Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Thursday, June 07, 2018
The conversation went something like this : "You have the old map the glacier doesn't look like this any longer." said the Austrian path builder/restorer. " We only just bought it." I replied "Well the glacier is melting so fast that the routes are changing each year . The only way you are going to cross the glacier on your present route is if you swim." said the Austrian path builder/restorer as his pal grinned in agreement. He pointed into the rain and the billowing mist. "The new path is way back down there." He said. This was not an auspicious start for our attempt on what is the "jewel in the crown" of Austrian alpinism. The Pallavicini Couloir which leads directly to the col between the kleiner Glockner and the Grossglockner - Austria's highest and most famous mountain. After "warming up" by climbing the north face of the Hochfeiler in the Zillertall , we had driven across Austria and over the spectacular Glockner pass to the starting point for our route: A giant multi-storey car par which would have made any city center proud. The Franz-Josefs-Haus is perched high above what "use to be" the mighty Pasterze glacier 2370m. Defiantly Europe's highest and most incongruous car park. If we had been standing in the same spot way before the invention of the motor-car AND the weather hadn't been quite as miserable as it presently was this is what we might have seen. A photo of a painting taken from the Ripa Messner Museum:
Monday, June 04, 2018
Thursday, May 10, 2018
This last winter sort of swamped me and it became difficult to Guide, to be continually clearing snow and be thinking about writing a Blog. If all the precipitation had actually fallen as snow , it is reasonable to think that we would be still clearing it now. In fact it is still necessary to climb over mountains of old avalanche debris on the daily dog walk. Instead we had massive fluctuations of temperature where we would get huge dumps of snow followed the next day by torrential rain. In late February Catherine Lewis , Lucy-Kate Hunt and Bella Noakes and I went to Arolla . This coincided with a plunge in the temperature . It dropped to an astonishing -30c. Yet the weather was perfect and the whole scene was magical. They made a short video which encapsulates the trip. https://youtu.be/DQKNClR942k In March the weather was always unstable. This gave great snow , but it was unpredictable and there was was plenty of re-planning because of the inherent danger of choosing the wrong avalanche fraught destination. My second trip of the year to the Gd St Bernard Monastery was an example of this constant change of plan, although we usually had great skiing outcome.