The place was a buzz with the 52k race going on just below the hut. Dozens of racers could be seen winding their way up the valley towards the mountains. We quickly left that scene behind us as we immediately took to the cables behind the hut and climbed up the rocks to the trail.
The trail ascended steeply through scree for three hours. A nice diversion from our labor was the sight of many chamois grazing on the meager grass. Their young were leaping and jumping and quite oblivious to our presence.
Finally the slipping and sliding was finished and we arrived at the pass, the Schlauchkarattel. Just above is the Birkkarspitz which we contemplated climbing, but decided to just have a snack and press on as we had miles to go before days end. Now the real slipping and sliding began. We descended hanging on to cables for 150 meters. This is a very wide open, scree filled bowl and just when we thought the descent was over another bowl would appear below us.
Little streams were spilling off the mountain and crossing the trail. One of those streams formed the perfect dipping pool for hot feet and legs. We couldn’t resist and were greatly refreshed after our brief “swim”. Eventually the bottom of the mountain was reached and we emerged into peaceful meadow.
We had refreshments at Kastenalm before climbing again. This time a rainstorm was imminent so we hurryed up a very steep gravel road toward Hallerangerhaus. We lost the rain race and got soaked. We were a little apprehensive about walking into the Alm as we were dripping wet. The hostess welcomed us and soon we were having a delicious meal in the company of three Germans.