Saturday, January 09, 2010

SAC avalanche safety course

Saturday morning was train->train->bus to get to St. Antönien. From there an easy bit along the snowed-over road to the Gasthaus Alpenrösli (no hut for us this time!) where we divided into groups and then set out for the training part of the program. The weather was pretty crappy: cold and foggy so even though we were in a really beautiful area we saw nothing. We tramped around for a couple of hours in the fog doing some training stops along the way and then headed back to the hotel and got settled in (in a four-bed room... wow! in a place with warm water and showers... double wow!) before doing the trip-planning part of the course. After a nice meal and dinner conversation, it was off to bed to get ready for day two.

Sunday started with perfect weather: blue skies and views of the Sulzflüh and Schijenflue. Perfect conditions for our planned trip to the Schafberg. We got started at a relaxed pace and were underway by 8:15. Up, up through the rolling landscape. At some point we make it up to the sun and then enjoy the views and sparkling snow and sun all around... really ideal conditions. At the Carschina Hütte we take a quick break and do a bit more route-planning discussion with the bergfürher, then set off for the last couple hundred meters to the top of the Schafberg. From there we have amazing views out over Austria and Switzerland. Wow! After enjoying the peak for a while, we headed back down. Andy took us down along "La Direttissima", which is almost always fun; in those conditions it was a blast. Towards the bottom of the valley we entered fog (amazing how much the perceived temperature can drop on moving from sun to fog) before hitting the road back to the bus stop.

All in all a fun course, with much more interesting hiking than last time.

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