Judy & Steve Pardoe welcome you to...    The Sagtaler Spitze, Austrian Tyrol, July 2000

We were staying in Alpbach, a pretty Tyrolean village a few miles from Innsbruck. After a few exploratory rambles, including a full traverse of the Gratlspitz, we decided to attempt the circuit of mountains at the head of the valley, which included a section of via ferrata. We took the cable car from the village to a point at 1804m on the Wiedersberger Horn, then walked south past the summit (which we'd climbed previously) and over the Hochstand (2057m) to the Sagtaler Spitze.

Our B&B, "Haus Sama" in Alpbach. The owner, Frau Paula Bischofer, had been a keen climber, and advised us about local routes

The view south from the Wiedersberger Horn (2128m) on a previous day. We'd be traversing the skyline from right to left, descending into the Krinnjoch (to the right of the left-most peak, which is the Dristenkopf)

Essential sustenance: hot chocolate at the cable car station. It was barely above freezing point here (the air, not the chocolate)

Steve, posing on the ridge, with the Wiedersberger Horn behind. This is a charming path, with superb views into the Zillertal and the Inntal on a clear day

Judy with the Sagtaler Spitze behind her. The clouds kept coming and going, and we weren't sure whether we'd be able to continue

The three mountains we'd be traversing, looming in the clouds: R-L the Sagtaler Spitze (2241m), Tapenkopf (2206m) and Gamskopf (2205m). The protected climb ("versicherter Steig") is between the last two. The Krinnjoch (1998m) is the mist-filled pass on the far left

Steve at the summit cross of the Sagtaler Spitze. The summit log book said it was the Standkopf, to which someone had written (in German) "don't you know your own mountains?"

Judy descending part of the via ferrata. It was quite straightforward, but well worth clipping in, as the exposure was tremendous in places. We each used a sling and screwgate karabiner to make a Dulfer sit harness, and another sling to clip a krab to the cables and staples. However, some of the scariest parts were where there was no protection, just steep grass slopes above immense drops.

Ticking off the Gamskopf required a detour, and there was then a long descent from the Krinnjoch to the valley. We'd expected to find food and drink at the Farmkehralm refuge, famous for its Wienerschnitzel, but it was closed, so we were tired and extremely hungry by the time we reached Inneralpbach and the bus stop.

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