Alpspitz (1943m)

The avalanche risk is at "considerable" level, so I settle for a quick and easy snow shoe trip at low altitude with a Southerly approach. Most everybody else is away skiing, making this a solo trip. I drive to Vaduz, the capital of Lichtenstein, and head up the Alpspitz. You can take the car almost two thirds of the way up the mountain, but I consider that cheating and start all the way down in the valley. As a result, I have the entire trail to myself. I reach the summit around noon. My original plan was to continue along the ridge to the neighboring Helwangspitz. I make it half way there before a sign stops my progress: this is a wildlife refuge during the winter months. I knew this going in, but on my map it looked as if the protected area would start below the ridge instead of right on it. Ah well. I briefly consider continuing North along a different ridge, but that is a much harder trail, much steeper and more exposed and the early afternoon snow is dangerously soft and slippery. Turn around time. Still a very nice trip and a good start of the season - really looking forwards for the weather to improve and to start the climbing and mountaineering season in earnest ;-)

~17km, ~1400m up and down

Säntis in the distance.
Cool hut with a cool tree house...
...and an even cooler view!
Alpspitz summit.
Vaduz in the Rhine valley.
I had the summit all to myself.
Mine are the only tracks...
...and this is why. Too dangerous to continue in bad snow.
Looking back along the ridge to the Alpspitz.

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