Silvretta Ski Tour • March 26 - 30, 2009

We made another visit to the Silvretta region this year. This was a really great year to spend so much time in the Eastern Alps, as it turns out! The southerly storms put down a very generous snowpack in the South Tyrol and Austria.

Other Recent Trips

We were joined by Russ and Debbie Lee, of Bellingham WA (old friends from a previous life! Also see Russ' adventure with us in 2008 in the Bernese Oberland), Kade Spears (ice climbing in Cogne with Mark), and Kimber Keagle and Gerritt Saylor (Berner Oberland 2007). Here, Russ plays war of the cameras with Mark on the ski bus to Ischgl.


It had snowed very heavily the day before our start; in fact we were not entirely sure we would have the visibility we wanted for our first day's hut approach. But in the end the skies cleared, and we enjoyed complete solitude on our first afternoon. The price we paid of course was a deep trail-breaking task, but it was worth it.


Nearing the col. An Alaskan-looking landscape in the deep, new snow!


We approach the final high-point before descending to the hut.


Unlike Alaska however, the day ends at the warm, welcoming Heidelbergerhut, with a full menu of hot meals and cool drinks on offer. And showers! Did I mention showers?


More wilderness trail-breaking the next day, as we head toward the Zahnjoch en route to the Jamtal hut.


The welcome sight of the Jamtal hut greets us.


The next day's weather is not so friendly! Here we finally cry Uncle and turn back, near the Furcla d'Urezzas, from a trip to the Hinterer Jamspitze. A case of diminishing returns, for sure, we were blown over as we made this transition.


The following day the weather was still pretty gloomy, but the winds at least were calm for our crossing to the Wiesbadener Hut.


The following morning dawned gorgeous, clear, calm and moderately cool. A promise of fresh powder and good conditions for our last day's skiing.


We began by skinning back up toward the Dreiländerspitze, which we had not seen properly during our crossing the day before.


Our pace quickened as we saw the prospect of great snow on the descent.


The weather could hardly be better.


Nor the snow!


Still, we can't pass up the chance to take in an unusual view at the col, a brief side-trip.


Heading up at last to those un-tracked slopes below the summit of the Dreiländerspitze.


Oh, and it was worth the climb! Great snow at last.


Kathy launching into it...


We were back at the hut in time for a quick lunch before our afternoon lap and exit to town.


Our afternoon's jaunt took us to the Totenfeld Scharte below the Rauherkopf. An unexpected treat; we can see and admire our morning's tracks on the Dreiländerspitz, the right-most of the two peaks in the background.


From top to bottom on this day, we had nothing but perfect powder snow.


You could do no wrong in this stuff.


Long, un-interrupted lines in deep, soft, heavenly fluff.


Knowing we had THIS to look forward to....


... comforted us somewhat as we reluctantly turned our backs at last on the mountains and headed for town.