Our aim for today was to discover a new valley in the Austrian Alps. Driven by more than one recommendation from locals we borrowed a friends car and headed for the specified spot, not far from our current headquarters in Heiligenblut, Carintia.
The car ride itself was far more adventures than we could have bin imagined, as the narrow and steep road put Diana, on a challenge to keep the car at a steady speed and struggling not to lose grip on the ice parts of the road. The interesting part was that the road was so narrow that only one care could fit and the turns where so sharp that we could expect at any moment to bump in the descending traffic with no room to avoid a frontal collision. For this we drove not faster than 20km/h and just hoped for the best. Eventually, we just met one car on the ascent and managed to avoid any inconvenience. With some adrenaline to spare we arrived at the Astentaal Parking spot at a cosy in. Already we figured out that we are at the right spot since the parking lot had more cars that obviously were here for the same reason, only far more early than us.
Beeing this late in the 2000m are on old snow ( it did not snow for severel weeks now) actually was a good idea for us, since we did not have the ice crampons ( German Harscheisen ) with us, and in the early and iced snowpack would have been more than a struggling challenge for us. We noticed after we started the ascent on skins and left the shadow of the mountain, that the icepack was changing and the snow began to be softer and allowed more grip for our skins.