Friday thought #54 The good weather just keeps on coming…!

How does the saying go? Make hay while the sun shines? Well at the moment I’m very happy to keep climbing while the sun shines, and shining is exactly what it’s doing in Innsbruck right now, day after day. Traditionally November in Europe should be a pretty dreary, fairly miserable month; arguably the worst month of the year. But this year seems to be an exception (well certainly in Innsbruck!) and I am absolutely loving it. With a perfect forecast for the weekend we made the bold decision to head up in to the Karwendel National Park, just outside of Innsbruck, take on a 2 day via feratta, and bivvy (yes, sleep outside!) up in the mountains – on 31st October! Bags packed we headed off in the sunshine, excited about yet another new place to explore, and it didn’t disappoint.

Waking up outside at 2000m, watching the sun creep over the mountains on 1st November was certainly a first, and felt pretty cool. The views were spectacular, the sunrise and sunset stunning, and over 2 full days we saw perhaps only 15 other people. There is nothing like being out in the mountains, especially when it’s wild and virtually empty. It’s a perfect escape from daily life, somewhere you can feel completely free and happy. Plus, a full day out leaves you tired, content and fully ready for a big feed in the evening; very satisfying!

The views down to Hall in Tirol below
The views down to Hall in Tirol below
The 'bridge' on day one. Just 30 minutes before this we watched someone being helicoptered off after being terrified on the bridge
The wire ‘bridge’ on day one. Just 30 minutes before this we watched someone being helicoptered off after losing her nerve on the bridge
One of the remarkable 'stuck blocks' that the route traverses
One of the remarkable ‘stuck blocks’ that the route traverses
Sunset from our privileged view point at 2000m
Sunset from our privileged view point at 2000m
Perfect
Perfect
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Looking back at the ‘klein’ peak en route to the ‘grosse’! It’s big, wild country out there, apparently the largest uninhabited area in the Alps.
My first sighting of wild animals since arriving in Austria!
My first sighting of wild animals since arriving in Austria!
It was a long old descent and our legs were certainly feeling it by the time we got to the bottom. But of course another beautiful sunset made it all worthwhile...
It was a long old descent and our legs were certainly feeling it by the time we got to the bottom. But of course another beautiful sunset made it all worthwhile…
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Friday thought #53 Via Ferrata in Innsbruck

This week brought yet more Autumn sunshine, and a bank holiday! We used it wisely and headed across to Achensee, a beautiful lake around 30minutes drive from Innsbruck. A ride up the Rofan-seilbahn cable car rewarded us with these views, and one of the best and most spectacular via ferrata routes we’ve done yet. Covering 5 peaks and traversing a truly stunning ridge line,  it’s a day I would thoroughly recommend and will most certainly be back to do again!

The view across towards the Dolomites
The view across towards the Dolomites
Lunching with the mountain birds...
Lunching with the mountain birds…
And feeding them!
And feeding them!
The final summit
The final summit
Heading down for a beer in the sun. What a beautiful way to end the day.
Heading down for a beer in the sun. What a beautiful way to end the day.

Friday thought #52 From Autumn to Winter in a matter of days…

Innsbruck is a wonderful place. Where else in the world do you have stunning mountains and all the nature you could wish for, within spitting distance of a city with all the amenities a person could ever need?

The seasons are changing fast here, the bright orange and yellows are out in force and the colder weather is creeping in, which means Winter is coming…! But not quite yet. Last week we managed both a via ferratta (climbing rock faces using fixed metal railings) and a ski tour within a couple of days. Perfect!

Heading up the wall
Heading up the wall
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In the cave halfway up, with Kematen, one of Innsbruck’s neighbouring villages below
Quite an impressive wall!
Quite an impressive wall!
No-one around, bliss!
No-one around, bliss!
Stunning ice formations at the top
Stunning ice formations at the top
A well beaten path and spectacular scenery
A well beaten path and spectacular scenery
Powder in October??! Who'd have thought?!
Powder in October??! Who’d have thought?!