Gehren Ridge

Gehren Ridge

Austrian Alps

Route: The Gehren Ridge

Area: Austrian Alps

Date of walk: 1st July 2015

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 8.9 miles

Asceent: 2,500 feet

Weather: sun and blue skies, hottest day of the year in this area

When we arrived in Lech a couple of days ago, we’d picked up a hiking guide at the Tourist Information Centre and our attention was caught by ‘a difficult hike’ starting from a lake, leading over a mountain ridge, and ending at another lake. Today’s agenda was decided

On another glorious morning, we took the bus out of Lech as far as Spullersee lake and after walking round the shore for a short distance headed uphill through Alpine meadows. After a while we reached a plateau at the foot of the steep climb up to the Gehren Ridge. This looked very intimidating seen from below and proved to be quite a challenge. As we gained height there were steep drops by the zigzagging path – not vertical drops but steep enough to make no difference to one’s life span in the event of a fall. This didn’t bother Gilly, who was humming tunes from the Sound of Music as we scrambled up the path

Eventually we emerged onto the ridge, and the views from here were awe inspiring – an array of snow covered peaks in all directions. We descended down a steep path to a unique area known as The Sea of Stones, well known to geologists for its ancient fossils – up to 200 million years old. This was tough terrain to cross as we hopped from rock to rock following a well waymarked route

Eventually the Freiburger hut came into view, where refreshments are on offer, but we were short of time and had to hurry past the hut, round Formarinsee Lake and along to the bus stop in order to get back to Lech

It had been an amazing walk – very hard in the intense heat, and with some steep climbs and descents and one or two worrying moments – but one that we shall never forget

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