Day 10 Rastkogelhutte

Many thanks for Christine's guest blog describing yesterdays' walk, always nice to have another perspective. In the interests of completeness there are just a few things I'd like to add.

Firstly Christine failed to mention that at the point we emerged from the trees and started along a "precarious" ridge we also started, after 8 days of walking east (for me) to head south. Quite a significant moment; after almost constantly tracking and crossing the border between Germany and Austria we are now crossing Austria and in a few days start to track the border between Austria and Italy.

Christine also failed to mention that the underlying geology has changed transforming the scenery. After days of dry but dramatic limestone landscape, with jagged peaks and cliffs, we are now into a wetter greener terrain with plants and vegetation suited to an acid soil. Looking south its clear that we will soon be back into a limestone landscape. Perhaps we are crossing an older alpine core which has lost its limestone cover through erosion.

The weather has also become more unsettled with afternoon and evening storms, apparently a feature of the Alps in August. These storms are savage and I would hate to get caught in one in an exposed place.

Apart from that I thought that Christine's blog was quite good.

Leaving Kellerjochehutte with its prayer flags

Today was another excellent walk, leaving a wonderful hutte at the beginning and finishing with a nice one at the end. From regarding huttes as something you had to endure to enjoy this sort of walking we are both shifting to the position where we regard them as a positive addition. If you don't stay in the huttes you have to stay down in the valleys and you miss the amazing views.

The route took us further along the ridge we had "enjoyed" at the end of yesterday and dropped us down 600 metres to Loassatel. There were clouds hanging around in the bottom of the Innsbruck valley and the view, in the early morning light, over to the peaks of the Karwendal was excellent.

Looking back to Kreuzjoch

Contour path above Holjoch
The next part of the walk took us along a lovely contouring path above the little ski resort of Holhjoch, a brilliant path, with views back to Kellerjochhutte, constantly reminding us of its amazing location, definitely my favourite hutte so far.
Helping myself to water

After following the valley round, climbing gently all the time, we eventually had to do some hard work, a 500 metre climb up the side of the valley and over the watershed into next valley and down a little way to the Rastkogelhutte (named after the mountain which sits at the top of valley).


Now staring us in the face were the line of 3500 metre peaks running east west along the border with Italy. In there somewhere is the pass we have to cross before we head east again towards the Carnic Alps - from this distance they look a very formidable barrier.

Sitting outside the Hutte staring at the mountains we start a conversation with group of mountain bikers, two Austrians and one Italian, all in their late fifties. They had already climbed 2500 metres today and one of them does a similar trip six times a week. They are full of praise for the London Olympics and insist of buying us schnaps as an expression of gratitude.

Big hutte, we are the only ones here so naturally have a room to ourselves.

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