Ascent of Raucheck on 2012-10-13

Climber: Martin Richardson

Date:Saturday, October 13, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Elevation:7972 ft / 2429 m

Ascent Trip Report

Having spent the night before in the Unterholz car park I was able to make a relatively early start on the way up Raucheck (2430m P1463) the highest point in the Austrian Tennengebirge Alps. From the car park there is an obvious marked trail 32 that heads directly up the hillside past Alpenghutte Mahdegg-Alm and through the woods, then dwarf pine into the scree filled valley below the Thronleiter klettersteig ladder. And, for me, out of the mist.
On this first section there were two other parties - however they seemed to be heading for the various huts at lower altitudes rather than the summit.I must confess that as I clambered up the klettersteig ladder - muttering to myself the maxim 'don't look down, don't look down' - I understood why. That ladder is steep and exposed.
Above the ladder is more scree, before finally emerging onto a steep and extensive limestone pavement riddled with sink holes and other potential traps. With occasional patches of fresh snow.
As ever in Austria, the summit is marked by a dreary cross spoiling the view. There were no recent entries in the logbook - although I did find Petter Borstadt's entry back in 2010.
On my descent, I called into the Edelweisserhutte and chatted with two Austrians who were planning to stay the night. They expressed surprise 1. that anyone else was up there in the weather, 2. that I was alone and 3. that I was English. When I explained that the weather would be seen as a nice day in GB, they laughed. I was only half-joking.
I also avoided the ladder and used the alternative path down into the scree.
For pictures and context, see my blog 'Went up a hill and came down' at:
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