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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Hofer Hike


Lofer Hike

The forecast was supposed to be clear today, with a chance of showers at night, so I decided to join the Wayfarers group from Toytown Germany on a hike. Driving to the trail-head, it looked like it was going to be really foggy, as we could not see the peaks around us. At 9am, the hike started and it was pretty obvious from the start that I was going to be suffering --- these folks were fast!

I had decided that given my general lack of conditioning (this was my first serious hike since July), I should go for something less than the 2500m summit the rest of the folks were doing --- so I opted to visit the 1977m hut (which was closed for the season). After about an hour, we broke out into clear air and got gorgeous views of the surroundings:
From Lofer Hike

We had hiked above the fog. Another half hour later, I had to swap out the running shoes for the hiking boots on account of snow. Not being used to hiking in snow, I went slowly despite having two hiking sticks. At the trail junction, Angus gave me his car keys so I wouldn't have to freeze while waiting for everyone at the car --- the others were expecting to have to hike down in the dark.

I hung out at the hut for about 15 minutes, admiring the view, and the pristine snow on the terrace. Then I hiked down slowly. The snow was slippery and it took me about as much time to descend as it took to climb. At the snowline, I breathed a sigh of relief, but quickly discovered that things didn't improve --- the thick layer of leaves from the fall was just as slippery!

Nevertheless, I made it back to the cars at 3:30pm with trembling knees, and sat and read until everyone showed up at about 5:30pm. A good hike, and I guess with snow predicted for this weekend I won't be doing much more before I have to leave Germany.
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