Austria

Sulzl Alp

It was a Sunday morning and Jon and I joined Gustav doing a recce in Lechtal. We drove to Weissenbach where we parked Gustavs car and then set off up river.

Never one to take the easy route, Gustav had us cycling up and down the valley sides and even included a 400 meter vertical climb from Elbigenalp up and round the Geierwally round route. This included a very steep climb in to the side valley, an interesting section of single trail and a fast and furious descent.

In Stockach we turned off once again and cycled up to the Sulzl Alp at 1480 meters. The route is partly in tunnels cut into the cliff face and very steep.

After a Russ to drink we set off back down in to Lechtal and then back down river to the car.

95 kms with about 1300 meters of climbing and descent. No wonder my legs hurt!

The picture on the left shows the route up through the tunnel. You can see black "windows" which are broken out from the tunnel. The photo on the right shows us leaving a part of the tunnel.

Gappenfeldalpe

Today was the local sports festival and the rest of the family were off sporting so I decided to cycle over and see them taking the long route.

From Nesselwang to Pfronten and then through the Ach Valley up to the Tannheimer Valley. Once I reached Haldensee I was nice and warm for the long climb up to the Gappenfeldalpe. The higher you go the better the views until just before the Alp you can see in to the Lech Valley and back across the tannheim Valley.

After a well deserved drink I set off back down. One puncture later I was back in the Tannheim valley and followed it to Unterjoch. From there I followed the Wertach back to Oy and the sports festival. Having watched various family members in action, I cycled back to nesselwang.

77 kms and about 1300 meters of climb

Neue Füssener Hütte

Once again it was time for a Sunday tour with the cycling group. We had discussed doing a very long tour into Austria but as the weather reports were not good decided to settle for this tour which is "only" 70 kilometres! Due to various other commitments there were only 8 of us ready to go at 08:00 but at least there was no sign of the promised rain.

Following our normal route through, Pfronten we were quickly at the Austrian border and then followed the Vils and Lech river valleys until Musau where we turned up the valley of the Sababach. The beginning was steep but it flattened out after a few kilometres. As in most hanging valleys, the views just got better the further up the valley we travelled. Two mountains, Köllenspitze and Gimpel, towered above us on the left side and reminded me of the times when Alison and I climbed to the summit of the Gimpel before the children were born.

We cycled past the Musauer Alm and continued on up to the end of the track at the Neue Füssener Hütte. Here we enjoyed a well earned beer and a chance to enjoy the surrounding mountains. Actually it was a little too cold to be comfortable at 1550 meters so we quickly retired into the hut.

Rejuvenated, we put on all the clothes we had with us for the descent. As always it was fantastic fun. The track was very fast with lots of loose gravel curves. Who needs bungee jumping?

Once back in the Lech valley we formed up for the trip home. A strong head wind made us glad to have Jon and Gustav up front creating a wind shadow for the rest of us. Before Pfronten the promised rain arrived so we went via the Kögelhof for another drink and to wait for the rain to stop which it eventually did allowing us to cycle back home to warm baths.

Neill Hogarth | neill@hogarth.de | www.hogarth.de