Sat, Jul 14, 2012 - 35K - 06:00:00
35K Austrian Mountain Run
This was the most adventurous, most scenic run of my life. I've never experienced so many changes in scenes as I ran through the valley then up almost to the top of a mountain. At times I could see that the fog was moving faster than I was, which could change the whole atmosphere in minutes. Lots of sun, fresh air, green mountain pastures, cows, and a logger friend who helped show me the way, a very memorable run: 
Got up at 5:00 A.M. and walked out on the balcony to see an outstanding sunrise going on, a great motivation to go for a morning run: 
My plan was to run through the valley through Kitzbühel to Aurach, then up and over the mountains back to Kirchberg, but for lack of orientation, it wasn't meant to be, so after running out of trail, I backtracked the trail back home: 
My elevation climb during this run was exactly one half kilometer: started in Kirchberg at 823 meters and reached a high point of 1323 meters where I turned around and came back home the same route: 
Hard to get out of the hotel at 5 A.M., you have to go down into the basement and take the secret exit: 
Our familiar Geisberg with its token cloud: 
The sunlit Grosser Rettenstein in the distance: 
Steps down at the river which put me on a 5K path all the way to Kitzbühel: 
The Wilder Kaiser: 
Found a map to plan a bit more how I would get over the mountain: 
into Kitzbühel: 
German = 7 words, English = 16 words: 
Entering Aurach: 
Turned up toward the mountains: 
Took road cutting up straight into the mountains: 
Felt new muscles in legs being used, don't often run grades like this in Berlin: 
Suddenly this logging truck passed me. Then about 15 minutes later I caught a glimpse of it at the top of the foothill I was running up which was a good sign that the road went all the way to the top: 
I took the high road: 
An Austrian cattle guard, haven't seen one of these since Red Rock Ranch: 
The valley fog was so dynamic, the scenes seems to change every five minutes: 
Couldn't find a trashcan for my bottle up here: 
Cows waiting to be machine-milked: 
Up above the valley fog, I started to get some fantastic views of the distant mountains: 
The Wilder Kaiser in the background: 
Left peak is Kitzbüheler Horn: 
Cows are up on the hills for the summer: 
In my orientation confusion, I thought I was approaching the top of the first mountain and would see Kirchberg below, but in reality I was just apporaching the middle of a foothill leading up to the peak, but it was a nice feeling: 
Found my logging truck again, he had almost loaded his whole truck with logs by the time I made it up. I waited for him to flag me around, then I tiptoed through the mud around his truck: 
The only road I saw from here went down, but I needed to get to the next foothill so I took it. In retrospect, I should have asked the logger how to get to the top of the mountain, perhaps he knew some path, but Google Earth tells me that the whole road that I took from the base is just a logging road to half way up the mountain, and does not connect to any roads going up the mountain, which I soon found out by following this road: 
The tall, dark trees on white created a unique atmosphere: 
The road began to take a very steep grade downward: 
Saw many streams running down the mountain: 
I needed to get over to that other foothill in the distance, looked good at this moment: 
Then in a span of about 5 minutes, the atmosphere changed from "Sound of Music" to "Blair Witch Project". The road began to look less and less like a well traveled mountain road: 
And this "cage" or whatever it was freaked me out, what do they keep in there?: 
Things got eerie: 
Then I met this machine which totally blocked the road, erasing any hope that normal cars use this road, there was no way to get around it: 
I approached it and began climbing around: 
I climbed over and down and under the side: 
Here it is from the other side: 
The whole rig was tied up into the moutain for support: 
I realized that it was a truck that pulled fallen trees from embankment below and loaded them onto waiting trucks: 
I ran onward down the road with a queasy feeling that this road was taking me nowhere: 
This stream running through the road was another bad sign that this road was not well traveled: 
I jumped over it and ran on: 
But around the next corner I got my answer, this road ended by just disappearing into the side of the impassable mountain, which for me meant: DEAD END 
Even though this meant I would have to back track my complete route, I was relieved to start my trek out of here, so back up the road I ran: 
Was relieved to get back to where the logger was: 
But saw that he had already taken off back down the mountain: 
As I turned to run back down, I saw one more little road to try that might lead up the mountain, so I took it: 
Which afforded some more nice views: 
Especially of the distant Alps to the south: 
And a lone little cottage: 
But this road, too, quickly went nowhere: 
I contemplated taking off up through the trees but quickly dismissed it as a totally crazy idea: 
So I admitted defeat to the mountain, and, lightly disappointed but not crestfallen, began my descent back down to the valley: 
At the place where the logger had been loading his logs, I took a break and powered up on some nuts and water, then gave the girls a call and told them I would have to back track my whole route so wouldn't be back for breakfast: 
Then took a look around one more time at the spectacular mountain scenery from up here: 
And took off back down the familiar road back to the valley: 
Saw the logger's truck one last time with his load of logs from the mountain: 
A gatorade for the last stretch back to Kirchberg: 
Through Kitzbühel city center again: 
Last turn to meet family at playground: 
Finish line: