Donnerstag, 7. März 2019

Ferrata Tripel (Seeben, Taja edge - and Coburger ferrata) - no "Mimimi" in the Mieminger mountains

Hi there! 😀

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. 

Seeben stream

Seeben waterfalls

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 made it just back to the car in the last light of day. But there was still a tiny "obstacle" before we were finally able to sleep: 
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)
Sunrise 😍
I was already grateful for my climbing shoes after the first steps because it was almost stepless but very steep. That beginning was for just a "warm up" really demanding and I was glad as the further ferrata continued a bit lighter. l even had the chance to take some pictures and enjoy the view instead of just clinging to the rock and the ropes. 

Our way up...
...and the further way.
We continued quickly after the wall register (instead of a summit register) to the real crux with difficulty D/E. 
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 proceeded quickly to the Tajakante ferrata and reached its entry at 09:30 am. The trail towards the entry at 1.850 height meters is really easy. A black "terror" lamb was more intriguing because it didn't stop to baa for over half an hour and it echoed everywhere. 

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
In the following, we had four varying hours on an extraordinaire ferrata. It included everything: overhanging and extremely exposed parts changed with comfortable walking area. There were lots of places where you could allow others to overtake and that was necessary because of the masses climbing up there. Although, I have do add that we still had been lucky. If we had started only one hour later, we would have been in a "traffic jam". 

Just hang around...
View back to the entry (arrow)

Coburger Hut and Drachensee (Dragon lake)
I had to use my rest loop several times in the heavily overhaning parts. There were no steps at all in the difficult parts and so you needed a lot of strength in your arms to get yourself up there. 

Who does need steps...?
Ehrwalder Sonnenspitze
View back to the Seebensee
Since, I had had several problems during to get my rest loop's carabiner out of the material loop during our tour on the Mittenwalder high route, I had to think of something to prevent that my backpack's waist strap blocked my way to reach the loop. The solution was extremely easy: I had just added a second carabiner in the material loop. That hung deep enough so it was not blocked by my waist strap. That way, I could reach my rest loop and my climbing equipment very comfortably. 😊

My new patent 😊
The final meters...

...are quite demanding!
We finally reached our highest goal, the Vordere Tajakopf (2.450 m) at 01:40 pm. Unfortunately, there were masses of people up there and so we only had a short break, took a few pictures and moved on.
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
Most people began to descend towards the Coburger Hütte at this point but contrary to them, DF and I ascended about one hundred height meters to reach the beginning of the Coburger ferrata. That ferrata leads directly to the summit of the Hintere Tajakopf (Rear Tajakopf). It only goes up for 90 height meters but it remains constantly in difficulty level D/E. 😱

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!? 😰
There was a young woman waiting for her boyfriend. She told us that they had only had one climbing set and that he had gone up the ferrata. She wouldn't have disturbed me at the beginning (overhang), if she had only done one step aside! 😣
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
We reached our second summit, the Hintere Tajakopf (2.409 m) only a few meters farther at 03:15 pm. I was completely finished but very proud of myself. I had mastered all those difficult ferratas! Yeah! 😊 
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
We began to descend shortly after because there were more and more clouds at the sky and we didn't want to get into a thunderstorm. The way down to the Drachensee was not too easy but also not spectacular. 
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. 

DF and I had an Apfelstrudel at the Coburger Hütte but it was so crowded and it was pure mass processing there. It was not too bad but we had already experienced much nicer and more comfortable huts on our tours. 

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 😂
We returned to our car at 08:45 pm and were completely exhausted after the distance of 14 km, we had walked in the Mieminger mountains. 

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! 

Your Katharina 

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