Wednesday, 9 July 2014

What's man?

Been a while since I last posted on the blog. Does not mean that in the meantime I have not gone up a hill and came down. On the contrary, I have climbed quite a few - mainly in Scottish Highlands and on Scottish islands. However, as I have now reached Croatia in my 2014 European tour I thought I ought to resume. Having driven through seven countries to get here there has been rather more motoring than summit bagging. Nevertheless, there have been a few hills on the way.
Watzmann rockery
Firstly, there was Watzmann (2713m P953) a Major and the highest point in the German Berchtesgadener alps that had a very rugged finish, especially with an entertaining section of klettersteig/via ferrata between the subsidiary top, Hocheck and the main Mittelspitze top. It is a long haul to do the whole mountain in one day from Wimbachbruecke and most people stop overnight in the Watzmannhaus hut - not me, though.
Watzmann summit
The next summit was Reisskogel (2371m P1390) the highest point in the Austrian Gailtaler alps. Not as long a walk from the trailhead or as much ascent. However, the route involved some awkward scrambling and following a long ridge that was often less than a metre wide and very exposed on each side. There quite a few black lizards on the upper parts of the trail.
Reisskogel waymark
This was followed by two frustrating days trying to reach the summit of an Ultra in the Italian Julian alps - Jof di Montasio (m P). On each day I was forced to give up because of the thundery weather before reaching the infamous and swaying Pipans ladder. As the Jof is a must do I will be back - maybe later on in the season in the hope there will be less old step snow adding to the difficulty of getting to the foot of the ladder.
Jof di Montasio view
Photo: One more

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