We set up the plan a month earlier. My friend Flo from my old rollerblading days in Austria had contacted me about this hut on the Dachstein Plateu. He had spent last Silvester there and was saying it was epic. I was convinced the moment I saw the huts picture. The area looked super promising. We would spend three days over New-years there and scoop some nice lines. The plan was solid, but mother nature had other plans.
Our ascend was supposed to be easy. I picked up Gäbs at the local Train station in Radstadt and we would take the Dachstein Gondola from the South and then just ski down to the Hut form the Glacier. A good hour at the most. But as mother nature would have it, things would not be so easy. We had a ton of supplies and thinking of “easy access” and eager to party I even took TWO backpacks. NOTE TO SELF: NEVER DO THAT AGAIN!
You see while there was 90 km/h winds at Kanin the day before (check the last post for more on that) the weather in Austria had not been any better. When we arrived at the Ramsau Tool station to the Gondola it was closed. Checking our usual weather reports and weather stations the picture we were getting was not welcoming at all. Strong winds with lots of snow for the next three days. The cable car was sure to stay closed and access over the glacier would be next to impossible.
We were close to calling it quits when we remembered that there was a plan B. If you drive to the north side of the Dachstein plateau the easiest way to access it is over the Krippenstein, known as one of our secret powder spots in this area. From the third Gondola section you can make it to the Simonyhütte in a good 3-4 hours direct. The area is full of boulders, strange rock formations, little valleys and it is truly like a being on a different planet all together.
We started off and quickly found out that the direct approach would not work at all. We would have to take the long route over another hut, the Wiesberghaus. It gave us a fallback to rest the night if conditions would prove to be to much to get to the Simonyhutte in one day as we ahd lost a good two hours driving around the Plateau to the north side.
Running low on daytime we barley made it to the to Weisberghaus. After finally eating something we had to make a decision. Press on or spend the night here. The hut was quite packed with all the people wanting to get to Simonyhütte for a nice Silvester. Even the Hutmanager descended to make sure we were all safe. He told us to use our better judgement and all head up in a caravan of 15 or so in the morning. It was just to dangerous and the snowfall had increased to mega-dump levels. We were not keen on risking our lives in that kind of extreme expedition before New-years and stayed the night. Still our vote was quite close.
We got up at 5 AM in the morning. And boy was I glad we did not press on. Around 70 cm to 1 m had fallen over night. The temps were in the -17 range and it was still snowing. It took our brave group of extreme mountaineers around 4 hours to reach the hut. Happy that we arrived we were looking forward to the party ahead. But first we had to get a few face shots. It was so deep. That is how every last day of a year should be spent. Neck deep in fluffy pow!
And the party was epic to. With only a fraction of the whole number of people at the hut it was definitely one of the best once in quite a while. The friends, the intimate atmosphere, it was all just the way it should be, far away from the noisy cities where tons of rockets would be going off. With that said we did bring our own fireworks 🙂
But that would not be the end of my new years adventure trip. After descending on the next day Gabi and I would head to DLiftlaOim to check out the private fun park our friends made in front of their house somewhere further north in Bavaria.