammen på Silvretta Stausee, men velger et spor som tar oss direkte nedover dalen Klein Vermunt. Selv om dalen til tider er paddeflat går det greit unna i det harde tråkkemaskinsporet. Og så, plutselig og før vi vet ordet av det, er skituren over i Wirl. Blant heishus og hotell og uteservering. Vi setter skiene i stativ ved busstoppet, og rusler bort til solterrassen på resutaurant Alpkogen: "Spritz und etwas zu essen bitte!"
Fra Wirl er det tett mellom bussavgangene ned dalen via Galtür og Ischgl til Landeck hvor vi bor. Rutetider, se http://fahrplan.oebb.at. Vi har godt tid og velger oss 15:44.
I Landeck bor vi også denne gangen på Hotel Schrofenstein. Vi rekker akkurat ikke markedet i byen, men finner litt godsaker til å ha med hjem - og til å hotellrom-bruk - på supermarkedet MPREIS borte i gaten. Siste-middag-med-gjengen spiser vi på hotellet. En liten runde på bar får vi også til (Zone82 Pub, Malserstraße 82).

Med kurs for Rauer Kopf (3101).
Hjemreisedag – lørdag 30. mars
Cecilie skal være i Ischgl resten av helgen. Vi andre må reise hjem i dag, dessverre.
Litt før 08:00 står taxi klar for å kjøre oss til stasjonen. Oppbrudd, gode ord og på gjensyn-klemmer. Klokken 08:27 triller toget ut fra stasjonen på Landeck-Zams. Der fremme venter Norwegian-flyet i Salzburg kl 14:00. Og hverdagen der hjemme.

Silvretta har levert på alle måter: 
 - Et skikkelig brukervennlig terreng; langs hovedrutene er det som skapt for oss nordmenn å gå på skitur. Ingen av rutene vi fulgte hadde særlig bratte kneiker, vi hadde ski på beine hele veien. 
 - 1000 meter lavere enn Haute Route à  tykkere luft å puste i. 
 - Sol og drømmeføre 5 av 6 dager (siste uken i mars 2019...)
  - Frokost serveres først kl 07:00.
 - 30-40% rimeligere enn på hyttene langs Haute Route i Sveits.

Tusen takk for turen gode venner og sønn Brage!

Det var en sann glede å være på tur sammen med dere.


Helge, Tore og Bjørn på Jamtalferner. Bak: Hinterer Jamspitze (3154). Foto: Øyvind Tufto

Bjørn, Brage og Piz Buin (3312). Foto: Øyvind Tufto

torsdag 28. juni 2018

2018 Tour du Beaufortain

GRP (Grand Randonnée Pays) Tour du Beaufortain
↑6580m ↓5500, 106 km, 50 hours, 9 days

My Tour Slide Show: Click
Map of Beaufortain and our route: Click
The GPS track: Click

Walking in France is tempting - again and again. This summer we headed for Beaufortain and did a hut-to-hut tour/randonnée there 1 - 9 July 2018. Five women. Five men. A big group for sure, but since we all know each other well we just want it this way.
Our tour was a close copy of the guidebook GRP (Grand Randonnée PAYS) Tour du Beaufortain, except for starting/ending at the 'wrong' spots, and missing out a small part to make a complete circle. Our tour started from Les Contamines-Montjoie and ended in Praz-sur-Arly, both places SW of Chamonix, with easy access from Genève Aeroport (1.5 hours with the pre-booked shuttle from Alpybus, www.alpybus.com). As I understand it, most people start the GRP from Queige.

Beautiful Beaufortain, here at Lac d'Amour (2248). In the back the characteristic landmark La Pierra Menta (2714)

Beautiful Beaufortain - famous for (and very proud) of it's Beaufort cheese - is situated NE of Albertville and SW of Chamonix. Not too far away Mont Blanc (4810) is dominating the skyline. A lot of stretches the trail runs through rather gentle & pleasant meadow like terrain, close to summer farms and ski resorts. In the northern area, around fancy and charming Refuge de Presset, the terrain is rougher, wilder and more challenging. And very beautiful. Around Queige (550) the trail runs through forest, as it also does near the lake Lac de St-Guérin (1512). 

All the way we stayed at mountain cabins - and one gîte (more like a pension) - where we had prebooked places. Even in the quiet beginning of July this is recommended. All cabins had staff and served good meals. All the way we slept in dormitories/multi bed rooms. Some places rather simple. Some places close to luxury. The only village we went through (day 7) was tiny Queige. Along our main trail the highest elevation was Crête des Gittes (2538), just south of Refuge Col de la Croix du Bonhomme (day 3). The highest point we visited was Tête nord des Fours (2756), north of the same cabin. And if hiking in early July it's hardly any other hikers around.

Tour description - day by day

Sunday 1 July 2018
With a slightly delayed flight with Norwegian from Oslo 07:25, we arrive Genève Aeroport 10:15. From GVA we continue with our booked Alpybus (www.alpybus.com) shuttle to Les Contamines-Montjoie (1.5 hours). Price for 10 persons: 260 €, where we had booked a table at Le Chalet du Lac. An excellent place for our summer lunch on the terrace. We go for salads and burger under the blue sky. 

Les Contamines-Montjoie (1175) – Refuge de la Balme (1706)
↑530 ↓50 7 km, 2.5 hours
Refuge de la Balme: www.montourdumontblanc.com. Payment: Cash only.

On the road to Refuge de la Balme

At 14:30 we're ready to start our rather short hike from Les Contamines-Montjoie to Refuge de la Balme, all the way on a good gravel road. Perfect for running shoes. It's a very nice and pleasant walk, up through the forest first, then in more open terrain. This stretch is part of the most popular and famous of all Alp hikes: The TMB (Tour du Mont Blanc) Trail, and GR5 (Grand Randonnée 5), the famous long distant trail running from the North Sea to the Mediterranean. At 'half way' we stop for some snacks at super-friendly and beautiful Alpinus Lodge, just below Refuge de Nant Borrant (1460).
Refuge de La Balme (1706) is like a summer farm, surrounded by meadows and cattle. Rather basic, but nice and clean. We get a dormitory in the basement, and cold beers served in the 'garden'. A very, very nice place to be. Dinner is served at 19:00, for us and a bunch from South Korea.

Refuge de la Balme (1706)

Monday 2 July 2018
Refuge de la Balme (1706) – Refuge du Col de la Croix du Bonhomme (2443)
↑750 ↓50 6 km, 3 hours
Refuge du Col de la Croix du Bonhomme: http://lerefugedubonhomme.free.fr. Payment: Cash only.

At La Balme a typical French breakfast is served at 07:00; white bread, jam, honey and café au lait. We ask for some extra cheese to 'survive', but they have no extra for us this morning.
At 08:00 we wave goodbye to La Balme and the colourful Korean Team. The TMB trail we follow today is well beaten. Here you'll seldom walk alone. The weather is super, the landscape as well. We are well above the tree line now, the alpine valley is very green and fresh. The winter has been extraordinary hard and long this year, and it is still early summer. The result is an extreme amount of mountain flowers, including carpets of azaleas. And firm snow patches here and there covering the trail. Getting higher we get the barren mountain side of Aiguilles de la Pennaz to our right. The TMB trail climbs steadily towards snow covered Col du Bonhomme (2329), where a tiny shelter is built. Could be very useful if weather is cold or wet. However, today we take our short snack stop under the blue sky.

Above Col du Bonhomme (2329)

From Col du Bonhomme the trail climbs up the snow covered hillside, towards SW, to the crest (2479) just north of Refuge du Col de la Croix du Bonhomme (2443). The big cabin is very busy, but friendly. We take a rest outside the big cabin, waiting for the lunch service to start at 12:30: Excellent quiche and salad. And glasses of beer for the 'brave' ones.
After lunch we get our two rooms, then repack a bit before going for our 2-3 hours 'afternoon hike' to Tête nord des Fours (2756) and Tête sud des Fours (2716). From the peaks it is grand views to Mont Blanc (4810), when the clouds stay away... We get some glimpses before the huge mountain takes on the grey hat. Back at the Bonhomme cabin we have time for more relaxing - and ibex /bouquetin /steinbukk spotting - before dinner is served at 19:00. The cabin is very crowded, with hikers from all over the world. I'm impressed of how the staff manage to run this place. So efficient, so friendly. Our new friend today is Hilmar from Iceland, taking a group of his countrymen/women along TMB.

Refuge du Col de la Croix du Bonhomme (2443). Big, busy and friendly.

Tuesday 3 July 2018
Refuge du Col de la Croix du Bonhomme (2443) – Gîte de Plan Mya (1860) – Refuge de Presset (2504)
↑1100 ↓1000 18 km, 8 hours
Gîte de Plan Mya, www.refuge-mya.com  Payment: Cash only.
Refuge de Presset, https://refugedepresset.ffcam.fr  Payment: Cash only.


If dinner was chaotic at Bonhomme I don't know how to describe the breakfast. It is free seating at the long tables, and hectic both among hikers and staff as we start to eat at 06:30. Outside it is foggy and chilly, so we put on some extra layers this morning. Most of the hikers will follow the TMB main trail from Bonhomme, running eastwards (two options) from the cabin. We are heading south, along the far more quiet trail GR5/GRP Tour du Beaufortain, picking the variant along the mountain ridge Crête des Gittes (2538).

Crête des Gittes

At 08:00 we are ready, all 10 of us, more or less wind and 'fog proof'. The trail over Crête des Gittes is really unique - and recommended - following the ridge like a snake. Maybe not the best choice if you don't like it to airy, but the track is more like a narrow road, carved into the mountain. The fog soon dries off around us, soon we are walking on top of the clouds and enjoying the fantastic landscape. As we continue down and westwards to pass Col de la Sauce (2307) we follow the smaller trail on the grassy crest top. Very nice it is.
From Col de la Sauce the marked trail runs down through gentle meadows, partly on gravel road, to the asphalt road D925. Nearly no traffic today on this early July morning. Along the road there are two options for food and lodging: Refuge du Plan de la Lai (FFCAM) and Gîte de Plan Mya (private). We have booked an early lunch at Gîte de Plan Mya (1860), tempted by their web page menu. It proves to be a very good choice! Plan Mya proves to be some much more than a menu card: A very warm welcome the chef Yvon and her crew. The beautifully restored house. And then the food! We start with the specialty of the house: Snails in a green herb mix.  Then quiche, home made sausage, salad, potato/apple pate, blueberry pie, coffee... Fantastic! Nothing but good, good, good. A place I really have to visit again. A hard place to leave. PS: Plan Mya accept cash only.

Flower power at Le Grande Berge.

At 12:15 it is back on the track again, leaving Plan Mya behind. We still have a long way to go today, now along GR5. From Plan Mya (1860) the trail runs over the two low passes Le Petit Berge and Le Grande Berge (ca 2050). The green meadows are covered with with carpets of white flowers (sorry, don't know the name). After Le Grande Berge the trail zigzag down a bit, and leads through low forest to a crest. Here we have a good view towards the next hiking stretch, and the characteristic mountain and landmark La Pierra Menta (2714). From the crest we walk downwards now, to approx.1800 m. From here on it is all uphill to the next pass, Col du Bresson (2469). First rather steep (and hot) through low forest, then through rocky fairytale terrain (and a welcoming breeze). All the way on a good trail. From the pass we look over to our goal for the day: Refuge de Presset (2504), sitting on its rock knob.  We are in real mountain terrain now. In the valley below we spot 10-15 ibexes grazing. It is still a lot of snow up here, and the small lake next to the cabin nearly covered with ice. We skip the swim plan, and go for the showers - and a cold beer at the terrace.

Col du Bresson (2469). Cabane de Presset (2504) in the back.

Modern Refuge de Presset (2504) immediately gets a place on my top-ten-list. The setting is the very best. The cabin, built in 2013, is a true masterpiece; the light and functional main room, the multi bedrooms, the huge terrace. And to top it all: The guardians Sandra de Bersacques and Sebastian! Thanks a lot for the way you receive us, the way you treat us!!! You make us feel at home from the very first moment. The delicious Presset dinner is served at 19:00. A perfect way to finish a long, beautiful and varied hike.

PS Thanks to advice from Sandra, on the phone, we did not walk via the valley to the north, Combe de la Neuva. It's doable, but is still rather snow covered.

Wednesday 4 July 2018
Refuge de Presset (2514) – Refuge de La Coire (2059) – Refuge de l'Alpage (1983)
↑1000 ↓1050 17 km, 7 hours
Refuge de La Coire: https://lacoire.weebly.com/ Payment: Cash only.
Refuge de l'Alpage: restaurant.alpage@wanadoo.fr. Payment: Card or cash.


Another beautiful day is waiting for us as we sit down for breakfast at 07:00. Like every day we ask for extra ham and cheese. Of course Sandra & Sebastian fix it. We are heading for Refuge de l'Alpage today, via Refuge de La Coire. The standard route option would be to backtrack via Col du Bresson (2469), drop down 400 meters along the trail we came last evening and then head for Col du Coin (2398). However, thanks to advice from my friend Bernard Lefauconnier (and a French group at Presset), we choose to go via Passeur de la Mintaz (2600). This pass, also named Col de Tutu, is situated just north of La Pierra Menta (2714). But, before the warm au revoir hugs at my new favorite cabin we just have to walk around the Lac Presset and take photos.

Refuge de Presset (2504) and La Pierra Manta (2714)

At 08:30 we're on our way. Since the long and strong winter has left the hillside rather wet the trail towards Passeur de la Mintaz is rather slippery and tricky. And for sure enough  steep and exposed for a guy like me. The walking sticks are very useful. We soon catch up with the French group, where the 'boss' takes very care about both his friends and our group over the most slippery dirt parts. (One guy prefers to use his crampons. It doesn't look like a very good idea...)

Finding the way to Passeur de la Mintaz/Col de Tutu.

We all make it safely to Col de Tutu. My concern about how steepness and snow conditions are on the west side of the pass is really waste of energy; the slope is gentle and the firm snow makes it perfect to descend. Time to time we look more like happy kids skiing down on our boots, nearly all the way to the lake with the charming name Lac d'Amour (2248). Despite very cold water (I give it 5°C) and a breeze three out of ten just have to go for a quick dip. In the "water of love" :-)

Lac d'Amour (2248)

From Lac d'Amour we head for Col du Coin (2398), where we will be back on the classic GRP Tour du Beaufortain. The terrain is back to green and gentle again, and the walking is straight forward and pleasant. Towards the pass a group of mountain bikers are struggling to get their horses up the hill, happy to get a Norwegian arm or two assisting a bit. The grownup mixed group - more or less at our age - is out on a longer Trans Alp tour. Here and now I vote for boots.
From the pass we walk down and into a new (to us) green valley, partly on trail, but mainly on gravel road (bike please!). We head for Refuge de La Coire (2059), where we have booked table for lunch (payment in cash only). No booking is needed today, only a few others are out walking or biking. The hot lunch plates we order are OK, however we have other cabins we'll rather come back to. 

Above Lac de St-Guérin (1512)

Heading westwards from La Coire the GRP follows the gravel road for nearly 1 km, then continues on good trail down towards the lake/reservoir Lac de St-Guérin (1512). The upper part runs over meadows, then through the forest the very last part. At the SE bay of turquoise colored Lac de St-Guérin our trail passes over a fancy suspension bridge, then along a popular "stroll road" along the south shore. After a short snack rest, cooling our feet in the creek ("swimming prohibited"), a 450 meters climb is waiting for us. The day is hot, so it is a real treat to walk in the shady and beautiful forest for the first 300 meters uphill.

Refuge de l'Alpage (1983)

Refuge de l'Alpage (1983) sits on the grassy ski resort hillside, and is accessible by car (dirt road). The huge veranda is close to empty today. Guess it is rather lively here during the ski season. The cabin is newly renovated, from top to toe. And the owner - Patricia - for sure knows how to run the business: Perfect food and lodging. And, according to our plan our friend Bernard arrives in his car from Grenoble/Chartreuse. For the next day our group will consist of 11 happy hikers. 
Out there clouds, rain showers and thunder are coming in, hiding Mont Blanc. But suddenly, just before bedtime it is there, the beautiful giant of the Alps.

Thursday 5 July 2018 
Refuge de l'Alpage (1983) – Le Grand Mont (2686) – Refuge des Arolles (1890)
↑950 ↓1050 13 km, 6-7 hours
Refuges des Arolles: https://lesarolles.org/ Payment: Card or cash.

After a very good breakfast at Refuge de l'Alpage (07:00) most of us are ready for a local beauty: The mountain Le Grand Mont (2686). It's a bit cloudy outside, and the peak is playing with the fog. We pack a light sack, and give it a try. The trail is mainly well marked, but higher up snow is still covering the path and marks. Up high the terrain gets more and more Nordic. Not steep, but snowy and barren. Yes, we like it here. The clouds still play around the top while we are there, but partly sunny weather and no wind make this top tour to a good choice.

Le Grand Mont (2686)

We're back at Refuge de l'Alpage around 12:00, for 'stress down' and a good lunch. When we're ready to leave Refuge de l'Alpage it is already 14:30. The trail and landscape towards Refuge des Arolles is simply very, very nice. Really beautiful. Wild, always changing, lush. With exception of a few mountain trail runners we are all alone. Again. The highlight to me is the area near Lac Tournant; the wild scenery, the creek draining down into the hillside, the tiny gorge below the pond. It's a true pearl sitting here between all build out ski slopes. Just before arriving Refuge des Arolles (1890) our standard tour equipment, the umbrellas, become handy. Finally. 

Near Lac Tournant.

Refuge des Arolles (1890) is friendly, basic and warm. This evening we - "the bunch 11" - get a warm welcome. The combination of 10 Norwegians and one French is obviously not what they're used to. Des Arolles The dinner at 19:00 is tiptop. The 'boss' and her crew are helpful and caring. I really like it here, despite being more or less in the middle of a ski track.

Refuge des Arolles (1890)

Friday 6 July 2018
↑450 ↓1400 13 km, 3 hours
Gîte de Molliessoulaz: http://www.gite-beaufortain.com/gite/. Payment in cash.

At 07:00 it's a classic French breakfast at Refuge des Arolles. Since we have a rather long walk ahead of us without any huts en route we have ordered lunch packs. Outside the weather is gray and a bit wet. We wave goodbye to the cabin, and say au revoir to Bernard. He will walk back to his car at l'Alpage, then drive and stay with us one more night at Molliessoulaz.

Rain Men

It's rain gear and umbrella conditions today, and most of the day we walk in the clouds. Shortly after leaving Arolles we are out of the forest, and walk in open terrain for the next hours. At the pass Col de la Bâthie (1889) a few people are out waiting for a mountain race. We are a bit too early to be a cheering team, so the herd of grazing cows is the only the entertainment for us this morning. From the pass the trail drops a little bit before it climbs 400 meters up to Col des Lacs (2247). No conditions for swimming in Lacs de Lavouet, they are covered by ice and fog. From Col des Lacs the trail follows the rather steep west flank of Pointe de la Grande Journée (2460), and takes us about 200 meters lower. On the map the trail is drawn as "passage délicat", but I find it easy to walk. No worries.

Starting the descend towards Gîte de Molliessoulaz.

The fog still keeps out what must be great views to the south, all way over the pass east of La Roche Pourie (ca 2020). From now on it's down, down about 1000 m before our day is over. First through pleasant azalea covered terrain, then into the forest. Apart from a bunch of goats we meet nobody. Pick a grey day in the Alps, and the chance for a quiet day is good. We have booked places at Gîte de Molliessoulaz, and as we approach the weather clears up. And after a while the sun is shining.
Gîte de Molliessoulaz (950)
At Gîte de Molliessoulaz (950) the sun is not needed. The reception we get by Sébastien, the owner, is simply fantastic. Our French is not the best ("Je parle français comme une vache espagnole!"), his English comme si comme ça. A perfect setting for warm hugs and good laughs. And cold beers out in the nice garden. We get the two big and nice rooms upstairs, and then hot showers. Bernard turns up in his car, and a bit later Claire; the warm lady of the house. The evening is more then perfect, with plenty of very good food and wine. Before it's all over we have been served champagne at the balcony, watching at the moon - and Mont Blanc. Thank you Claire and Sébastien for the very generous way you are treating us! Gîte de Molliessoulaz: Strongly recommended.

At Gîte de Molliessoulaz they know how to treat their guests. 

Saturday 7 July 2018
Mini bus service from Gîte de Molliessoulaz  (950) to Queige (540)

Queige (540) – Refuge du Lachat (1555)
↑1300 ↓200 15 km, 7 hours
Refuge du Lachat: www.refugedulachat.com Payment: Credit card or cash

Breakfast - with very good bread - is served at 07:30. To save our sore morning legs it's easy to say yes to Sébastien's offer to drive us down to the village Queige, for a few euros only. I really don't like the idea about leaving this nice house, but we have to stick to our plan today. After hugs and kisses (luckily it takes time since we are 11) we roll down the hill. Sébastien in front, Bernard behind.
In charming Queige with we shop some fruit and snacks in the tiny grossary (entrance via the bar). Queige has bus connection to/from Albertville, and is the starting point for those doing Tour du Beaufortain according to the FFRandonnée guidebook. At 09:30 we say goodbye to Bernard, driving back home to Sappey en Chartreuse, and hit the trail.

Along GRP Tour du Beaufortain towards Refuge du Lachat.

This is the least spectacular day on our tour. The trail stays in the forest most of the time, more or less all the way to Refuge du Lachat. It's no easy to find good, open spots for a picnic. The big views are not too many. Parts of the forest is big, old and nice, and keep out the sun on a warm day like this.
At Refuge du Lachat (1555) the sign "Fermé/Closed" and a locked door meet us . Is something wrong with my booking? The place is dead quiet. A window is soon open above us: "I'll come down in a minute". Guess we hit the local siesta hour. For sure we are a bit ahead for the summer rush, not much action around in early July.
Lachat is clean and OK, with a huge terrace. The warden is not very eager doing his job, but we do get what we need: Cold beers, coke and salty snacks. Today it's just us and two others staying for the night. It mus be different in the winter peak season I guess; the west and north side of the hill above us is peppered with ski lifts.
The dinner at Lachat  - at 19:00 - is very good and plentiful. I go to bed early, my old body is a bit slack tonight.

Refuge du Lachat (1555)

Sunday 8 July 2018
Refuge du Lachat (1555) – Refuge de la Croix de Pierre (1965) – Refuge Le Petit Tétras (1783)
↑900 ↓600 17 km, 7 hours
Refuge de la Croix de Pierre: www.refugedelacroixdepierre.fr. Payment: Cash only. 
Refuge Le Petit Tétras: Booking on Facebook. Payment: Credit card or cash.

07:00 means breakfast time, before preparing for our last full walking day. From Lachat we walk a bit downhill, before walking 400 meters uphill through pleasant forest towards the hill Chard du Beurre. And huge, grassy, open ski resort fields. At Col de la Lézette (1787) we just have to stop at tempting Le Benetton: They sell Italian ice cream and very good coffee!
From Col de la Lézette (1787) the GRP follow the dirt road now, with a few exceptions, up to Col de Véry. Running shoes would have been the best choice on this stretch. Or a bicycle. This is grazing land for cattle. As well as ski resort country. On our way we pass a bigger constriction site, more apartments for the skiers I guess.
All the way towards Col de Véry we have a fantastic view over the green valley bellow, and snow covered Mont Blanc (4810) high above to the east.

And high above it all: Mont Blanc (4810)

Our lunch stop, Refuge de la Croix de Pierre (1965), is a very charming place. Both the house and the owners. It's busy this sunny Sunday, not too easy get an outdoor table for our big group. However, after a while we both table, tasty salad on the plates and cold stuff in our glasses. Hiking in France is not bad at all.

Refuge de la Croix de Pierre (1965).

At Col de Véry / La Croix de Pierre we leave the GPR Tour du Beaufortain and head northwest towards our last cabin on this tour. This trail is very pleasant, with good views all the way: Most of the time we walk on the crest of the hill, via Mont de Vorès (2067), Ban Rouge (1983) and Crêt du Midi (1890), to arrive at a very good place to be: Tiny and charming Refuge Le Petit Tétras (1783), run in a very nice way by Julie and Mathias, with their family.


On the ridge from Mont de Vorès (2067) to Ban Rouge (1983).

We get the big dormitory on the attic, and the 'private' top terrace behind the house. Some aperitif, a shower, then it is dinnertime: The food is tiptop. And the 'dessert' beautiful: The last glass of wine on the main terrace as the daylight slowly fades out. Le Petit Tétras: The perfect place to spend the last evening up high.

Refuge Le Petit Tétras

Monday 9 July 2018
Refuge Le Petit Tétras (1783) – Praz-sur-Arly (1010)
↓800 5 km, 2 hours 


Today we have to be down in the valley before 10:00 to catch the minibus we have booked. As breakfast is ready for us at 07:00 we've backed most of our stuff, and are ready to start walking at 07:45. Au revoir Petit Tétras! This was a very memorable stay to all of us.

Refuge Le Petit Tétras (1783)

The 800 meters descend to village Praz-sur-Arly goes very smooth; the trail is never very steep as it zigzags through the forest. Down in Praz-sur-Arly we have plenty of time to buy some local goodies (Beaufort cheese and sausage) and re-pack a little bit before our prebooked Alpybus arrives in front of Le Mairie/Town Hall at 10:00.

Descending towards Praz-sur-Arly.

Praz-sur-Arly, like our starting point Les Contamines-Montjoie, is just an 1.5 hours drive away from Genève Aeroport. Just ideal for busy tourists like us, flying home to Norway around 14:00.

- o O o -

Beaufortain: 
An area which is very easy to recommend! Fantastic hiking terrain, full of superduper mountain cabins. And in early July: Hardly any other hikers.

My good friends: 
Such a perfect company, day after day!
Up hills and down hills.
Sunshine or rain.
Let's do it again!

Tusen takk for turen, fra Bjørn.



Emergency number France: 112