Isskogel, 2264m,   Karspitze, 2264m
Photos, Map
Trip Report

Voila, the fourth day of my skiing/snowboarding trip. The weather was perfect and we were once again at the Zell ski resort. Therefore, one more opportunity to climb a few fairly high peaks without much effort. It would also be my last opportunity, because even though I had one more day in the mountains planned for the following day, I wanted to try skiing again after my 17-year hiatus and it would be very difficult if not impossible to climb anything in those uncomfortable skiing boots.

After spending the morning on the Zell side of the resort, we chose to cross over into the Hochfuegen area around noon.  For that we took the connecting chair lift, which led right past the mountain I wanted to climb.  Actually the chair lift tops out at about the same elevation as the summit of the mountain (and I wondered if it deserved the summit cross and therefore the designation as a high point in the area) but it was still a good 200m away. For now after having reconnoitered the area a bit, I went down with the others for a couple of runs and also paused for a lunch break. However, as 2pm was approaching I set of on my own and went back up to the top of the chair lift, this time realizing why the mountain was recognized as a high point. From the bottom looking up it sure looked like an impressive mountain and the fact that it is rather a fake summit a long a fairly long ridge leading up to a substantially higher (and differently named) high point was completely ignored. Whatever, it had a summit marker, a name and was marked in the topo maps. Three reasons why I should hit it.

At the top of the ski lift I strapped on the snowboard again and actually rode a good 50m in the direction of the summit. Then I continued on food through sometimes knee-deep snow until I topped out at the summit of the Isskogel. Again a very nice  spot with a couple of benches and amazing views. I also found a summit register in a metal box attached to the cross. From the looks of it the peak sees quite a few visitors all year around. I did not linger at the summit for a long time, because I still wanted to climb one more peak fairly far away. I therefore took a bunch of pictures, put the board back on and rode down the mountain (in plain sight of 100s of people going up the chair lift, but I did ok) to the bottom of the ski lift. I then took it and the connecting lift all the way over to the Zell side of the resort again. The lift was very slow and stopped numerous times. I avoided looking at the watch but at some point my neighbor said that it was 3:45pm. I panicked because I knew that all lifts in the resort would close at 4, thus just 15 minutes away and I still had to rode down all the way to another lift which would get me close to the second summit. Hmm, this was going to be close. Once at the top of the lift, I strapped on the board and rode down as fast as I could and arrived at the Karspitz Express ski lift literally at the last minute, because the attendant said "Go, Go, Go" and closed the lift right behind me. I was therefore the last one to take the lift up that day. Great. After arriving at the top I scrambled the remaining 100m up to the summit of the Karspitze mountain and enjoyed the views of the surrounding landscape and of the quickly emptying ski resort. 

I could not stay at the summit for as long as I did the previous day, because in the Zell ski resort one cannot go all the way down to the valley, but still has to take the gondola from the "middle station" before it shots down for the day. I shortly contemplated heading over to an outcropping of rock that may have higher or not than the actual summit, but the snow looked to deep and considering the lateness of the hour I decided against it. I was happy where I was, especially because it was already the sixth summit of this trip.

The cool thing on this mountain too was that I could strap on my snowboard while still holding onto the summit cross and then ski all the way down. For the next 20 minutes until I reached the middle station I was all by myself except for two guys that passed me at some point coming who knows where from. At the middle station Volker, Rainer and Daniel were waiting and we all took the same gondola down to Zell, ready to hit a few beers before the evening was over. 

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This page was last updated: Feb 15, 2011