the red rusty Renault

Fri 04 Aug 1989
Adam Cooper

Being the first to leave UK a lot happened between there & now - so briefness is required. Roughly. Drove to Cambs Thu 20th. Collect food at Dan's. Eat courtesy of Becks & hit the road to Dover. Get there ~ midnight, time enough to catch earlier ferry, having picked up a seaman hitcher (who slagged off P&O as being dead unsafe). Filled up with petrol, but since a queue behind, drove off a bit to sort out papers/tickets. However forget lights & drive towards a policeman guarding a place where noone (but I did) stop. Was duely chastised for "driving without illumination at this time of night". On to France. Take wrong road. Goes fine, though a bit dodgy mapreading with one person. Near accidennt in Belgium. Try to sleep past Lux but too hot. Weather too hot for German Hills, car regularly overheats. Get flat tyre just past Karlesruhe (but don't notice until completely kanackerd as so much rear load !) Just make it to Pforzheim before tyre place shuts. Hence to LEchtal. Two days good walking tho' very humid & sweat gallons. Sleep in car as nowhere to pitch. Get benighted first night due to late setoff (to avoid thunderstorm) & over-ambition late in the day. Sadly, only time I forgot Petzl !

Onto Erwald/Meiminger Kette. Short walk day travelled. One day fester because hips murder. Went to climb Zugspitze & got early start to do long roundtrip. Get most of way up. Get charged 5 Schillings "für the making of the vey". Sign says path closed because Steinschlag (rocks falling) ignore as already climbed ~ 4½ thousand feet. Get shouted at & find that there are men working above deliberately lobbing rocks & if they had seen me & stopped work to avoid killing me there was a 10,000 Schilling fine !

Pissed off & stormed down, drove a bit & decided to do another hill higher than I had got to (fit of pique). Regretted it as by the end of the day I had managed ~ 20 miles & nearly 10,000 feet. Bugger.

Thence to Stubaital. Drive round very steep hills late at night completely lost after being stung for a £2.50 toll for motorway S of Innsbruck. Brilliant limestone in Stubaital; completely brilliant. Managed to get to over 10,000' for first time ever. Unable to take full advantage of the Stubai Alps as not hutting but day walking.

By this time cannot be bothered looking for tent pitch as have spent ~ week in car.
Mark (D) has just winged about my verbosity so I shall be brief as originally promised.
Move to Zillertal.
Rains lots.
Put the car into skid on a wooden bridge on corner.
Go to Venediger gruppe. Felbertauern tunnel £9.00 toll (Bastards)!!
Snows a lot
Cannot get far because snow ~2000m too deep to follow path.
Move to Glockner gruppe to find low level route.
However this has ~ 1 foot snow at 1900m so give in (this was near Kals on gross glockner).
Next day beautiful blue sky so decide to go up grossglockner. Set off. Forget camera. Return. Set off again & realise forgot map !
Bugger. Back down.

Get to ~1000' from top after easy glacier traverse. Meet English & ask whether top safe. (looked steep & icey). They say OK, but must have assumed that I had crampons as a 45° snow field with ice just under really shitted me up (as ~ 2000' drops!) Everyone else was roped, crampons & ice axes (at least I had an ice axe).

I have NEVER ever been so scared in my life. I almost cried !

Quickly down. Next day short photo-walk & then to Hilders (meeting Mark & Julian in Bad Aussee with beer).

Average rain/day: 2 times
Total feet climbed: 65,000
Joints hurted !
Time here (15 days) Adam.

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