A good day for saying no


8:00 Eager to do something with our days off, we want to splitboard up to a hut and spend the night. Avalanche forecast was okay, but as we get in the car there’s an update. Warning for strong winds from the south and an increase in avalanche danger. Hmmm, that calls for a change of plans. Let’s find a hut that’s a bit more to the west. It seems to better over there. We turn the car around and drive towards the Gerlospass, with the plan to go to the Zittauer hütte.

9:30 We’re at the parking lot of the Finkau hotel. Looking at the mountains above the Wild Gerlos valley, the wind isn’t as strong over here. Seems like a good alternative. The tour is a bit shorter then the original plan, so we decide to go for a cup of coffee before we go.

10:00 We get outside of the hotel again and look to the south. Things have changed a lot in half an hour. The wind is clearly blowing the snow of the mountain. We look at each other and we know what we’re all thinking, This is too much… Disappointed and with the realisation that we have to give up our plans for the day, we get back into the car and drive home.

11:00 Getting a message about an avalanche accident nearby. As I read the news, it appears to be in the Wild Gerlos valley. An avalanche came down from the east side of the valley over the path and killed two Czech snowshoe hikers that were hiking back from the Zittauer hütte. Sad and shocked, I realise today was a good day for saying no.

Wind up in the Wild Gerlos valley


Back in the Wild Gerlos valley. Everything feels good this day. We hike up the valley towards the Zittauer hütte. Around noon we get to the hut. It’s a beautiful day and Maarten, Caroline and I decide to push on towards the Gabler. It’s a stunning tour and the valley holds s many possibilies! Back at the hut we prepare our meal. We go through guest book of the hut. Not a lot of people have stayed here in winter. There is an entry on the 21 of January, it’s from the Czech snowshoe hikers. We all get chills down our spine. Realising how lucky we are to be able to be up here right now.

Wild Gerlos valley Zittauer hütte Maarten van Komen near the Gabler Dusk at the Zittauer hütte

The next day we explore the glacier a bit more. Beautiful weather and impressive ice walls. The glacier at it’s best and the weather at it’s most forgiving. What a beautiful day…

Maarten van Komen, Caroline Ooms and Phil Wilkinson on Wild Gerloskees Caroline Ooms on the glacier Caroline Ooms hiking the ridge Roy Mosterd in the glacier cave Maarten van Komen near the glacier

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