Thursday, August 30, 2007

Mirese la schimb ! (Bride exchange)

A shoot taken in Fagaras, a city where everybody is in Italy (or almost...).

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Die Bergsteiger !

You can recognize them after their enchanted look, after their calm and their understanding of life, after their steady, firm steps, walking in the mountains with humility and respect; you can see by far that on the mountain their are at home.

Austria is a country composed by mountain and many of the people living there are real mountaineers.

This guy was very happy because it's daugther had just won the prize of the "most beautiful hairdresser" in Austria :) The guy had told me that he hikes about 50 000m positive level difference per year, at about 60 years old. Hats off !

Friday, August 24, 2007

Rax: Wildfährte, Heukuppe, Gamsek

After a nice sleep in Weichtal, Sunday, I was again up on my bike, 20 km up toward Rax, on the opposite side of the mountain, compared with the wednesday before hike.

The target was Wildfahrte, a very beautiful via ferrata, on the north ridge. It was the most aerial part in all those days.

Up, at the end is again a plateau, and I've continued to the summit of Rax, Heukuppe, 2007m.

Again I've met a lot of mountain goats:

The way back was on Gamsek, another interesting via ferrata, toward Schneealpe, the next mountain after Rax.

Back to my bicicle I've enjoyed views of Rax, compared to Plaiul Foii lanscape, of Piatra Craiului.
On themiddle of the long right wall was my way up through Wildfahrte:

Then I've ride down 30km to arrive at the train station, and to return succesfully to Wien ;)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Schneeberg: Weichtalklamm, Turmstein, Klosterwappen

Last weekend I'we planned to go to Hochschwab, but the difficulty to go there, (because I had to get up at 5.00 in the morning, after the previous evening lan party) has changed my plans. So here I am running after the train towards Schennberg/Rax. I've managed to catch the train, one minute before leaving (sometihing usual for me :D) but bad surpride: the train doesn't have place for the bicicles, so I cannot get up in the train. I am very dissapointed.. one more hour to wait, so I've decided to visit Wiener Neustadt (a boring city)... And this means that I'll begin again my walk at noon :(
So here, I am again on my bike (Matterhorn calling ?!) heading again towards Weichtal hutte, 3 days latter.

The follow up of the weekend will be much more impressive: 6 new via ferrata made, 5000m positive level difference climbed and over 200km biking ! (all that from wednesday to sunday, and 2 day of work in between, of course :D)

First I've did Weichtalklamm, a beautiful canion, much longer than "7 scari" and Turmstein, a short via ferrata above a refuge. Then I've reaceh for the second time Klosterwappen, 2076m, the top of Lower Austria region. (the starting point, Weichtal refuge is at about 550m heigh)

The flat area on top of Schneeberg: there are also a modern and an historical train which arrive up to the plateau.

Some red rocky areas (Marele Grohotis ?):

The Klosterwappen peak is in the background, (last year in May it was terrible foggy, that we could barely see at 2 meters ahead us, luckily there were traces on the snow... ) Now it was a kid's game to walk up there.

Limestones mountais are a paradise of the climbers...

After a 7h30min tour I was back at Weichtal hutte for a nice austrian mountain evening at the refuge, and an overnight sleep (in "lager" :D)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Nepal: target on Sagarmatha !

This is my 100 post on the blog, so it is special for me.
In less than 4 weeks I'll be in Nepal, so here it is the route of our expedition, with red dotts, the arrow indicate the direction of hike.

We are 4 people + 7 nepalese sherpa and porters. The purpose of the expediton is 100% photographical, so we have chosen the best panorama points toward Mount Everest.

This is the SAGARMATHA national park:

Sagarmatha is Sanskrit for "mother of the universe" and is the modern Nepali name for Mount Everest.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Rax: Wahthuttelkamm/Hoyossteig

Can you imagine a mountain as a combination of Bucegi and Piatra Craiului ? The walls and the plateau of Bucegi and the limestones and aerial paths of Piatra Craiului ? Well, it exists ! close to Vienna, it is the Rax Alpe !

So here I am, August 15, a free day ! going up for a long day of walk ! And the begining is like in the alpine history books: a train trip then ride up my bycicle through the gorges and nice villages, to reach the beggining of the path.

At Weichtal hutte, I've choosen to go up on Rax through Wahthuttelkamm, a very steep ascent, with about 15 ladders, and 1000m level difference, up to the plateau. The heat is very strong and I feel very thirsty and weak. (I've drink more than 6 liters of liquids that day...)

Many via ferrata begin in this valley:

Here I've arrived on the plateau, Schneeberg in the background:

Too many directions:

True colours:

Above that ridge I went back:

On the plateau, again (many people wearing sport shoes, there is a cable car around, it remembers me Babele):

The most impressive via ferrata on this part of the alps (quoted "extreme difficult"):

This tree doesn't think ! This tree knows ! Everything !

There is more of the plateau, deserted, populated only by mountain goats (I've seen about 50 ! that day).

I went back on Hoyossteig, a via ferrata quoted A-B. I was dissapointed about its difficulty, I was worring that I don't have the via ferrata set with me, but it was useless: just hunderds of meters of cables, and some steep descents on the rock faces, a 500m wall... I even took some shortcuts there...

On this ridge it was my way up:

More ladders:

And bridges:

Than the way back, riding my bicicle with over 30km/h to catch an earlier train...
I climbed about 1800m of positive difference, and back, I did a long tour from 550m-1935m height, passing through Seehutte and he waste northern plateau. As a remark, it was my 4th time on Rax, and I have not yet reach the top of Rax, Heukuppe at 2007m... But I remember the most my last year free ride, below the cable car lines...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Stapanele (The master of the mountains)

They own the mountain !
In Rax Alpe...