Last weekend, joined by my 2 friends, I went to Austrian Alps. Our target was Grossvenediger – 2nd tallest peak in the country – an easy glacier walk.
We were planning to spend the night in one of the earlier open mountain hut – Kursinger Hutte. Other huts open in July due to difficult access because of left over winter snow. We left our car on paid car park Hopfelboden a few km inside the valley.
Initially wide road frequented by bikers and special minibuses winds up following a stream. Around 1500m the valley opens up presenting beautiful green meadows. Following the road further up we reach its end nearby the cable car station used to ferry supplies to the hut. It is possible to arrange for your backpacks to be taken as well if you arrive early in the morning and make an appointment.
We continue our climb on a well-marked path leading up a stony slope. At times the route is damaged or crossed by small streams. Our progress is stopped around 2300m altitude – a snow filled couloir. My companions are not experienced climbers and do not want to risk ascent over a slushy, slippery snow field – even belayed. We take a safer option and turn back. As we walk down it starts to rain and confirms our decision. Our booked accommodation remains far above and behind.
We stop for the night in Gasthof Berndalm at 1500m. Despite late hour (9 PM) we receive warm welcome from English speaking hut owners. The following day after a delicious breakfast we go down to the car park.