Hochfeiler

Hochfeiler North face, tour facts: 2100m↑↓ (1500 vertical meters skiable down to ~2000m), climbing grade: snow 50°, ski level: 40-45° on hard snow.

Hochfeiler in summer - taken from "Austria alpin" ISBN-13: 9783702231743

Hochfeiler in summer – taken from “Austria alpin” ISBN-13: 9783702231743

After having had no success on this one about a month ago (weather and constitution) we decided to give it a second try the last day of may. The bivouac shelter which allows you to split the tour in 2x 1000 vertical meters was no option this time: It’s simply too crowded at mid-season.
Therefore we started at 3:00am at the “Hochfeiler Hut” parking place and did it in one push. With us were 2 other teams and 2 soloists, altogether 5 Italians and 4 Germans. The first 500m vertical in starlit night were wonderful and we had near perfect weather the whole day. The first decent down the “Grießscharte” (up to 42°) hadn’t soften up as we arrived with the first sun rays. The skiing down was a bit sketchy but no big deal at all.
The face itself was in perfect conditions: a firm snow basis and 15cm of settled powder on top. Amazing to ski down for pros who dare. – we didn’t. Two snowboarders ripped the 45°-55° terrain in fifth gear while we were still ascending. Flying next to us they were fair enough not to cut our fall line so sluff was not an issue.
After traversing the airy ridge line towards the summit we found some cold powder on the N-W face (~45°) just to hit some bad wind-affected snow a couple of seconds later. The subsequent spring snow on the “Weißkarferner” glacier was just superb all the way down to the very end.

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