Map below shows the location, Guffert is the snowy peak in the middle of the map frame, our route was the open slopes on the south side. As always, I’m amazed at the plowed road access in the greater Innsbruck and Kitzbuhel areas of the Alps. This due to thousands of years of agriculture as well as a high population density. I’d estimate that for every alpine access road we have in, for example, Colorado, these guys have ten or twenty. Of course that means much less wild Wilderness. Me, I’d take a few more roads, though not to the extent that things over here are roaded.
Overall, after you’ve done backcountry sports in a European area such as this and seen the road mileage they have, complaining about “roading” some of the backcountry lands in the Western U.S. is laughable. What’s more, it is quite interesting to me how the mountain roads here in the Tyrol are used for what’s obviously careful timber harvesting, which in turn supports both forest materials production as well as alternative energy.
Sure, you see plenty of timber work being done in North American regions such as PNW, but the way they do it here seems more elegant in some way that I can’t quite put my finger on. Perhaps just illusion, a value judgment I’m making on “garden” forests as opposed other approaches. In any case, it all gets you thinking about the purposes of roads.
To get us back on track after the somewhat rushed day, Axel offered up a lunch of homemade wiener schnitzel. Erhard seemed to know what he was doing. The kids always show up for the schnitzel, though they did mention they liked Chick McNuggets as well. Ouch.
Check out Axel’s website and books at Bergsteigen.at, he’s got quite the publishing business going on.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.