Initially, we had planned to go a different route to a small self-subsistent mountain refuge, all romantic with cooking over the fire and stuff...but then we forgot the key at home (the classic, as super-organized as we are with our lists and all, we forgot the one essential thing)...so we had to reschedule in a whim and Martin decided to go to the Karwendel in Tyrol instead.
On a sunny and warm Sunday we hiked up from Seefeld in Tirol to the Seefelder Spitze. At first, the path leads you along the ski slopes which, especially to me, as an avid snowboarder, was very sad to see in the summer months. All the ski lift poles and snow canons somehow ruin the views in summer, let alone the destruction of the ground by all the slope preparations...I was a bit triste so witness all this...
However, we came by a few ponies grazing on the slopes, which immediately lifted my spirits!
Lunch break about half way up when we finally left the slopes and continued on little paths towards the Seefelder Spitze.
Views from the Seefelder Spitze. We hadn't anticipated that much company on the trail, but since you can cover a good part of the ascent by cable car and given the sunny weather on this late September Sunday, there were quite a few people up there....which is why we walked straight on to the path leading us to the Reither Spitze.
The views on the different Karwendel mountain ridges were simply impressive.
All those lime stone formations - simply impressive.
Chocolate break at Reither Spitze.
Reither Spitze, 2374 m.
Enjoying the last rays of sun around Nördlingen Hütte. On this Sunday night, it was just us and another couple at the refuge, one of the staff girls was playing the guitar and we spent the evening reading mountain magazines, scheming on new routes for next year.
Views down the Inn valley during dinner.
The next morning, we got up at 6 am and decided to climb up to the Reither Spitze again for sunrise. We were rewarded for our efforts with a splendid sunrise and a 360° panorama of all shades of pink and blue.
After breakfast, we started on the "Freiungen Höhenweg" towards the Sollsteinhaus. This trail was more exposed and involved a bit more of climbing. While the climbing itself wasn't difficult, there were quite a lot of parts on the trail that were very exposed so this added to the dimension of the climbing since the whole trail was running along the mountain ridge. In the beginning, I enjoyed the climbing and the more challenging hike, but after about two hours of constantly walking/climbing on that mountain ridge it started to get a little too much. I was fine in the end, but there was a part of it where I was just scared and a bit overcharged with the terrain and the trail. Naturally, I couldn't be bothered to take out the camera at some point on this trail so there are no pictures documenting the tricky parts unfortunately.
The views were incredible though with the fog slowing rising from the valley.
Dreamteam on tour.
The final stretch to the Sollsteinhaus. Where a "Kaspressknödel" awaited me (which is essentially what kept me going and not surrendering to a little panic attack...). From Sollsteinhaus, it was another 1h 45 min descent down to Hochzwirl where we took a train (every 30 minutes) back to Seefeld. Once back down, the Freiungen Höhenweg didn't look that bad and scary anymore and I was happy and proud I completed it (admittedly, there were not too many options anyway). If you plan on going, just keep in mind that the majority of the "Höhenweg" is quite exposed, so maybe take it a little slow in the beginning so that tiring legs don't interfere with the height and the challenging trail at some point. I guess I was a little too motivated in the beginning, going a little too fast so that my legs were already a little tired when the stress and then fear kicked in - which definitely did not help the situation. Lesson learned though - going to take it a bit easier next time!