It not only rained tonight, it poured buckets, but around 7 the rain turns into a trickle. I hurry with breakfast, pack my stuff and head off towards the Brauneck summit cable car. Just before the last few meters the clouds drop down again and I barely make it into my rain clothes in time. The church planned a mountain mass today, but I'm almost alone in the cable station, only the priest and two others also drive up. Halfway up lightning and thunder starts. That's not what I ordered.
Upon arrival in the upper station I wait out the thunderstorm. The lightning is only inside the clouds and it has cooled down quite a bit, so I hope that it'll be oversoon. It is. The rain slows down and walk outside. Finally in the mountains! Salamanders crawl across the path and curious cows require a bit of talking to before they clear the way. The clouds almost scratch my head when I ascend, but the rain is barely a drizzle by now and I reach my first summit.
I have just left the Latschenkofp summit when the clouds drain themselves right above me. The thunder starts back up, so the summit tour across the Axleheads is out of question. Instead, I jog 250 height meters downwards in a steep, rocky path where all the water runs together and which has turned into a ankle deep torrent. It's tough going because everything's slick. As expected, the moment I'm down in flat terrain and safe from the thunderstorm, the hubbub is over. Still, I have to work my way slowly back up the 250 height meters I lost in my detour. An hour later, I turn around a corner on the saddle and find myself eye to eye with a capricorn. He's totally relaxed and a lot more interested in the strip of grass between us than in me. A good thing, I think, because his horns are almost as tall as I am. I slowly thread my way downwards through his herd, closing in on this day's destination.
It's only half past one when I enter the hut, but it feels a lot later. The moment the door snaps shut behind me, it starts raining heavily. While I sit, freshly showered and warmed up, at the regular's table and listen to anecdotes and cock-and-bull stories from the mountainside, more and more dripping, shivering, frightened hikers arrive. Today, the early bird definitely caught the worm.
Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny again, and so drop into bed around midnight, a little buzzed and utterly relaxed.
- Elevation gain: 500m
- Elevation loss: 680m
- Capricorns: 10
- Salamanders: 15
- Radler: 5
- Beer: 2
- Stress: 0