Our second day of hiking in the northwest Stubai, the Sellrain Alps.
Today we hiked from the Schweinfurter Hütte up and over the Zwieselbachjoch and down to the Winnebachsee Hütte.
Monday 1 August – Winnebachsee Hütte
It’s like groundhog day where we go down to the dining room for a breakfast of yogurt, granola, ham, cheese, bread, juice, and coffee, and make sandwiches for lunch from the breakfast buffet. We returned to our room after breakfast to finish packing. After retrieving our shoes/boots and poles from the schuhraum (shoe room) we started walking up the road into the Zweiselbachtal (Zweisel creek valley).
The road passed through a farm where they were setting up refreshments, and then continued up the valley for perhaps a mile. After the road end the trail climbed over a small hill into a flat grassy valley with a view toward a small glacier near the head of the valley. The trail mostly paralleled the Horlachbach (stream).
The trail climbed gently through the upper portion of the valley, and then more steeply through talus. We gained a series of ridges with increasing views of the route ahead.
We passed through more talus and gained more elevation until we could see the Zwiselbachjoch where we would cross over the top. The trail continued to climb, steeply at times, but never requiring climbing and there were no cables.
We ascended one last hill before we were able to just walk up to the 2,868m Zwieselbachjoch. From the saddle there were several prominent glaciers visible, including a large one to the southeast.
We could also see what I believe was the Wildespitze over in the Ötztals, the second highest peak in Austria.
A number of people had gathered here and were singing/chanting, so we took a few pictures and headed down the trail. Shortly, the trail became super steep and required caution to avoid slipping and sliding on loose dirt and rocks. But once past this section, it was a nice walk all the way down through grassy valleys. Stopped to snack on a crispy waffle that Allan’s aunt had made – Wunderbar!
The rest of the walk was scenic but noneventful. The large glacier we saw earlier was no longer visible from our lower elevation, however there was a large waterfall further down from the glacier’s melting snow/ice, and we found the hut located right next to it.
We went inside to check in.
I had requested a two-person room, but they had been clear in email there was no guarantee. Unfortunately they said it was impossible. After not sleeping well in last night’s 8-person shared room, I was looking forward to having our own room. They must’ve seen the disappointment on my face, and offered us a small “family room” instead, with 4 beds. This was a great little room with a pair of lower and a pair of upper side-by-side beds (effectively forming upper and lower double-beds), and a bench on which to sit at the foot of the lower beds.
We unpacked a little, and then sat out on the terrace to enjoy a drink. Allan had a bier (beer), but I again had an apfelsaft. We went back up to the room to relax before dinner. Came down to the dining room to play uno before dinner. We were seated with 4 people from the Netherlands who had completed their 4-yr degrees and would now be working on their masters degrees. Dinner was a “salad” (which did not look good to me), goulash with spatzle (actually just cooked macaroni), and an apricot-filled warm pastry.
After dinner we chatted and played a few games of uno, finally leaving the dining room after 10pm. Woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of rain.