currently living in Kleinwalsertal, Austria.
Widderstein P.2360 mountain tour, 2015-07-03
However, things don't always turn out as planned. At 9:30, as we had finally reached the saddle after 2½ hours of sweaty approach - it was one of the warmest mornings of the year - we noticed how the few, small white clouds were now accumulating vertically. Another look at the forecast - and there it was. A strong thunder alert for all day, starting at 10 am. Where did that come from? Hasn't been a sign, neither from the most trusted weather app nor from yesterday's evening sky... Also, thunder never starts that early :-( But well, never mind. To be honest we'd be too slow even if we had until lunchtime.
Taking a pause to acclimatize to the idea of turning around, we spotted the summit cross on the hill above Widdersteinhütte. It would be less than 100 altitude meters extra - on the way down, anyway. With the new, less ambitious goal set we headed down. We only needed to open the first aid kit twice on the way there... Mind the loose rock!
The small summit has no name, at least not on any of the maps covering this area. There is a name written on the summit cross, but we sadly don't remember it. Anyway, this might be a good alternative to the excessively crowded Widderstein on busy summer days like these. Because this is a proper mountain tour, reserved for climbers and ambitious technical hikers. One climbs a short but steep scree slope, easy to belay with slings, and finishes off with a horizontal ridge to the summit. Not extreme in any way, but exposed. It is manageable without rope for the sure-footed. We opted to tie in to get some additional practice with a belay device that had littered our equipment shelf for a couple of years and never been used. Arrived at the summit we could see the clouds gather ominously. Not a good time for a pause...
Although rain was in the air as we passed Widdersteinhütte, there wasn't any drama this day. The thunder eventually came in at 7 pm - hopefully plenty of time to let everyone come home safely.