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Round the Stübaital - Gschnitz to Innsbrück

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Day Seven - You need a rest day on trips like this!

Did as little as possible - mostly read Kerman. After lunch, I stirred myself to inspect the pretty church which had a huge ceiling mural and other pictures, together with an elaborate baroque altar, after which I did the waldweg round the town. Then, I chatted in bad German to the wirt (landlord).

Day Eight - To Fulpmes

This has to be the biggest day - 9 hours. I walked down the valley to Trins, half on the 102 path but was a bit confused by Galtschein, which has grown from my old map to an independent village and so found myself back on the road. It took 100 minutes to walk the five miles to Trins, which I had expected. The path to the Blaser Hütte from there is very steep for about two-thirds of the way and I consumed a lot of water getting up, with the sun beating at the back of my head. The hut at 2176m is concealed until the last minute and I sank a whole litre of apfelsaft there. The view is good, though. I was technically half way after 4.5 hours.

I made my limestony way down into a pleasant valley far above the Wipptal (the Brenner Pass valley) and cut through the woods to the Ochsenalm 1561m, where there was pub below Maria Waldrast. (This monastery at 1641m acts as the climbing hut for the Serles & is described as an Alpengasthaus). The photograph, below left, shows the Maria Waldrast Monastery in the clearing in the centre. I had a beer and was teased by the locals in their dialect (they had all driven up for Sunday afternoon) until they heard what I was doing, when a little respect broke out. I made my way up to the monastery and up a little further to 1700m before a very long walk down through the woods and round the end of the Serles took me to Fulpmes at about 900m.

Fulpmes (right) has grown to a town since I was here last. The first hotel I tried was full but I got into the Hubertus Garni, which was full of antiques, including some of the guests and staff. I had to go into town for dinner and managed to get some fish at last by having a Pizza Marinara. The café was very hot though, which made eating difficult. I was told it had been 30°C during the day.

Left: The Maria Waldrast Monastery by the green patch
Right: Fulpmes from above (South-East)

Day Nine - Back to the Axamer Lizum over the Halsl (little neck)

The last pass today - it was getting like that. It took a little trouble to find the way as the map is confusing. It goes through the industrial part of Fulpmes, which has little iron foundries making climbing gear (the well-known Stubai brand) and ornamental iron-work. There is a steep path up through the trees before the 'proper' path up to the Halsl (1992m) appears.

The Halsl with Fulpmes in the forground

North-West from the Halsl

Halsl (left & Kalkkogel

This is another steady but long path and, as it was still getting hotter, took all my water to get up, nearly five hours. But, it was not far down the other side back into the Axamer Lizum at 1550m in 5 hours 40 minutes altogether. There was an American lad on the desk who said he would have to ask the lady but a penny dropped when I greeted her with 'Hello, Claudia'. I had a room at the back with a balcony this time, which cost more and involved me in refereeing a tennis match between a Kraut and an Austrian, who at one point asked, 'Would the umpire ask the crowd to be quite?' in best Wimbledon style, so I did.

Day Ten - To Innsbruck

In theory, this would be a really easy day wandering down to Innsbruck by, perhaps, just after lunch. I started at 0950 and slowly wandered down the stream towards Axams, 985m where one crosses the road, then took the 'Panoramaweg' as this would obviously be prettier than the road walk, exposed as that was to the sun, now getting warm.

Axams, with the Karwendelgebirge behind.

To and from Innsbruck

By the time I got to Götzens again, it was intensely hot. I started to go down by the mill stream (Muhleitenweg), which was ok until just after the going-up bit. There, a sign pointed to the Geroldschlucht (gorge) earlier than I expected but it was a good quality sign. I started down and it ended literally in the stream. It looked maybe, as if the path had been washed away there, so I struggled on and then gave up, shoving my way steeply through the pines on very steep ground to get back up. I got filthy, hot, frightened and bothered. I eventually found the proper path and was greeted by an old ÖAV member who lives in Innsbruck (580m), who chatted and pointed me to a pub when we eventually got out of the woods by the Innsbruck West motorway junction. I had a pint of apfelsaft and staggered off into the town looking for a hotel, much later than I had expected. The first one I found was in Maximiliam Strasse, the four star Neue Post. I was not going to look further and checked in for an expensive night. There was a coach party from Glasgow, vulgarians blasting the reputation of Britain across several European countries. I chatted to them and explained various signposts they has seen that puzzled them.

Day Eleven - Home

It was extremely hot during the night and it was suggested that the temperature got up into the late thirties yesterday. I can well believe it. It was too hot still, although cooler, to contemplate an hour's walking round the old town, so I headed off to the airport at about 0930. I could keep in the shade most of the way and, when I got there, it was not long before another climber and later, his friends, turned up. They had been in the Silvretta and Ötztal and had had trouble with deep snow. The flight was not very late and I got home at 1550.

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Contact: Ken Baldry, 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY +44(0)20 7359 6294 or e-mail him URL:
Last revised 1/6/2012 © 1998-2012 Ken Baldry. All rights reserved.