Monday, June 21, 2010

Gorge and Glacier: The frosty Alps

Saturday morning were trekked up to the Sigmund-Thun Klamm, a gorge carved out by a glacier. We walked along wooden walkways through these high rock walls with crystal clear water gushing below. The gorge was originally developed as a tourist attraction in 1893 and later the boardwalk had to be condemned in 1938. Reopened in 1992, it is a 320m path through the gorge and about 32m deep. The wall of the gorge have a selection of striking rock formations, eddies and potholes. We noticed a few on the walk, namely the Gorge Ghost and the Gorge Witch complete with hook nose.

The Klamsee is an area in the Kapruner Valley on the outskirts of the Hohe Tauern National Park. The Dam at the top of the gorge has an amazing view of this valley. We stopped at the waterfall/edge of the dam and looked over the lake of blue/green water.

We cut our walk short at the gorge to maximise our time on the glacier. The Glossglockner Glacier is nestled high in the Alps (3798m). We drove up the windy roads higher and higher and ascended into the clouds. The weather has been awful all weekend, it hasn't stopped raining since we boarded the bus in Simmering. The peaks were shrouded in fog and as we ascended the fog got worse until at times we couldn't see out of the bus windows. Miraculously the fog lifted briefly when we arrived to reveal a gorgeous glacier.

We walked down to the glacier (well almost) and then took the Glacier Railway back up to save time. As we returned to the bus the rain started and turned into snow as we started driving home. Nice and chilly.

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