just returned from my first “winter” activation of TI-368. The amount of snow that has come down in the last days is almost incredible. From 1800m asl upwards I found up to 50cm and more. At some exposed places my walking poles hardly did find ground. I started my walk at 0600Z at the car park of the ground station of the Jöchlspitz-lift in Bach and reached the mountain station about 90 minutes later over a small road. The lift had started service at 0630Z and I had to cross the track below the steel cable several times, but saw only very few people hiking up. I passed the mountain station and after 15 minutes I was alone.
The sun just had come out and the temperatures slowly became comfortable. The small trail leading to the summit was covered with remains of small avalanches here and there which had come down the steep grass flanks yesterday. When I stepped over it, it almost felt like walking on concrete. I moved on and as the snow became deeper I put on my gaiters which I was (luckily) carrying with me. After good one hour of very exhausting deep snow wading I finally reached the steepest part of my ascent.
The snow was also knee deep here and so I tried to avoid it and ascended on blank grass as far as possible using my crampons. Without crampons I really would have felt uncomfortable in this terrain. I reached the summit exactly 3 hours 15 minutes after I had left the car and the first thing was a short recovery, which was absolutely necessary.
Later, on the way down I was desperately looking for a pair of flippers and diving goggles. The sun had started to melt the snow and water was running down from almost everywhere, steadily filling dips where my trail ran through. Well, the sun still is very powerful at the beginning of september!
I have uploaded a picture to the flickr group where the summit can be seen.
Many thanks to everybody who called in!
73 Bernhard DL4CW
Edit: And I have got a kingsize sunburn…