14-Sep-2013 -- This confluence visit is the first out of 3 visits that I made during a tough cycling week-end in Austria’s and Italy’s Alpine mountains.
After work on Friday, I left Zurich by night train arriving in Mallnitz (Austria’s State Carinthia) at 8 AM after a 10-hour train ride (spending two unpleasant night-hours at the train station in Salzburg). I started cycling right away along the Mölltal on a very pleasant bicycle-trail until I reached the village Döllach after cycling 66 km.
Döllach is at 1000 m altitude, so there are another 1700 m to climb to the confluence point. There is a small asphalted road to a water reservoir (Großsee) at 2400 m altitude. This road was very steep, but bikeable. After 3 hours uphill riding I reached the dam at Lake Großsee. From there, it was 2.0 km beeline to the confluence point. I preferred to start the hike from the dam, because the height difference was only 300 m. But I should have abandoned my bicycle earlier at a bend of the road at an altitude of 2300 m and a distance of 1.4 km. The reason is that the hike was very difficult. I approached the confluence from the north, such that I had to climb over a mountain and then drop down to the confluence point. At a distance of 200 m, the terrain got dangerously steep and soon I found myself climbing steep rocks. After the dangerous climb in 2007 I had promised myself not to risk my life again for a confluence point. So I climbed back down a bit and looked for another route. And indeed, there was a less dangerous alternative that allowed me to reach the point without real danger.
The confluence has been marked my previous visitors with a huge cairn. The point is well above the tree line covered with loose rocks. It must have snowed a couple of days ago, since there were some patches of snow left. The incline is very steep, such that prospective confluence visitors should bring some alpine hiking experience. It started raining a bit, so I pulled over my raincoat and started climbing down, always following the gradient. This was much easier compared to the way I came. After hiking 1.5 hours I was back at the above mentioned bend in the road. Now it was already 7 PM: I hiked the road upwards to get to my bike and used the last daylight to coast down to Döllach. There, I stayed in a very nice guesthouse managed by the extremely hospitable 70 year old Gertrude Kahn.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to an asphalt road: 1.4 km
- Distance to a track: 1.4 km
- Distance of bicycle parking: 2 km
- Time to reach CP from bicycle parking: 2 hours
- Time at CP: 5:12 PM
- Measured height: 2705 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 0 m
- Position accuracy: 5 m
- Topography: extremely steep grades. High alpine terrain.
- Vegetation: some moss, grass and white flowers in-between the otherwise surface consisting of bare rocks.
- Weather: upcoming storm, 10° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: Gertrude’s Steep Confluence
The story continues is at 47°N 12°E.