Get out of the car, take the skis off the roof, beacon partner check, and head up the gondola. A day of touring starts.
Location: Achensee, Tirol, Österreich
Goal: Von der Erfurter Hütte auf die Rofanspitz
Was taken aback by expansive sun bathed rock faces skinning near Erfurter Hütte. True high alpine environment. Leaving the ski resort we passed an automated beacon checker. Austria keeps its skiers safe. What looks very steep from the resort, up close was passable. Following rolling hills between the peaks we encountered a short section of 35deg ice. Lesson learned and ski crampons added to shopping list.
Atop a powdery hill overlooking the valley we plotted. Time to put LVS course learnings into action. Avalanche rating 2, mellow aspects, and minimal passing under avalanche terrain we headed for the Rofanspitz summit.
Spaced out at 10m between we passed swiftly through the steeper aspects. A few kick turns had us topping out. Hell of a view.
Boots in ski mode? Helmet check, googles check. Poles shortened? Click! Bindings good to go. The descent starts. First few cautious turns then the point skis down hill and let er rip. Stop after 50m to check on the group. Split-boarder laying down solid turns, Masha observing from above. Together we navigate down a valley, no pists, no lifts, and no crowds. Earning our turns in the backcountry. Managed a yard sale jumping a mellow powder aspect. After 1000m, big high alpine bowls gave way to a narrow hiking trail. In and out of woods and shade the snow eventually ran out. Time to strap up for a hike.
Skis, 180cm long and 106mm under foot. Tested Marmot pack with skis strapped diagonally. Not as comfortable as an A-frame on my Arc’teryx pack but passable. Thunk thunk our boots thudded passing farm fields. A quick nap in the sun waiting for the bus and then back to the resort. Whole mission accomplished by 3:00pm. Until my next adventure. 👋