Dear Christine hope I didn't sound too miserable last night. There was just so much snow falling I was certain that I would be staying in the Obstansersee-hütte for a third day with my journey along the Karnischer Höhenweg completely stalled. Things turned out far better than I could have hoped and victory has been pulled from the jaws of defeat.
|Snow, snow and more snow|
|Across the valley from the Obstansersee-hütte|
There had been at least six inches of snow last night and this morning the paths were covered and it was impossible to see the aymarkwsw.
I had done part of the route yesterday and knew how difficult it was, in particular there
is a horrible exposed part across a steep scree which is nerve wracking even without snow.
I was almost resigned to taking a bad weather route (much lower and not that nice) when I noticed a couple of women readying themselves for departure. I asked them which way they were going and was surprised hear them say they were going 'over the top' and following the route I had given up on. I asked if I could join them and they happily agreed.
|Follow those women|
To be honest for the first hour I wandered if I had made mistake. The path was hard to find, it was icey and several times I was up to my thighs in deep snow. The two women, Anna and Emily, however were incredibly confident and there was never any question of going back.
|Descending the Große Kinigat|
|Inside the Standschutzenhütte|
I would have been happy just to completed the standard route but they wanted more and wanted to climb the Große Kinigat, a summit which sat about 200m above the main route. As well as climbing up across a steep snow field there was also a long stretch of fixed cable. Anyway, now joined by a young German, Norman from Berlin, we made it and the views from the top were excellent.
|Outside the Standschutzenhütte|
We stopped for lunch at the Standschutzenhütte, a tiny hut which we visited last time, and I treated Anna and Emily to an Apple Strudel each, the least I could do given the fact they had turned my day around.
|'Normal' service resumed|
They wanted to do another excursion in the afternoon, a 500m summit with extended via ferrata, but happily they decided that an extra 3 hours was just too much and we all proceeded to the hut together.
The Porze Hütte is located in the lee of the main Karnischer ridge (you might remember the steep climb you have to first thing in the morning on leaving it) and is a bit of a mean place. They charge for everything, even charging your phone. Tonight I'm sleeping in the dormitory again so expect some complaints tomorrow.
So despite the dodgy portents today has turned out to be a good one. I've survived the spell of bad weather and everything should be set fair for the next few days.
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