High Alpine Training at Grossglockner, AUT – July 2018

Having high temperatures -as supposed to for a summer-, it was for sure a nice break in between to join a group of other mountaineers from the German Alpine Club (DAV) and to hike up a glacier right below the mighty Grossglockner (3798m) straight to the Oberwalderhuette (2973m) for a High Alpine Training.

Despite the rather bad prediction by the weather forecast we hiked up in rain and were kind if making bets about the following day…
Sure thing… what started as a wet, misty and cloudy Saturday, turned out to become a spectacular scenery for our training ground!

The trainer started to teach us how to start up a rope-team, how to organize such teams, how to walk on steep ice with crampons, how to traverse safely and how to stop a fall with our without a mountain axe on you.
And because an alpine tour includes the risk of sliding into a crevasse, they showed us how to get your partner out of there.

In order to finish our planned alpine-tour up to the Johannisberg (3453m) before the predicted thunderstorms roll in in the afternoon, we headed out at 7am right away – and were hoping for the clouds to open up before noon.
Well… they didn’t.
With a sight as close as 30m, it got quite interesting to navigate up the glacier towards the Johannisberg. My GPS device (which I left at home due to weight savings…) would have been nice to have in that situation. I bite my tongue right now and spare you guys my opinion about the GPS-function of our smartphone in such weather conditions. ;-)

It got cold, rather wet, stormy. Not the best conditions for climbing up between crevasses in higher altitude.
But hey, I simply loved to make such an experience!

And guess what:
Our trainer two positions in front of me stepped into a crevasse, stumbled und apparently sat right on the edge of it! Would have been a live training to get him out of there. He even thought about to let himself slide entirely into it – but bailed out because he was already soaked and cold.
Without seeing more than 30m and a change of the weather conditions to the better, we decided to turn around and get back to the hut.

Still… what an experience!
And that what just a small taste of it. Ha!
I’m sure, there will be some more alpine-tours like that in the upcoming years. :-)

Once again, I’m hearing John Muir in my ears:

“The mountains are calling, and I must go…”

More mountaineering? Then let’s head over to the other ones: Category “Mountaineering”

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