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Steve, Katherine, and Norah | profile | all galleries >> Austria and Italy 2014: Stubai Alps, Dolomites, and Cinque Terre >> Austria: The Stubai Alps tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Austria: The Stubai Alps

We admired the Austrian Alps from afar on previous trips in the Dolomites, but now the time had come where we got to see them up close and personal. Our chaotic summer and last minute plans didn't leave a lot of time for poring over details, so with plane tickets and a hiking guide in hand we were off to Austria! Our plan was to travel by train from Milan to Innsbruck, then take a bus to Neustift to start the Stubai Rucksack Route (Stubaier Runde Tour in German) in the Stubai Alps. The route connects eight huts, traversing 80km/50 miles and over 8000m/26,000 feet of ascent and descent. The guide book we used, Trekking in the Stubai Alps by Allan Hartley, breaks the trek into nine stages. We had no set time frame; we would complete the route as weather permitted then visit another area with our remaining days. Easy peasy, right?

Well, Mother Nature had something to say about our plan. Multiple times we were told that part of Europe had an unusually cold and rainy summer and the weeks we visited were no exception. It snowed on our first night in the mountains. Ah, snow, our old foe. It disrupted our travel plans on our two previous trips to the Dolomites and we decided any future trip, no matter what time of year, should include microspikes! Despite the first night of snow we hiked for three days, staying at Innsbrucker, Bremer, and Nuernberger huts, before we abandoned this route due to weather. When we woke up at Neurnberger Hut Tuesday morning a hut worker told us it was supposed to rain until Sunday. At that point we decided it was time to make a retreat.

It's too bad rain drove us from the Stubai Route, but I'm glad we at least got a taste of these dramatic Austrian mountains. We will have to return for some unfinished business!
Day 1: Neustift to Innsbrucker Hut
:: Day 1: Neustift to Innsbrucker Hut ::
Day 2: Innsbrucker Hut to Bremer Hut
:: Day 2: Innsbrucker Hut to Bremer Hut ::
Day 3: Bremer Hut to Nuernburger Hut
:: Day 3: Bremer Hut to Nuernburger Hut ::
Day 4: Mission aborted. Hike out to Neustift
:: Day 4: Mission aborted. Hike out to Neustift ::