The Tschirgant is a massive mountain in the Inntal Valley that runs parallel along the Inn river from Motz to Imst. I have always wanted to hike it ever since I first came to Austria, and today we finally did it!
I attempted to do a bit of research to find what route to take… where to park and so on… but the websites that I eventually stumbled on were terrible! (and in German) And it seemed as though everyone we asked just knew someone ELSE who had done it… which led us to wonder how many people have actually done it… there probably has only ever been like 100 people to hit the summit!!
So with the combined information from both random people and websites, we set off from the Karrosten Parking lot at 9:30. We hit the Karrosten Alm around 10:45… and followed the sign off to the left. another 1.5hours later we made it to the treeline. And this is were the sketchy fun began. SNOW!
There were a couple of times that I got a bit freaked out… but we all had “summit fever” and just pressed on. To be fair, we were following 2 sets of fresh tracks… one pair of footprints… and one snowshoe track. I think if these weren’t there, we would’ve turned around. BUT we followed those tracks blindly like lemmings… And when we hit the hut at the base of the top, we ran into ‘snowshoe guy’ who was actually a member of the Bergwachte… He took one look at us, our lack of gear and showshoes, and laughed in our faces! Fair enough. He asked why we didn’t go up the EASY, non-snow route?! …dammit.
So thank goodness we bumped into him… definitely saved us from having to down the way we came up! He also gave us pointers on how to get up to the cross, only a further 200m… he told us where to go and that the dog would TOTALLY make it, because “he has 4 legs, so he has better odds of doing it than humans do”. Well buddy, you were SO wrong!
We skirted the base of the cliff, over a STEEP snow chute… to what amounted to an actual cliff-climb. Matti went up first, and Tomba tried to follow him. No chance. The poor dog started to whimper and bark… and Lisa and I felt super uncomfortable. Matti didn’t want to come back down the same way because he was so sketched out… so Lisa and I coaxed Tomba to go back to the Bergwachte Hutte and wait for Matti to come back down another way.
I was so nervous the entire time Matti was on the cliff… It really was horrible to sit at the hut and worry. Next time we do a hike we will ensure that the group ALWAYS stays together. We were certainly lucky that nothing happened… Matti said that it was the most scared that he has ever been.
8.5 hours later, we were at the car again… It was an awesome day! Not sure that I would do this particular hike again, but I am happy to check it off my list. And I am so proud of Matti for joining us… although I think he will be a bit sore for a couple of days ;)
Binx Tips For Next Time:
- Leave early and try to be on the trail around 7am. You miss the heat of the day, and still have enough time at the end of the day to chill.
- Drive up as far as you can!!! I think we wasted about 3 hours just getting to the trailhead :(
- Hiking poles. My knees are sooooo sore!
- Extra socks. Stupid snow.
- BUDDY SYSTEM! Make sure the group always stays together or in pairs.