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.

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