Been a while since I last posted on the blog. Does not mean that in the meantime I have not gone up a hill and came down. On the contrary, I have climbed quite a few - mainly in Scottish Highlands and on Scottish islands. However, as I have now reached Croatia in my 2014 European tour I thought I ought to resume. Having driven through seven countries to get here there has been rather more motoring than summit bagging. Nevertheless, there have been a few hills on the way.
Firstly, there was Watzmann (2713m P953) a Major and the highest point in the German Berchtesgadener alps that had a very rugged finish, especially with an entertaining section of klettersteig/via ferrata between the subsidiary top, Hocheck and the main Mittelspitze top. It is a long haul to do the whole mountain in one day from Wimbachbruecke and most people stop overnight in the Watzmannhaus hut - not me, though.
The next summit was Reisskogel (2371m P1390) the highest point in the Austrian Gailtaler alps. Not as long a walk from the trailhead or as much ascent. However, the route involved some awkward scrambling and following a long ridge that was often less than a metre wide and very exposed on each side. There quite a few black lizards on the upper parts of the trail.
This was followed by two frustrating days trying to reach the summit of an Ultra in the Italian Julian alps - Jof di Montasio (m P). On each day I was forced to give up because of the thundery weather before reaching the infamous and swaying Pipans ladder. As the Jof is a must do I will be back - maybe later on in the season in the hope there will be less old step snow adding to the difficulty of getting to the foot of the ladder.
|Jof di Montasio view|