Monday, 26 December 2011

Trails from the Vienna Woods

The weather today was fine for the time of year, the day following Christmas Day (Boxing Day it's called in the UK) so I packed my rucksack and took a tram to the Danube.

I started my run from the so-called Gateway to Vienna which is marked by a pair of upstream facing lions mounted on a bridge. One lion is hidden by a tree.

I ran out of Vienna along the riverside path to the village of Kahlenbergdorf and then turned left into the Vienna Woods. My run, at a gentle pace, took 2 hours 30 mins.

Quite a few runners, mountain bikers and walkers were on the trails. Normally at this time of year you'd expect to encounter snow. It hasn't arrived yet.

River Danube and the Gateway to Vienna

The first hill is steeper than it looks

Vogelsangberg or Birdsong Mountain

Descending a path to Grinzing

Ascending a path from Grinzing

On the last hill a telescope

Trails are clearly waymarked and signed
Path number 4 goes from Spain to Hungary

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Bob Graham Round - Running in the Clouds by Maurizio Malagnini

Earlier this year the Italian composer Maurizio Malagnini and BBC's Radio 4 visited the English Lake District. The composer was there to capture the atmosphere of the Lake District at first hand and also to meet Lakeland's best known fell runner the legendary Joss Naylor.

The programme also followed the fate of two runners who were attempting the demanding 24 hour challenge known as the Bob Graham Round.

Malagnini subsequently composed an inspiring piece titled: "Running in the Clouds". It will premier in Kendal, the gateway to the Lakes, in early 2012. A link to the 30 minute radio programme titled "The Bob Graham Round" is here.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Slow run in the snow

This was my last opportunity of 2011 to bag an Austrian summit.

The mountain in question was the High Schrott. And although I decided to turn back about 300 meters below the summit the outing was still worth the effort as I thoroughly enjoyed the fresh air, the exercise and the scenery.

There was quite a bit more walking than running because of the deteriorating underfoot conditions on the higher slopes. The snow was nearly up to my knees when I called it a day.

I descended to the river valley and found the lane leading to the train station.

an early view from the lower path

my goal

the higher waymarked path

the weather closing in

my footprints . . . trail shoes now full of snow

time to return to the valley

and back to the station

Saturday, 26 November 2011

After the fog

I have a rule. I don't run in fog. So it was great to get out into the sunshine after a whole week of foggy days spent twiddling my thumbs. I decided on a longish run with a few hills thrown in.

I took my rucksack and some extra clothing. This turned out to be a smart move. It was quite breezy and with the wind chill factor taken into account it was almost freezing, and especially more so by the time the sun was setting. You can see traces of an earlier frost, left over from the foggy days, on the forest path in the second photo down.

The first photo shows where I left the road. I took the path to the left. The second photo is the trail leading to the radio mast (see third photo). That was the highest point of the run. From there it was downhill to the village of Kahlenbergdorf and the pub (fourth and fifth photos). At the pub I had a bowl of soup.

I then jogged to the village of Grinzing using a trail through the local vineyards. I reached the s-Bahn train station just before twilight. Forty minutes later I was back home.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

A Lake District Run

3 mature gentlemen (?) and a much older mountain; maybe it's the best route to a glass of ale at Coniston's Sun Inn.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Hoch Wechsel training run

Much of the following run uses the (east-west) high level long-distance path over the Austrian Alps.

From the village of Mönichkirchen (1004 mtrs) my run took me up a ski slope for about 1 km. I then turned left onto a woodland trail signed Studentenkreuz (1182 mtrs).

The Student's Cross marks the place where a 15-year old boy was fatally wounded in a hunting accident in the 19th century. Nearby there was a large stone marking the spot where a policeman was murdered in the mid-1920's.

It was a straighforward run along a forest path up to the fellside and the first summit, Vorauer Schweig (1589 mtrs). Here a mountain walker was kind enough to take my photograph at the last signpost. From now on I would have to navigate using red and white markers painted on rocks and boulders. Note the blue sky.

By the time I was halfway to the next summit, the Hoch Wechsel, which would be the highest point on the run at 1743 mtrs, the clag was swirling in on a cold wind over the eastern shoulder of the mountain. I was glad to have brought my rucksack containing warm clothing.

At the summit I emerged once more into sunshine and was able to take a couple of photos showing a small church and a cross marking the border of Lower Austria and Styria. Then it was back into the fog and a return to Vorauer Schweig. From there I climbed a path to my 3rd summit, Nieder Wechsel (1669 mtrs), and back into the clouds.

I ran along the ridge and descended the steep Steierne Stiege, which appeared to be the remnants of an old waterfall course, and soon found myself back in the sunshine.

I stopped for a coffee at the nearby Hallerhaus (1350 mtrs) and then jogged back down to the village.

24 kms with 1,000 mtrs of ascent.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

A Vienna Woods training run

A gentle run in the Vienna Woods
30th October 2011