Travis Shears

schönalmjoch tour

14.01.2021 -- #

Route

How can we social distance and still see our friends? Meet outside for sports! The current rules in Germany are that you can only meet with members of one house hold at a time. For us this means friends from the same household and with a separate car can join us for tours. On this tour we were lucky to get an experienced mountaineer friend to go with us.

skinning through thin snow

skinning through thin snow

Right from the start of this tour I knew we should have picked either a higher route or one north facing. The snow on the road up was super thin. When the route when off trail it got even worse. Stepping from frozen grass clump to frozen dirt clump.

enough snow for kick turns!

enough snow for kick turns!

snack break

snack break

We had to take off our skis and hike up parts, but eventually we reached snow. The boots we have are different than normal ski boots. A switch on the heel enables walk-mode. Turned on it makes the upper cuff more freely rotate at the heel, making movement easier. This helps scramble up dirt/snow/rock.

oops too steep

oops too steep

Skinning along at one point we noticed the face had become super steep. Turned out we were 20m to the side of the ridge. Instead of risking kick turns on a face with high consequence fall we took our skis off and hiked it back to the center.

start of exposed ridge

start of exposed ridge

approaching summit

approaching summit

This ridge was my first chance to use my Christmas present, ski crampons! Hard and icy snow can be tricky to skin up without slipping. I took the crampons out of my backpack and was able to attach them without taking the skis off. Once on they make each step a litte harder but once you step down your locked and super secure. They turned a nervous ascent into a simple walk up. Looking forward to using them on steeper terrain.

ski crampon

ski crampon

mountain woman ❤️

mountain woman ❤️

summit

summit

pirate travis?

pirate travis?

Not every tour ends with a summit. Many end with a ridge or we stop where you can no longer ski tour and must hike or climb. With Schönalmjoch you can tour directly to thee summit, 👌.

skiing down ridge

shades

shades

skiing opening in trees

hike down

hike down

Super happy we got a third for this tour. Hopefully as winter goes on we’ll be able to connect with more friends.

rocky road to parking lot

By the time we skied to the bottom our skis were pretty scraped up. To solve this I’ve started a home ski wax and repair project. Look out for more on that in future posts.

\- [ alpinism, skiing ]