After such a big day
yesterday today's walk to Stein was a more civilised 7 hours. I had booked accommodation at the Stein Gasthof when I was in Hall and as things turned out it was a good job I did.
The main event was the climb over the Alpeiner Scharte the pass over the main ridge immediately to the east of Geraer Hütte. Completely in shadow it was a fairly easy
climb although some scrambling near the top would have been a challenge to some people. On the way up we saw some interesting birds, similar size to pheasants but with a white speckled plumage. Almost at the pass itself was the remains of a mine which ominously had last been worked between 1941-5. Even more ominous and more exciting was a large and very noisy rock fall, a safe distance from us, but spectacular.
|Old mine above the Geraer Hütte|
|Relaxing at the pass|
The best view came about 200m from the top when we could see south into
Dolomites. Clearly visible was a mountain with a glacier which I guess has to be the Marmolada.
For a time Gerald and I took different routes. He ignored a blocked path and I followed the
waymarks, annoyingly his route proved shorter and he was able to watch me, with more than a hint of smugness, as I climbed back up to the path.
We were now back on the
Munich Venice route 'proper', near the point where you and I disagreed on which route to follow last year. I don't know if you can remember the stream flying down the side of the mountain. Well this year, swollen with meltwater, it was more dramatic than ever. As I approached there was a woman sat next to a pool near the main river. I made jestures suggesting she should dive in but was surprised when she took up my challenge removed all her clothes and waded into the water. Germans don't need much of an excuse to get naked.
Despite Gerald trying to persuade me to get in the water I preserved the correct degree of decorum and pressed onto the Pfisterjoch Hütte on the border with Italy. We stayed there two nights last year and exactly the same family configuration still runs the place. The large lady is still sitting at the cash register, the twin brothers are making themselves look busy and dopy looking son is serving the drinks. Surprisingly, despite the size of the huge new hut there was no room in it for Gerald and one of the twin brothers seemed positively pleased to tell him that the two
gasthofs in Stein were full as well.
honest after three nights of sharing a room I was looking forward to a 'place of my own' and it was with a slightly heavy heart that I told Gerald that my room at the Gasthof Stein was a double and providing there were two beds he could have one of them.
asthof Stein by the way has a bit of a reputation amongst Munich Venice hikers. It's an ancient building, all wood cladding and panels and old uneven creaking floorboards. Despite its virtually non-existent plumbing everyone seems to enjoy staying there and prefer it to the Pfisterjoch Hütte which has a better location.