Thursday, June 07, 2018
The Pallavicini Couloir Austria's most famous alpine climb?
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: