Saturday 23rd of July Walchensee to Tutzinger Hutte

Despite a narrow bull run escape Roger and Sue decided to give walking the E4 another chance. Maybe encouraged by the arrival of another pair of legs, my cousin John Tatam, or maybe because they felt that things couldn't be as bad again, they once again loaded up their rucksacks and returned to the trail.

Within minutes of setting off it started to rain heavily, setting the pattern for the day. John revealed, on the 600 metre climb up Jocheralm, that he is a superfast walker but his ability to walk in the right direction had still to be tested. The first test came at Kotalm, about 20 minutes later, when the two Johns marched down a path in the wrong direction a mistake which cost us about 30 minutes. The man with the maps, Map Man Roger, didn't spot the mistake proving that no one is infallible.

For a time it looked like the weather might improve but within minutes of the waterproofs coming off it started to rain again and by the time we got to Staffelalm it was raining really heavily. The little hut was open and we all piled in, bought some tea and ate our sandwiches. This turned out to be the first and only piece of good luck we had all day.

Not raining

The young woman in the hut told us that we could to Tutzinger Hutte in a couple of hours, it was then 2 o'clock, so the target for the day, Brauneck, was still feasible. We made great progress despite really poor visibility and a very slippery path. After about 90 minutes, and a short steep climb, we started what we thought was the descent down to Tutzinger. After about 45 minutes, and after the path had turned into a forest road, we started to worry that we loosing too much height. Sure, according to the app on my IPhone we were now well below Tutzinger, and in the rain and the mist it was impossible, even with the maps to work out where we were.

Normal service resumed

All we could do was retrace our steps back up the hill and after another 50 minutes or so had got back to the point where we started to descend. Looking around we found another path heading up hill to the left and behind a tree a sign pointing us up to Tutzinger. After a steep slippery climb, when it actually stopped raining, we finally started the descent to hutte. Got there at six and decided it was best and safest to call it a day. The hut was pretty full but they managed to squeeze us in. Good food and a really pleasant evening.

Approaching Tutzinger

Bad weather is really spoiling this stretch of the walk and slowing me down. Have made navigational mistakes when the sun is shining but it's much more difficult in the rain. Maps of course help but unless you constantly track your position, take bearings - which feels unnecessary on a signed route - they only help so much. Only getting to Tutzinger makes tomorrow's walk a really big challenge.

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