How to get there:
The starting point is the small village of Leogang.
Leogang is located south-west of Salzburg, perhaps the easiest
route would be to follow Hwy. 21, then 312 and 311 to Saalfelden, starting
out west of Salzburg (on E-52), then heading south. Leogang is 8 kilometer
west from Saalfelden.
In Leogang, turn right immediately after a cafe, this is the main side road
serving the small village. Bear left after 0.5 kilometer and follow signs that
says Passauer Hütte. About 2.2 kilometer from the Hwy. you will see a big
trailhead sign on your right. There is parking on either side of
the road. Park here, location N47:27.160, E012:45.336, elevation about 874 meter.
Route description: To the Passauer hut
The trail first crosses the local creek, then runs by a local
barbeque area. Pay attention to the signs, the trail to Passauer hutte
forks sharply right and runs up the nearby hill. From now on the trail
keeps climbing a very distinct ridge with many switch-backs until it
is close under the steep cliffs that can be seen higher up.
There is a storage area for firewood just before the trail leaves the
big trees behind. Hikers are encouraged to bring up some wood from here.
Higher up, the trail gets somewhat steeper and ore exposed. It has been
equipped with a rope (actually steel chain wrapped in rubber) and artificial
steps made from cement have been put in place. Thus, under normal conditions
this trail is suitable for most hikers.
The trail proceeds to zig-zag just left of a distinct gully, then reaches a nicely
formed saddle from where one can see the Passauer hutte even further uphill.
A traverse followed by a final zig-zag climb finishes the route.
To the summit:
This will be written later.
We had dinner in Leogang, then started out at our second hike of the day.
The time was 1725, pretty much according to plan, we should arrive before
2100 at the winterroom of the hut, before it got dark, but with no more
to do than sleep.
The weather looked wet and before long
we had some solid showers, including one that carried hail.
We set a slow, but steady pace knowing that we would arrive before 2100.
Picking up firewood at about the half way mark, we were getting used to this service.
The day before, we had carried 10 liter of water for a hut, this time it was firewood
that was in short supply higher up.
The trail got somewhat more exposed as we entered the rock, however a lot of work had
been done in order to keep this trail quite accessible. Steps had been made and cable
attached to the rock, overall, this trail is quite impressive. We got the hut in sight
and arrived in precisely 3 hours, at 2025.
After some initial trouble, we got the wood burning oven going and organized ourselves
within the two available beds. The place was well equipped with beer for thirsty hikers,
subsequently we went to bed, hoping that the weather would show signs of improvement.
The next morning turned out to be quite the opposite. The temperature had dropped and
it was snowing. Quite a bit had already accumulated during the night. Add that there was
significant wind and a complete white-out with respect to visibility, our options were
few: Either stay another day and try a summit push on Tuesday, or descend before the
steep and exposed trail becomes really tricky. It turned out that we had mobile phone
coverage, Åke could therefore access the Internet and get an updated weatherforecast.
Unfortunately, there were no signs of an improving trend. This effectively reduced our options
to one: Descend before the conditions make even this a troublesome affair.
We left the hut at 1040, the first section had to be negotiated rather carefully because of
the snow. Everything went smoothly and we returned to the car by 1255.
I drove Åke to the railroad station in Garmisch before continuing to my
destination in Kleinwalsertal.