Volker, an old friend of mine from Germany, visited me over the weekend. We hiked Wiggis (2282m) and Rautispitz (2283m), leaving my apartment at 6:30 in the morning and coming back 22:30 in the evening. Almost 12 hours of straight hiking in between. Beautiful weather with bright blue skies and freezing temperatures. I wisely chose two smaller peaks because we had quite some snow in the preceding weeks and I wasn't sure about the conditions on top. We had to cross some patches of snow and particularly the north faces presented quite a bit of scrambling action. It proved difficult to stay on trail sometimes because most markers were hidden below the snow and we were often the first to leave tracks.
We had one "interesting" traverse to solve. A steep section just below the peak of Wiggis to reach the ridge between Wiggis and Rautispitz. Although we met some other hikers no one dared going there. Luckily we brought crampons (thanks for borrowing Steffen!) and managed to negotiate the difficulty. A very steep slope over a ~1500m drop straight down into the valley. It's usually secured with steel cables which were now all covered with snow and unreachable. A thin layer of powder on top of a hard crust of ice. Quite a technical and psychological challenge so hats off to Volker who managed very well with little alpine experience.
In the end we totaled 2024m elevation gain and loss and a distance of around 30km. Respectable ;-)
After giving Volker the obligatory Google office tour on Sunday we went climbing in the local gym. I managed to clear a long, constantly overhanging VII UIAA route (5.10c for you Americans, 17m high, 13m overhang) while Volker flashed a lot of routes on sight, including an VIII- (5.11b).
All in all a very successful and fun weekend! ;-)