DF and I had a very "relaxed" end for this June - we had a nice tour to Ehrwald (Tyrol). 😂
Since the weather forecast had sounded more than promising, we had decided to start towards Tyrol at the 29th of June 2018. We had started extremely early to avoid the typical holiday traffic jams but we did not succeed that much. There had been a bad accident in the building site close to Würzburg (where else?) and it had resulted a the most wonderful full closure on earth. 😑 We somehow managed to get off the highway and continued our way over small roads and through dreamily little villages until we finally reached the highway A7 towards Kempten. What a beginning...!
We were able to drive the rest of the route without any further disturbances so we reached our parking place close to the Ehrwalder Alm ("Ehrwalder alp") around 07:00 pm. It had become a routine to prepare the car for night so we still had more than enough time to explore next day's trail a little bit.
We intended to go up the Seeben ferrata, the Tajakante (Taja edge) ferrata and the Coburger ferrata and didn't want to lose time right at the beginning.
|Seeben falls (arrow) and the rough curse of the ferrata (yellow line)|
We went to the Gaisbach ("Gais stream") und walked up 200 height meters until we reached the entry of the Seeben ferrata.
There is one point at the stream where the trail splits into two: The signs try to lead you along the left trail towards the ferrata. I suggest to go right towards the Hohe Gänge (High ways) even if it's a bit steeper and go left right after the upsurge. That version is much shorter.
We reached the entry about 45 min later. The Seebenbach ("Seeben stream") rushed down to the valley right next to us. It was filled by the impresseive Seebenfall ("Seeben waterfall") above us.
I was scared a lot by looking at the ferrata for the first time. I had not done any ferratas harder than difficulty D until then and short parts with difficulty E had been pure torture for me. And they had never been in the Alps and mostly without my heavy backpack on my back.
Accordingly, I had to gulp down my fear as I looked at the steep and even walls of the Seeben ferrata in front of me. I had quarreled with myself so far if I had to wear climbing shoes or not - but I decided it directly after looking at those walls.
DF couldn't resist and climbed the first meters without climbing set and his trail running shoes. It is sometimes very depressing when you go your way with him...😅
|Entry Seeben ferrata|
We had just made ourselves comfortable under our blankets in the trunk when a firefly (!) flew inside and just glowed its way. We were busy to get the poor thing out of the car for the next time. After that, we were finally able to sleep...
The alarm rang at 04:00 am (😵). We finished the final preparations and started at 04:50 am to the entry of the Seeben ferrata, which was supposed to bring us upwards for the following 250 height meters.
|Morning panorama with the Daniel (left) and the Zugspitz mountains (right)|
|Our way up...|
|...and the further way.|
The ledge was not too hard to climb thanks to a transversal gap in the rock but the following overhang was very demanding. I had to use my rest sling several times to catch some breath and to look for the best way up.
At 07:35 am, it was finally done! I had mastered the Seeben ferrata! Since I had doubted to be able to make it at all, I was quite content with myself. DF "floated" his way up without almost any securing - did you expect anything else?
|DF at the Seeben ferrata|
|Right below the crux...😱|
I changed back into my hiking shoes and they felt like heaven compared to my very tight climbing shoes. 😁
A little trail lead over the Seeben stream towards the Seebenalm ("Seeben alp") at 1.566 m.
We got into a conversation with the inn keeper. He confirmed that it was a good choice to pick the Immensteig ("Immen trail") for the descent, since the Hohe Gänge were a lot more demanding. A man would have fallen into death only a year before. I only knew the Hohe Gänge from an ascent and the pure thought of having to go down on those, was very unsettling. It calmed me down to hear the same conclusion from a local.
We took a short break to put on some sun protection before we proceeded on a broader trail towards the Seebensee ("Seeben lake"). We arrived there very early and so we had a wonderful view. It can hardly be put into words how wonderful it was to look at the shimmering, clear lake where the Ehrwalder Sonnenspitze was reflected. 😍
|Seebensee panroma with the Ehrwalder Sonnenspitze|
|Seebensee with Zugspitz mountains|
We took a short refreshment before we put on our climbing equipment again. I did not change into my climbing shoes this time. I wanted to master the Tajakante in my usual hiking boots!
Our goal was the Vordere Tajakopf (Front Tajakopf) at 2.450 m and it was still high above our heads. We couldn't imagine what was lying ahead of us. When does one climb such long ferratas?
The beginning was already quite demanding with difficulty B/C and C - and it worked as a deterrent for climbers who were too cooky. I exerienced it as rather relaxing right after the Seeben ferrata. 😅
|Beginning Taja edge|
|Just hang around...|
|View back to the entry (arrow)|
|Coburger Hut and Drachensee (Dragon lake)|
|Who does need steps...?|
|View back to the Seebensee|
|My new patent 😊|
|The final meters...|
|...are quite demanding!|
The Tajakanta ferrata was all in all a big event because it varied a lot and you had amazing view while climbing. I wouldn't suggest it for beginners because the climber is awaited by a lot of heavy parts with difficulty D and even one part with difficulty D/E. The brutal length is it in the end what might demoralize one or another.
The descent to the Vordere Tajatörl (Front Taja green) was really nasty - very steep and full of gravel in the part below. As we finally reached the Törl, we had the luck to watch a paraglider starting. She and her boyfriend had carried their paragliding equipment all the way up the ferrata (!!!) so they could descend to the Törl and start from there. What a performance! 😮 If you two will ever read these lines, I hope you made it down to the valley safe and sound. 😉
|Interesting rocks in the Vordere Tajatörl|
And one shall not forget that I had already two ferratas "in my arms". I was scared a lot if I would be able to make it at all. I realized at the first view that the brackets for the cable were rather far away from each other. That meant that one would fall wide and deep if one might lose hold at a stupid part. That thought was not very calming...
|Coburger ferrata - the mean final!? 😰|
I made me way up, slow but steady and right at the moment when I realized that I needed a break and wanted to get my rest loop, the before mentioned boyfriend showed up above me and even climbed towards me?! That much to me short break - and the place where I stood/hung was definitely not made to make another climber pass. I also did not want and couldn't climb back, so I hadn't much of a choice.
If you asked me afterwards how I made my way up, I have to admit that I do not know it anymore. It was a mixture between stubbornness and despair.
As a matter of fact, I climbed up next to that guy and made my way up without any break. I had to wait for DF after that. He had to wait for the approaching guy. And I reaaaally needed that break...😅
|DF at the end of the Coburger ferrata|
|View back to the Vordere Tajakopf with lots of gravel|
DF and I were all alone at the Hintere Tajakopf. We could watch the masses descending from the Vordere Tajakopf while we were eating our cookies completely in peace. We also took our time to write an entry in the summit register and put away our climbing equipment.
|Three Stoffel at the Hintere Tajakopf|
The Drachensee was very impressive - it changed it colours everytime when wind and light just changed the slightest bit. One couldn't take the pictures quick enough because of all the different impressions.
We walked on to the Immensteig at 05:45 pm so we could get down in the valley. The broad way to the Ehrwalder Alm would have been a lot easier but it also meant a detour of more than an hour. The trail has some secured parts with ropes but it's not too hard to walk on. It gets a lot easier as soon as you pass a very striking tree in the woods. 😋
|Striking tree at the Immensteig 😂|
|Ehrwalder cable car station with sunset|
Conclusion for the tour:
I wouldn't suggest the tour for ferrata beginners. You need some experience, strength in your arms, stamina and balance! Whoever brings along those components will have a great time on those three ferratas.
The tour was very demanding and one should not make the mistake and assume that you make a lot of way only because you're at the ferratas all the time. I suggest to start as early as possible to avoid the "traffic jams".
Even if I was not sure at first, I was very grateful for my climbing shoes at the Seeben ferrata. I made the right decision on that one and they had made it a lot easier for me.
My patent combining the two carabiners had worked without any problems. I had never any problems to get my rest loop at the rope or back.
Apropos rest loop, it was worth its weight in gold - and that became clear to me after that tour! My rest loop is holy!
And that tour taught me that I am capable of a lot more than I expected. I had been sooo scared of the difficult ferratas and I passed with flying colours according to DF. I realized that I just need time sometimes to see what lies ahead. 😃
See ya 'til the next mischieve!