Monday, 15 October 2012

Stolen parrot disappears in mist

Not a promising start

Switched countries again. Now I am back in Austria - however, the brilliant sunshine that I left last time I was here seems to have gone. So too have the crowds on every hill. For this one, the summit logbook showed I was the first person to make an entry for several days.
I started off in mist from a tiny car park (1338m) by a locked gate at the end of a forest road from Obervellach. After following the road around the next sharp bend I picked up a marked track nr.328 that continued through the woods.

Just as the track came out of the woods by a closed for the winter hut, Polinikhutte (1873m) I also came out, thankfully, from the mist. The sky above was not completely cloudless, by any means, but it was warmer and clearer than down in the valley.
The track continued through more woods than eventually turned into the usual dwarf pine and then heath and bare rock.

View from Polinikhutte
Like a cauldron
Only two hours to go
As I went higher, I entered into the next layer of cloud. And there were small patches of fresh snow from the previous day's rain. This made it interesting when I got to the bit where there were some occasional lengths of fixed rope - however, there were no real difficulties getting up on to the summit ridge. At that point the higher level of cloud came and went in the strong breeze so that occasionally there were views across to GroƟglockner. That is, if the lower level of cloud had not been obstructing the view.

Polinik summit ridge
Polinik summit
Dreary cross on summit
To get back to the start of the walk, I simply reversed the route, However, by the way, I had just bagged Polinik, another Ultra (P1580), the highest point in the eastern part of the Austrian Hohe Tauern national park and at 2784m the third highest mountain of the trip, so far. By the time I got back to the van it was dark as well as misty - and I slept the night in that little car park.
View from Polinik summit

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