The higher I walk up, the more I come down
Backcountry skiing in Kelchsau
In the city there is not only hustle and bustle in the streets but also inside my head. Though it can be nice to disappear into the crowd now and then, I am often overwhelmed. Noises from all sides strain my ears so they kind of shut down and all I can hear are muffled sounds. My eyes catch a glimpse of the passers-by and the cars, but they don’t rest on anything. A few degrees below zero feel freezing. The fresh air remains shut out, we put up with the stifling air from the heater. Thoughts jump from one item to the next on the seemingly endless to-do list
The city can be invigorating. It’s a place where lots of interesting people live side by side even though they have nothing in common. At the mountain things are different – we feel like a big community there as if bonded by this common passion which makes us like-minded. However, as so often, there must be contrasts in life, don’t you agree?
In order to not being squashed by the loudness and bustle of city life I’m seeking contrast on the mountain – or was it the other way round? I walk as long it takes my thoughts to lose their skittishness and the higher I climb the more I come down. It seems as if the peace and the serenity of nature bring order into my mind.
My first ski tour memories are linked to Kelchsau. After a short drive you find yourself far away from the hustle and bustle of the town and the tourist scrum in a valley where the options for ski tours seem endless. Whether in the “Langer Grund” valley or the “Kurzer Grund” valley – the peaks and slopes of all sorts of exposition and inclination make planning easy in winter and in spring and guarantee good snow (as long as you have some know-how). But you are hardly ever alone there. A backcountry skiing paradise such as this one doesn’t remain a secret in the facebook era. However, the terrain is so extensive and there are so many slopes that the mountain huts Erler-Brenn Hütte and Neue Bamberger Hütte are packed with ski tourers during the day you see one another only from afar. In the “Kurzer Grund” valley, around the Neue Bamberger Hütte, there are numerous rewarding destinations such as Schafsiedel, Salzachgeier, Kröndlhorn or Tristkopf. Therefore, an overnight stay at the rustic mountain hut is definitely a good idea. In the “Langer Grund” valley, the Pallspitze is a very attractive destination because it offers exciting descent options down to different valleys. Torhelm is a tip for those with an extra portion of stamina and can be done on skis until spring. Has your list of favourite ski tours just gotten longer? That’s good – (hopefully) it’s going to be a long winter.
And again, for me it has proven to be true – opposites spice up our lives! Amidst the gigantic alpine world I feel tiny and my perspective is set in place again. Spending many hours in the cold, with wind and snow, makes me really appreciate a warm oven and a steaming mug of coffee. After a lonely day outdoors in the middle of nature I look forward to a sociable evening in the mountain hut or the busy town life. One thing is less appealing without the other and loses its meaning with time. Although this rule seems to be so obvious I often have to remind myself of it anew. For example, when it is necessary to get up very early for a tour and I’d rather stay in my cosy bed or not to force yourself to a strenous tour just because it is your day off although your body is too tired. Our Kitzbühel Alps are full of contrasts – sometimes gentle, then rough, sometimes thrilling, then comfy.
Tips for tours and information on current snow and weather conditions can be found at www.tourenwelt.at or www.hohe-salve.com.
Dahoam is not a place, dahoam is a feeling. I feel at home in the mountains. For me, the Kitzbühel Alps are more versatile than almost any other mountain world. Sometimes gentle, sometimes rough, sometimes relaxed, sometimes exciting. At no time of the year is there a lack of ideas to experience something outside. And I ask myself so often, is there a more beautiful dahoam? more details