April 14, 2023 / Posted by Marmot Mountain Europe GmbH
I have been a mountain guide now for more than 20 years and practice all varieties of alpinism. From Patagonia to Greenland, from Alaska to the far east of Russia to Kamchatka, I have climbed and experienced many corners of the world, be it on foot, on skis, by bike, helicopter or car. Nowadays as a mountain guide, I like to find fun and innovative routes to climb and offer these routes, which are mostly very performance driven, to more experienced climbers.
Outdoor adventures made for young people
Because the children of some of my regular customers have asked for tours as well, I had the idea to bring a new project to life: #Beginnezuentdecken-Youth (begin-to-discover-Youth). Under the motto: “Outdoor fun is the new performance”, this program supports young people of all capacities to discover adventures close to home. #Beginnezuentdecken is community driven and offers sustainable and non-performance driven multi-pitch tours to young people. The program is eligible for people between the ages of 16 and 24, provided that they have basic alpine and climbing skills. The program is designed to help young people get as much fun out of it for as little money as possible!
During the previous Fall, we already had a total of 10 pitches of new multi-pitch tours in the reat Pitztal, Austria! The Pitztal Glacier is Austria’s highest glacier ski area. It leads up to 3.440 m and is great for recreational and sports activities.
In February we started the season with new tours. More info about the fun outdoor tours can be found here: www.tauernwind.at/youth
Together with the help of Marmot, we give young people the opportunity to experience adventures in the outdoors!
For one of the tours in January, we were ice climbing, bivouacking, and ski-touring on the Schuchtkogel in the Ötztal Alps, Austria. Two of the participants, Marie and Emma, wrote the following Article.
Preparing for the big adventure
On Friday the 6th of January it started. At least with the planning. Who knows how big the backpack should be, if you want to go ice climbing, bivouacking and commit to a ski tour in one weekend? We studied the various necessities for the trip and looked up the Schuchtkogel and the routes.
Blue ice and water formations
Our journey actually began on Friday the 7th at 10:00 AM, when we were welcomed at the hotel in Pitztal by Harald and his girlfriend. We had a breakfast together and packed our equipment afterwards. Equipped with crampons and ice axes, we were ready for our first ice climbing experience. All four of us girls agree that ice climbing is something special. Standing on ice instead of rock and having to completely trust your tool is a new sensation, but it is all worth it for the beautiful blue ice and the gorgeous formations the water freezes in. Also being able to climb up the ice and seeing your progress is incredibly rewarding.
Bivouacking in a glacier cave
After a few exciting hours, we changed our equipment and headed for a ski-lift, where we were taken all the way up and skied down about 200 meters to our bivouac spot – a glacier cave. This amazing wind-protected area was where we set up our tents and cooked our dinner.
Mastering the snow storm
After a good night’s sleep, we were ready for the upcoming ski tour. Passing the Ferner Kogel, we headed towards the Schuchtkogel. However, our plans were a bit foiled when the wind picked up and our sight got increasingly worse, due to the heavy snow. Therefore, we decided on a closer goal, which we reached thanks to Harald leading the way. There was an open crevasse on the way down, so we stayed in Harald’s track to stay safe. When we reached our glacier cave again, we packed everything together quickly and ascended quickly, the little way back to the hut, where we had a well-deserved break.
Harald led a really exciting weekend which we were able to enjoy with our friends. The different activities put the perfect well-rounded adventure together, which was close to our home.
Gladly we will book trips with this youth program again!
Text and photos:
Harald Fichtinger, participants of #Beginnezuentdecken-Youth adventure