Salewa GET VERTICAL at Ötztal
The combination of ice and rock in Obergurgl composes a fabulous space for everyone that strives to extend his limits. The second episode of Salewa GET VERTICAL accompanied ten mountaineers from all over Europe to the area where they belong to – the area of rasping glaciers and wild peaks.
© Anton Brey
We met for the first time at our venue destination Obergurgl. Ten participants, two journalists, a photo and film team, the mountain guides and some motivated Salewa employees came together to get to know each other. I guess the “ice” in the group broke when we started to distribute all the equipment. Everyone was excited to put on the mountaineering outfit and to step on the rough glacier ice with crampons and ice axe.
© Anton Brey
We broke up early the next day to reach the “Ramolhaus” on 3006m above the sea level. It is a small German Alpine Club mountain refuge hut close to the “Gurgler Glacier”. On our way to the hut Mario, the local mountain guide, explained us the area and its specifics in order to be prepared for the upcoming days. Such insider knowledge is of relevant importance as it’s crucial to understand the essentials about the environment including wind, weather, temperature, and the characteristics of the terrain and the rock.
When we reached the “Ramolhaus” at about noon, everybody could figure out typical specialties like “Speckknödel” for lunch. The energy-rich food was necessary to prepare us for the afternoon, where we planned to reach the “Ramolferner” to climb upon the north “Ramolkogel” on 3427m. No sooner said than done, we were standing on the peak at about 15:30 o’clock. We already had a familiar spirit when we were celebrating our first peak with a lot of chocolate. The experience from the first day was essential for the next day when we had even bigger plans. Some of us had a swim at a nearby mountain lake before we came back to the hut to prepare our basecamp for the night out under the stars.
© Anton Brey
As the early night was a little bit foggy, we were happy about the blue skies in the morning. We woke up at about 5 o’clock to take down our camp and to head towards the “Gurgler Glacier”. To get there we had to cross the 142m long and 100m high Piccard Bridge that connects both sides of the valley. The bridge was build due the fact that the glacier, as a natural connection, molt down in the last 15 years. Building a bridge was the only way to guarantee a safe pace.
Two hours later, we were far away from civilization, buildings and even paths. For the second time we put on our crampons to use the glacier as the fastest connection between the last 100m of the mountain and us. To leave heavy stuff behind, we built a small material resort when we reached the bottom of the final climbing passage to the “Hochwilde” summit on 3480m. The view at the peak was outstanding, we stood there for 30 minutes before turning back towards the “Langtaler Ferner”. After a steep step down onto the glacier, we started to follow Gabriel, the second mountain guide, through the labyrinth of crevasses.
© Anton Brey
Then in the middle of the ice we stopped for an hour to train our glacier and rescue skills. Again, Gabriel showed his hands on experience in recovering fallen mountaineers from crevasses. After he build a belay, it only took him about two minutes to finish the job. The most important fact about his knowledge is the constant training, repeating every single rescue situation constantly over time is the key to success.
After the training, we started our hike down to the “Langtalereckhütte” on 2450m. The two hours of descent on top of a long mountaineering day suck out the endmost energy of most of us. We were happy to celebrate another great day after we moved into our room at the “Langtalereckhütte” in the evening. We were talking and discussing about mountains, food and relationships until midnight when we finally went to bed.
© Anton Brey
I guess most of us had heavy legs (and heads) in the morning of the following day. Fortunately, our mountain guide Mario planned an easy hike down through the “Zirbenweg” to Obergurgl. We reflected upon the time we spent together, we talked about now and then, glaciers and peaks until we reached the “Zirbenalm” where we came together one last time to have lunch. At the end, the group of mountaineer collected many GET VERTICAL moments, which will be told in various future late night hut conversations. Thereby we reached the highest achievement. Thank you for everyone involved, it was a blast!
(Cover Image: © Anton Brey)
© Simon Kreutz
Guest Author Simon Kreutz
The best ‘things’ in life aren’t ‘things’ the best ‘things’ in life are experiences – That is what I belief – it is what encourages me to be a person living a life dedicated to outdoors.
This attitude supports my profession to design outstanding events that are connected to activities and to the life on mountains.
Ranging from top modern to rustic style!
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