08 April 2012

Winter Wonderland

Today, it snowed, and snowed, and then it snowed some more.  Which at least was an improvement from yesterday's rain, and instead of shades of gray, we had shades of white today.  When I woke up this morning, pulled back the curtain, and looked out the window, and all I could see was a white swirling mass, I contemplated pulling the down comforter back up over my head and staying in bed a little longer.

After a good cup of coffee and breakfast, however, I decided to get out there and enjoy the park.  I had one destination in mind, the Gerlos Pass, a high Alpine pass between Salzburg and Tyrol. The point of driving to the pass, was not to see the pass, but to find the Leitenkammerklamm, a gorge, where a mountain river has cut through the rocky landscape on the side of the mountain, creating many beautiful "Kolken and eluviations," or so the guide book promised.

As I drove up into the mountains the snow got heavier and heavier, and before I knew it, I broke through the clouds to a little winter paradise.  I had arrived at the Gerlos Pass, ele. 1500m, where the snowfall was much lighter, but it was still covered with several meters of snow, not only the new powder of today's snowfall, but an accumulation of several months of snow.

I think this photo of the Finkau Restaurant and Guesthouse, if rendered as a painting could make a very nice Christmas Card.
The head of the trail, was a few kilometer behind the above pictured Finkau.  When I arrived at the trail, I was wishing that I hadn't left my snowshoes back in my room, but I trudged on anyways, following in other people's footprints, of which there were one set.  And it was a good thing that the person ahead of me was a good bit heavier too, because I was able to learn from his/her mistakes.  I could see where certain misplaced footsteps would lead not to just a cold foot, but a wet foot too.  A couple times I did sink into the snow up to my knees, and I did slip a couple times, though the snow softened my falls, and I felt a bit like a kid slidding down the hill in my snow pants.

But the views of the gorge were absolutley worth every bit of my snowey adventure.

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