26 - Mar - 2018
from Hannes Heigenhauser

Powder and Firn

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After meeting my colleague Katja by chance at the Arlberg winter via ferrata it was clear that we still had to go on tour together this winter. Last weekend the time had come and together we did the ski tour to Kaltenberg. The ski tour and the whole weekend were a dream and I am already looking forward to the next ski tours in spring!

With one of the first gondolas we leave the car park Alpe Rauz in the direction of Albonagrat. A little behind the restaurant on the Albonagrat, we attach the skins on our skis for the first time and climb up to Maroispitze. After about 20 minutes we have reached the summit cross and see the Albonakopf in full splendour.

For me it is always unbelievable that some freeriders actually descend from this steep flank.

Behind the Albonakopf we can already see the summit hill of the Kaltenberg in far distance. We descend below the Albonakopf and make our first turns in the snow. At about 2,000 meters the descent is over and we put the skins back on. The ascent up to the Kaltenberg takes another 2 hours from here, almost 900 vertical meters have to be mastered.

In the bright sunshine we ascend through alpine terrain. To our left we can see the mighty walls and peaks of the Wildebene, Gstanskopf and Gstansjöchli. On the right side the Krachelgrat blocks the view up.
And we... right in the middle of it.

At first it goes slowly uphill before we reach the final climb up to the ski depot. The last half hour we go up to the ski depot in Spitzkehren, where we leave our skis and climb the last few metres to the summit on foot. The passage is secured with a rope, but you still have to be sure-footed and absolutely free from vertigo if you want to reach the summit cross. At the summit we enjoy the fantastic view to Zürs and Lake Constance.

"With each summit the to-do list for the next tours gets longer",
I think so at every summit here at the Arlberg.

After a short rest on the summit we descend to our skis and get ready for the descent. The first tourers have already skied the summit slope, but there is enough space for swings in the untouched powder snow. After the first turns Katja screams of joy, so skiing is fun!

At the foot of the summit slope we briefly consider how we should continue. Down to Langen, or into the Verwalltal Valley? After a short discussion we decide to go to Verwalltal Valley in the hope that the sun has not yet formed a lid on the surface. Already after the first slopes we know that our decision was right... We are the first to descend and can fully enjoy every swing.

At the end of the day we will stop at the Ferwall restaurant, where we will have a pleasant break and look back on the day. There are plenty of possibilities for the next ski tours in spring.

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