2016-11-20

Fulhorn (2529m) attempt, returned from 2340m

I got blown off a mountain on Sunday. Still a bit bummed about that. Listening to the radio on the Autobahn to Graubünden: "Severe weather warning, be careful when venturing outside". Apparently gusts of wind up to 70km/h down in the valleys were expected. I could feel it even in the car. Undeterred I parked in the little village of Feldis and donned my snow shoes. It was windy, yes, but not terribly so. I figured my goal for the day, the Fulhorn, should be safe even in adverse conditions. It's mostly a long slog, but not particularly steep or exposed.

The route does cross a little spot on the map called "Windegga" though. I guess you could translate this as "windy corner". And indeed it was. The wind carved beautiful formations into the snow and blasted me with ice crystals. All fun and games so I kept breaking trail, heading for the mountain. It became more and more severe until I was staggering and leaning into the wind with all my weight. On the final steep ascent to the summit I was actually blown over and landed on my knees. This was getting a bit too exciting. Turnaround time. Just 200 meters shy of the summit.

Lonely footsteps.
My face was hurting from being sanded down by ice.
Close to my high point.

When I took off my gloves my fingers instantly turned numb. Thus no video from my high point, only from the flat approach towards the mountain. I think they still serve to convey the general idea ;-) Once I was back below the tree line the inferno I just left behind seemed very far away and surreal. The sun was out and it was almost abnormally warm for November. Up to 15°C down in the valley. Ah well. No summit today but still a fun outing and good training of 17 kilometers and 900 meters altitude through fresh snow. And when does one get to experience weather like this?! I think I can count the storms I've been in that actually pushed me around like this, let alone knock over, on one hand.

Returning home against the wind.
Looking back. I circled all around the left to reach the mountain in the center of the image.