Hut Tour Around Grindelwald

Bernese Alps, Eiger, Jungfrau, Kleine Scheidegg, Mönch, Switzerland, reflection, Bernese Oberland, panorama
Jungfrau Sunset Panorama : Prints Available

Sunset light illuminates Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau as seen from Kleine Scheidegg – Bernese Oberland, Switzerland.

In mid-September after our treks in the Bernina Range and Val Masino in southeast Switzerland and north Italy, Claudia and I traveled north to the famous Jungfrau region near Interlaken in Switzerland. I’ve visited these mountains in the winter and spring, but this would be the first time I’ve been hiking here in the summer season. We opted to hike a 5-day hut-to-hut circuit along the mountains surrounding the town of Grindelwald, via the Faulhorn, Gleckstein, and Bäregg huts, to Kleine Scheidegg, and ending in the Lauterbrunnen valley. Continue reading >>

Val Masino, Italy

Italy, Pizzo Cengalo, Rhaetian Alps, Rifugio Gianetti, Val Masino, Valle Porcellizzo, hut
Rifugio Gianetti : Prints Available

Rifugio Gianetti below Pizzo Cengalo, high above Val Masino in northern Italy.

Eight days into our trek around the Bernina Range, we took a little train and bus detour and visited Val Masino in Italy on the southern end of the same greater range. The mountains around here are sometimes referred to as the Val Masino Alps, or the backside of the Bergell or Bregaglia Range. Renowned in climbing circles, Val Masino is a unique and spectacular valley surrounded by soaring vertical granite peaks. We spent a couple nights in San Martino, the village at the heart of Val Masino, then hiked up to Rifugio Gianetti for a night, then over a pass and down Val Codera. Continue reading >>

Around the Bernina Range, Switzerland/Italy

Bernina Range, Diavolezza, Piz Bernina, Piz Morteratsch, Piz Palü, Rhaetian Alps, Switzerland
Diavolezza Sunrise : Prints Available

Sunrise over Piz Palü, Piz Bernina, and Piz Morteratsch as seen from Diavolezza in the Rhaetian Alps of Switzerland.

In early September we flew to Zurich, Switzerland, took a train to St. Moritz, then embarked on a 9-day trek around the Bernina Range in the Rhaetian Alps. Named after the tallest peak in the range, Piz Bernina, the Bernina Range is a rugged and heavily glaciated mountain range along the border of southeast Switzerland and Italy. Our clockwise route took us across into Italy then back to Switzerland again, staying in alpine huts every night along the way. Continue reading >>

Greetings from Bavaria!

Hefeweisen and Dachstein
A taste of the Alps.

I’m writing from Munich, having just wrapped up three wonderful weeks of hut trekking in the northern limestone Alps of Bavaria (Germany) and Tyrol (Austria). We hiked through the Karwendel range, crossed over the rugged Kaisergebirge, toured the Berchtesgaden mountains, and traversed the Dachstein — sleeping and eating in alpine huts all along the way with a few stays in villages in between. Though not as tall as the central ranges of the Alps, these jagged limestone mountains boast ultra rugged profiles that rival the famous Dolomites in Italy.

Of course I have a heap of new photos that I’m eager to share, but that will have to wait until after the summer when I’ve got my real computer monitor to work on (and a place to live). For the remainder of the summer we will be on the road in Colorado, living out of our truck and backpacking as much as we can!

Over the Dachstein, Austria

Adamek-Hütte, Austria, Dachstein, Große-Bischofsmütze, hut
Adamek-Hütte : Prints Available

The Adamek-Hütte high in the Dachstein range of Austria.

Austria, Dachstein, Hallstätter Gletscher, wildflowers, sunrise, glacier, rainbow
Hoher Dachstein Sunrise : Prints Available

A gorgeous sunrise and rainbow above Hoher Dachstein (2995 m / 9826 ft) and the Hallstätter Glacier, as seen from near the Simony Hütte.

Austria, Dachstein, Hallstatt, reflection
Hallstadt Reflection : Prints Available

The world famous lakeside town of Hallstatt, Austria.

The final destination of our three-week northern limestone Alps tour in July was the Dachstein mountain range of Austria. Starting from near the Südwandhütte, above the lovely village of Ramsau on the south side of the range, we hiked for three days around and over the Dachstein to the famous village of Hallstatt on the north side, via the Hofpürglhütte, Adamek-Hütte, and Simony Hütte.

>> See the whole trip report and leave a comment here! <<

Trek Around Watzmann – Berchtesgaden, Germany

Berchtesgaden, Europe, Germany, Watzmann
Berchtesgaden Morning : Prints Available

The Bavarian town of Berchtesgaden, Germany in the morning light.

Berchtesgaden, Europe, Germany, Watzmann
Watzmann Sunrise : Prints Available

Sunrise behind Watzmann (2713 m / 8900 ft), as seen from the summit of Grosse Hundstod (2590 m / 8497 ft).

Berchtesgaden is a famous Bavarian mountain resort town in southeast Germany. The area is famous for the gorgeous fjord-like Königssee lake and the massive peak of Watzmann which towers over it. In July we spent three days relaxing around town waiting for the rainy weather to pass — which fortunately it [kind of] did — then we headed out on a three night hut trek around Watzmann via the Wimbachgrieshütte, Ingolstädterhütte, and Kärlingerhaus.

>> See the whole trip report and leave a comment here! <<

Wilder Kaiser, Austria

Austria, Kaisergebirge, Stripsenjochhaus, Stripsenkopf, Wilder Kaiser, sunset, panorama
Wilder Kaiser Sunset Panorama : Prints Available

Sunset light illuminates the rugged limestone peaks of the Wilder Kaiser, Austria.

Austria, Eggersteig, Kaisergebirge, Wilder Kaiser, klettersteig

The Eggersteig takes an improbable route up between two immense vertical limestone faces of the Wilder Kaiser. Though this route involves narrow ledges, climbing ladders and cables, and massive exposure, it’s actually possible to do it without a klettersteig (aka, via ferrata) kit.

Austria, Ellmau, Kaisergebirge, Wilder Kaiser, sunset
Sunset in Ellmau : Prints Available

Sunset light in the village of Ellmau, Austria.

In July after our trek in the Karwendel we took a bus and train to the town of Kufstein, stocked up on some snacks, and started hiking into the Kaisergebirge, a small but incredibly rugged mountain range that rivals just about anything in the Dolomites as far as sheer jaggedness goes. This would be a shorter two-night trek but would prove to be much more strenuous than our previous one! We spent the first night at the Vorderkaiserfeldenhütte, the second at the Stripsenjochhaus, then climbed over the Wilder Kaiser range via the famous Eggersteig route and down to the village of Ellmau.

>> See more photos and leave a comment here! <<

Hut Trekking through the Karwendel

Europe, Germany, Mittenwald, rainbow, Karwendel, Bavaria, Alps
Rainbow Over Mittenwald : Prints Available

A rainbow over the Bavarian town of Mittenwald, with the Karwendel mountains rising behind.

In early July after two weeks in Germany visiting Claudia’s family and friends, I was excited to go down to the Alps for some mountain time! Our first destination was the Karwendel range just north of Innsbruck, Austria. Over the course of 5 days, we hiked from west to east below the jagged spine of this range from the villages of Scharnitz to Pertisau, via the Karwendelhaus, Falkenhütte, Eng Alm, and Lamsenjochhaus. With reasonably short hiking days and not very steep trails, this was a perfect warm up trek to acclimate us to mountain trekking again for the first time this summer.

Six hours of train rides brought us from Freiburg to Mittenwald, the uber-quaint Bavarian village where we had stayed back in 2013 prior to climbing the Zugspitze. So in a way it felt like picking up where we had left off before — on that previous trip we had trekked through the Allgau and Lechtal ranges west of there, and now we would be trekking eastward.

The next day we started walking from the nearby village of Scharnitz, just over the border in Austria. A long but gentle forest road led to the Karwendhaus, spectacularly situated on the edge of a dramatic cliff overlooking the Karwendaltal valley. Coincidentally, shortly after arriving at the hut Claudia ran into four of her former classmates from her university days in Freiburg!

Austria, Karwendel, Karwendelhaus, Alps, hut
Karwendelhaus Clouds : Prints Available

The Karwendelhaus hut overlooks the Karwendeltal as clouds clear after a rainy night in early July.

It started raining just as we arrived at the hut, but later in the evening everybody was thrilled to see the sunset light burst through the clouds in this spectacular display of light!

Austria, Karwendel, Karwendeltal, wildflowers, Alps
Karwendel Sunbeam : Prints Available

The setting sun beams over the Karwendeltal valley through a gap in the clouds.

The next day we hiked further along the range to the Falkenhütte, located at another spectacular site underneath the massive vertical north face walls of the Karwendel.

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Snapshots from Dresden

Albrechtsburg
Schloss Albrechtsberg (Albrechtsberg Castle), built in 1854, sits above the Elbe River in Dresden, Germany.

This last week we’ve been in Dresden, Germany, visiting Claudia’s family there and seeing some of the plentiful historical and cultural sights this beautiful city has to offer. Here is a somewhat random collection of snapshots from our time there. (These were all taken with my iPhone, which is a photographer’s way of saying that I was too lazy to carry my real camera around!)

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