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Traversing the Alps - Daily Diary - Vienna to Nice
Next week March 11th , I'm doing the Classic Haute Otzal route, basically
touring from Obergurgl in Southern Tyrol and hopefully ending up some 60
miles away in Ischgl after dropping off down into Italy - of course very
much depending on weather conditions.
The huts on average are at an altitude of around 2000 mts - each day we will
be climbing from them and maybe tackling one or two summits at around 3,450
mts then descending back down to the next hut in our traverse across the
Otzal Alps - majority of all the terrain above 2,800 is glacier.
The tour is part of a much bigger expedition, where a good friend / guide is
traversing the Alps from Vienna to Nice over the course of two seasons - you
can read his daily updates most days at
http://www.alptraverse.com/proj2006/ - majority of his "guests" over the
traverse are skiers, but we will be on boards next week (March 11th) - and
we've been boarding / touring with him, mainly in and around La Grave for
the past 10 years or so.
The daily updates, when possible, make for a good daily read whilst stuck in
As for kit we use Alpine Ski Touring boots which are very flexible and are
extremley light take crampons etc for the final summit ridge hikes - then a
couple of us will be using a Burton and Voile splitboards - however these
are heavy boards - but at least when climbing up by skining up you will not
be carrying your board - I use small approach skis that are 90cms long and
quite wide - they are very light and have Dynafit lite touring bindings -
the logic being that unlike a split, on the flat I can "skate" along - but
again depends on snow conditions - the negative is that its hard work as
they do not have enough surface area to make tracks in fresh powder - but
hey the guide is usually in front making the tracks whilst skinning up!
And hey....."Lifts are for Pussies anyway"