2016-11-05

Warther Horn (2256m) and wellness in Voralberg

Anita and I spent last week in the 180 souls village of Warth in Vorarlberg, Austria (skiing, not cangaroos). For the past three years we've made it a tradition to stay at a wellness hotel for a week. Originally this was borne out of me not having recovered enough to do anything else after my accident in 2013. The following year we combined it with skiing. This year Anita is a little bit handicapped, so we decided to take it easy again.

This is what it looked like when we arrived on Saturday.
And this is what we woke up to on Sunday!
Something is brewing!

It is very much out of season, so the hotel was nearly deserted. Just as well. We had half a dozen saunas, the fitness coaches, massage therapists, waiters and pools all to ourselves. Quite the luxury. I got several "Anwendungen" - even a pedicure. This was really about salvaging the wreckage of a climber's feet and a minor act of surgery. Turns out feet don't like being squeezed into tight climbing shoes and hiking boots all the time. Who would've thought?! On the bright side the massage therapist commended me for my "well developed and healthy" muscles while working on my thighs. Balm for the soul ;-)

On a stroll with the hotel owner.
Heading up the Warther Horn the next day.
See! I did work!
Lonely tracks.

Stuffing crazy amounts of food into yourself every day requires some getting used to. You start the morning with an all you can eat buffet, follow that up with the afternoon Jause consisting of various cooked meals, a selection of cakes, desserts and salads before you sit down for a five course dinner and finish with a selection of local cheeses. But humans adapt to all sorts of hardship, so we learned to cope.

Gaining the ridge.
Ridge leading up to the Karhorn. I refrained from climbing that - it's a via ferrata in summer and attempting that alone and without any gear seemed ill advised.
Summit cross!

The program of aqua fitness, stretching, yoga and guided "hikes" (small strolls really) wasn't really enough to offset all that lying around in saunas and feasting and I was itching to climb a proper mountain. So I headed up the local Hausberg, the Warther Horn. I was breaking trail as soon as I left the hotel. Once I gained the ridge I was plowing through hip deep snow. Served quite well as a proper workout.

I was following this vague hint of a trail.
Icing on the bridge.
Our living room.
I had to renew my snow angels every day - they disappeared so fast.
Still on summer tires. Oops. Most everybody else was chaining up.