Trainingday on the Grossglockner (3.798m)
We've been on the go for more than 14 hours, finding our way up and over the Glocknerwand ridge towards the summit of the highest mountain of Austria. Now it's my turn to lead and find myself a few hunderd meters below the summit. Only a couple of short pitches. We are all tired and this headache has been growing on me the last couple of hours. There is no way back, only up and so I focus and commit to these last section of technical ridge climbing.
The day started at the parking (1.900m) at around 3 o'clock in the night. We knew this would be a tough day, with over 2000+ vertical meters to cover. We figured what the hell, should be a good practice to see what all this training for our upcoming expedition had brought us. The trip was not only about climbing however. Martin lives in Prague and in the last couple of weeks we had extensive contact through email and skype about our 2017 Khan Tengri & Peak Pobeda expedition. But it's been a while since we exactly met. So we figured we needed a team outing and that brought us to his playing ground: the Austrian Alps!
With packs a bit heavier than we all wanted we departed and made our way to the Lucknerhuette in about 30 minutes, and an hour after that we arrived at the Stüdlehütte. For me it brought back good memories. This where it all started back in 2012 when, together with Guido I did my first alpine course and climbed the Grossglockner via its normal route.
Above the hut we left most of our gear and continued a lot lighter and faster. Making our way over the glacier we got to the Teufelskamp and got a quick bite to eat and drink. This is where the real climbing begins. The Glocknerwand-Grossglockner traverse (D-, IV+) takes you up and over 7 pinnacles towards the summit of Austria's highest peak.
We switch leads and make good progress. The climbing is pretty straight forward with most of the time some grade III scrambling, mixing it together with short pitches of proper climbing. We all feel confident in this terrain so we stick to simulclimbing with running belays to make good progress. About half way through the sun pops out, we're at about 3.700m and the view is absolutly breathtaking. We traverse the highest pinnacle of the Glocknerwand and make an abseil. As I abseil down I see Martin laying in the sun with his eyes closed, my mind wanders, we've been on the go for more than 10 hours - a quick nap would be nice. A few minutes later Allert abseils down and urges us to continue!
Allert takes a solid lead and with his big boots he traverses some technical grounds, towards an abseil point which takes us to the notch between the Glocknerwand and the Grossglockner itself. We've been on the go for more than 14 hours, finding our way up and over the Glocknerwand ridge towards the summit of the highest mountain of Austria. Now it's my turn to lead and find myself a few hunderd meters below the summit. Only a couple of short pitches. We are all tired and this headache has been growing on me the last couple of hours. There is no way back, only up and so I focus and commit to these last section of technical ridge climbing.
And so, five years after my first 'real' summit, the majestic gold-plated summit cross and myself meet again. Last time I was here, we felt like real mountaineers. Now we just completed a 'real' mountaineers route and I feel we're ready for this summer.