|Adventures in the Alps
||[Aug. 14th, 2007|05:42 pm]
|||||A Screaming Tomas||]|
I am staying in a hamlet of Salzburgh, Austria with the Wimmer family: Rupert, Vera, Veronika (19), Clara (18) Rupie (11, and a brat) and their two foster children, Tomas and Stephan, two and a half and one and a half.
We just got back from a week of staying in a lodge and hiking each day in the Alps.
So, in order to do it justice, I am going to go through it day by day:
Day 1: We got an hour late start packing the car, and everyone was yelling at each other. We then reached a town called Lienz, and met the people we would be hikig with: Martin, Elizabeth, Christoph and Andreas Kugler. Vera thought it would be funny to pretend that I didn't speak German, so I didn't actually talk to anyone all day pretty much, until I got bored and told them, and they were all surprised, but not very amused. We walked about two miles uphill on a gravel road to get to the Lienzer Hutte, where we were staying.
Day 2 (Thursday): We woke early and blew up balloons, because it was Vera's daughter Clara's, birthday. We then ate bronies at breakfast, cookies for lunch and Apfelstrudel at dinner. We also went on a hike, where, before we knew it, Martin had led us off the trail, and we were simply wandering on the side of a steep hill, hundreds of feet up. We walked all aroung the velley like that and crossed 3 raging rivers with no bridges. It was a very tight balancing act. *haha*
Day 3 (Friday): We decided to hike to another Hutte (lodge) and set out in two groups: Martin, Christoph, Clara, Andreas, Rupie and I took the longer more difficult way over the mountains, and Rupert, Elizabeth and Veronika (who had just had her wisdom teeth pulled, and was on medication) took the shorter way along the mountain. We started out our hike by climbing a boulder field 3000 feet up. I thought that that wa what Martin had meant when he said that this trail was 'pretty dangerous'. We got to the top of the field, looked down, took pictures and turned as Martin said 'Okay, now I want everyone to be careful. Now it's going to get a little tricky.' So, off we went on trails that were only six inches wide, muddy, rocky, and dangling over four thousand feet of empty space, going ever upwards. At times we had to use he ropes and pegs inserted in the side of the side of th mountain, because there was no path, only a cliff face, now 5000 feet up. our highest place was about 6000 feet above sea level, and then we started to go down. We went to the other hutte and I got a headstart going back (we took the shorter way down) and I practically ran down the mountain, acheiving the Lienzer Hutte in an hour and fourty five minutes, when it took everyone else two and a half.
Day 3 (Saturday): Almost everyone went rock climbing, except Eizabeth, Vera the babies and me. I didn't go because I was not sure my foot would hlod out. Instead, I went on a mile hike with Elizabeth, Vera and the babies and was fairly bored out of my skull.
Day 4 (sunday): Elizabeth and I were martyrs, and we stayed at the hutte to watch the babies while Vera got to do her first (and only) hike. They climbed a 9000 feet high mountain, and we climbed a 800 feet hill. I then carried one of the babies back down the hill, and was once again, pretty bored.
Day 5 (Monday): Elizabeth, Martin, Veronika (now off meds), Rupert and I set out to climb 'Kaaskopf' mountain, which I, being the clear thinking, logical American that I am, assumed that that meant 'Cheesehead' mountain, and was deeply amused. Martin then explained that 'kaas' does not mean cheese, but rather, glacier. I was disappointed. We started out by climbing the same boulder field, but going left instead of right. We reached the top, and there was a place where we had to rock climb again over a ravine, and Elizabeth turned back. She is afraid of heights, apparently. We scaled that mountain, and reached the top where we were greeted with another rock field, riddled in freezing lakes, and dotted with patches of snow. Veronika made a lovely snowman, and I said that I would jump in one of the lakes for 20 euro, Martin looked surprised and said 'We'll see about that on the way back.' The entire place had a strong 'Lord of the Rings' feel, and we all joked about 'We must hurry! By nightfall these hills will be swarming with Orcs!' and stuff. It then began to drizzle, and we turned towards actual Kaaskopf, which was still above us, and began to climb. The rocks were very slippery, and the whole way was a mixture of a boulder field and a cliff face, forcing us to actually rock climb, at times, with no ropes, safety equipment or real sense of where the path was, so we just climbed up on the side of the mountain. We reached the top, 9000 feet above sea level, 20 square feet wide, and had lunch that was often interrupted by the parting of the clouds for a few seconds, which we snatched to take pictures of the fields, lakes, mountains, glaciers and rivers below. We were now above the clouds. I made a 60 second cell phone call to Clara telling her 'Guess where I am?' It was hysterical, I tell you. Back in Mordor (as the boulder field with lakes came to be called) Martin and I 'Offed our duds' and went swimming. It was insane, I tell you. We have pictures, and come to think of it, he never did give me that 20 euro. I then went ahead of everyone else, as I very much wanted clean underwear, and I met Elizabeth on the mountain boulderfielf. She had gone back and forth so many times, that she had now covered more ground then we, and she was rightly proud of herself. I then went back to the hutte and had a hot cocoa.
Day 6 (Tuesday): We packed and drove home. No big dramas, except for the fact that I spent 4 hours between two screaming, Austrian babies with no foot space.