2011/2012 Two snow shoe hikes in the Alps

Places Austria. Carinthian Alps
Time & length December/January, 4 days
Partners several
Together with a few friends I celebrated New Year’s Eve in a cozy cabin up in the mountains, two days later I was on another overnight hike, this time with our tents and a different group of people.
I won’t make many words about these short trips, in fact it’s more about showing you some pictures.

So on the 31st December I hiked up to a hut in the mountains in Carinthia, close to the ski resort “Nassfeld” together with some of my closest friends. Of course we brought enough “Glühwein” and other liquors which promised a decent night there in the cabin. The hike took us four or five hours and the first thing we did in the cabin was to get the stove burning. Not much later we all sat in the cozy and warm kitchen, eating, drinking, talking… it was a fun night. Late in the next day we arrived back home.

The second hike started just a day later, on the 2nd of January. This time some friends from Vienna and Germany came to Carinthia and went on a hike with me in the mountains there. It was supposed be a four days’ hike but we ended up staying for just one night. After we pitched our tents in the evening it started snowing. I stayed awake mostly all night long in order to shake off the snow from the tent which I shared with my friend Eva. If you don’t shake off the snow it will get heavier and heavier and at one point a pole will break or the tent will collapse. This is exactly what happened with the tent right next to me and when I got out to shovel the snow from the tent it was completely snowed up and flattened. Because of the lack of oxygen things like this can be quite dangerous.

The next morning we thought about what to do. Obviously it would be very hard to fight through 40 centimeters of fresh snow. I phoned a friend of mine who knows a lot about avalanches and asked him what he thought about the pass we needed to hike up later. With this amount of fresh snow it’s way too dangerous to continue, he said. That actually made the decision quite easy, nobody was willing to risk anything here. So we went down again.