The Pico de las Nieves is with 1949m the highest point of Gran Canaria. During our holiday in December 2012 we wanted to cycle up there from Maspalomas which is at sea level.
Because of the early sunset we had only 10 hours in total - from 8am to 6pm. We did not know if it possible to cycle the whole way in 10 hours - but we gave it a try. We decided to turn around at 3pm no matter how far we have got.
So we started in Maspalomas at 8am. We cycled the coast road up to Arguineguin - always up and down. In the roundabout before Arguineguin we turned right and cycled up to Soria. In Soria after about 1.5 hours we had our breakfast break.
From there on we had to share the road with a cycle race, but that was a lot of fun. We cycled up many many turns until we arrived at a crossroad. We turned left on the GC-605 in the direction of Preso de las Ninas. We passed the lake and took another break before continuing the ascend to Ayacata. Now it was about 2pm. Ayacata is the last village before Roque Nublo and Pico de la Nieves. We took no break but continued to cycle up to Roque Nublo. Only 30 minutes later we arrive the landmark of Gran Canaria. We took a short break and decide to continue to Pico de la Nieves. After one more hour - at 2:50pm - we arrive at the highest point of Gran Canaria! The view is amazing! You can see Roque Nuble and the Teide which is the highest mountain of Spain on Tenerife.
There is a kiosk on top of the Pico de la Nieves. The owner hugs and congratulates us and gives each of us a banana for free. We enjoy the view and take phots. But after a 10 minutes break we have to leave again to continue our way back down to the beach.
The way back follows the way we came for about 30 minutes. Then after Ayacata we take the other direction and cycle down to the Embalse de Chiara. From there we continue on a mountainbike trail. There is a bit of a way up on gravel but then we can enjoy the downhill ride. At about 5pm we leave the mountainbike trail and continue on road GC-604. After another hour of almost only downhill riding we arrive at 6pm - just in time - back at our hotel in Maspalomas. That was a great day and a really worthwhile cycling trip! 🙂
From Stuttgart there is one train connection a day that goes to Imst without changing trains. So Imst was our destination for this long weekend. After about 6 or 7 hours we finally arrive at the train station Imst-Pitztal. When you arrive at the train station there seems to be no town close to it. We booked a hotel in Arzl, because on the map it looked quite close to the station. But what we could not see on this map was that we have to go up a hill to reach the village. So it takes us about one hour from the train station to go to the hotel. The hotel (the only one that was still available) is very nice. On the reception we are told that dinner will be "entrecote" today. We had no idea what it is, but we said that it would be ok for us.
The dinner at the hotel was fantastic! It stared with a salad buffet, then soup, then leek and potato pastry. Then the main course entrecote (a medium beef steak) with potato with garlic dip and roasted vegetables. And afterwards a piece of cake. Great! After that we fall into bed immediately.
The next morning we enjoy a great breakfast. After breakfast the bus to Trenkwald is leaving in front of our hotel. I think we are the youngest people on this bus. All the others must be older than 60 or so.. After about one hour the bus arrives in Trenkwald. From there we plan to go up to the Verpeiljoch and then down to the Verpeil Hut. The path is very nice and we enjoy the great view around. We follow a small river for a long time. The way down from Verpeiljoch is very slippery because of many pebbles lying around. After 6 or 7 hours we arrive at the hut which is beautifully situated. Two rivers and high mountains surround the hut. We spent a lot of time lying in the sunshine and then we enjoy dinner. We sleep very well, no one snores.
The next morning after breakfast we want to go to the Kaunergrathütte. It is a beautiful view when the sun comes over the mountain and from one second to another everything is enlighten. The path is really nice, you always look at the Madatschtürme. We even see some people going up there. Then we go along a glacier up to the aperes Madatschjoch. From there there is a short fixed rope route down in the direction of the Kaunergrathütte. We decide to go up the Plangeroßkopf which is something like a little summit at 3053m high. We spent some time in the sunshine on the top and just enjoy being there. After some time we go back down and to the Kaunergrathütte. Actually we wanted to sleep there, but they were full! Therefore they asked us to go to the Riffelseehütte. This is another 3 to 4 hours walk. But before we leave the Kaunergrathütte we have a Apfelstrudel. Yummy!! The so called Cottbuser Höhenweg which connects the Kaunergrathütte with the Riffelseehütte is very beautiful. You always have a great view of the surrounding mountains. One passage contains a few ropes, but it is doable without via ferrata gear. After more than 10 hours we finally arrive at the Riffelseehütte. We have a very nice room with two other people. Dinner is Gulaschsuppe and for me Knödelteller and for Carsten Leberkäse with egg and potatoes. Really good! And I am so full afterwards! After dinner we play cards and then we fall into bed - until 4am in the morning. Then the fire bell is ringing and (almost) everybody gets up - but luckily it was only a false alarm.
After breakfast we decided to go the Offenbacher Höhenweg to the Taschachhaus. This way is very beautiful! In the beginning you walk along a small river, then you cross a place with many big stones lying around until you reach a small glacier. For the glacier we used our crampons and then we went up. That was cool. Then there are two paths up to the summit of the Wurmtaler Kopf - you can either continue to go up the glacier or walk on the ridge. We decided to take the path on the ridge - but that was not so good. Many loose pebbles made the way up very slippery. But on top of the Wurmtaler Kopf - 3228m high - you have a great panorama. Then we start to descend to the Taschachhaus - it is still far away. We pass a lake that looked like the water is green. We took many breaks on the way to the Taschachhaus and enjoyed the beautiful landscape. Now we could also see the glacier around the Wildspitze. The Taschachhaus had a nice room for us and great food. Soup, salad, Wiener Schnitzel with Pommes and Apfelstrudel! What a great evening.
In the morning after breakfast we went back down to the village Mittelberg. From there a bus took us to Imst and from there we took the train back to Stuttgart. This was another great long weekend in a beautiful landscape!
After three days of rain the weather forecast is now looking promising. Sunshine the whole day! And it should continue for the whole rest of the week.
Therefore we decide to hike to the Schreckhorn Hut, sleep there and go back down to Grindelwald the next morning.
After breakfast at the DownTown Lodge we get ready and leave Grindelwald in the direction of the Pfingstegg cablecar. If you use this cablecar you will save a one hour walk. Nevertheless we decide to go up without the cablecar. The path goes through a forest and finally you leave the forest and you have a great view of the glacier in front of you.
After about 90 minutes we arrive at the Gasthof Bäregg. It is a really nice looking small hut with a great panorama. We decide to continue our way to the Schreckhorn Hut without a break here. After the Berghaus Bäregg the sign which leads to the Schreckhorn Hut is blue-white-blue which means that this way is more difficult and dangerous than a normal hiking path. Especially falling stones are
often coming down on this way. We continue up to a nice picknick place in front of the glacier. Here we have a long break. Then we continue to go up. After a few minutes ropes and ladders lead the way. Often you have to go over a small waterfall. The view around is really beautiful, glaciers and these tall snowy mountains all around us! We can even the Mönch from here!
After about five hours we arrive at the Schreckhorn Hut. We decide to have something to drink first and want to ask for a place to sleep.
Inside the hut we meet the hut owner and his wife. He is a bit rude and says that if we have not called and said that we are coming we cannot stay here, because he does not have enough food. A few minutes later his wife says that we can stay, but maybe without food. Everything a bit strange and unfriendly. Therefore we sit outside and think what to do next. It was three o'clock. Then we decide that we will go down to Berghaus Bäregg and ask if we can stay there over night. This means about three hours going back down. We have to be really concentrated when going down the exposed path. But after a few hours we arrive at Bäregg. The people there are very friendly and we get the last room. The room is
really nice, for six people, but we are the only ones today in this room. There is also a hot shower - really great after this long walk. We enjoy the shower and then we wait for dinner. Dinner is also really great. A soup and beef with rice - as much as we like - and some chocolate pudding and chocolate cake afterwards. Happy and satisfied we fall into bed after this beautiful day 🙂
The next morning we enjoy the breakfast and then continue to go down to Grindelwald. This takes only about 90 minutes. The rest of the day we spent relaxing in the sunshine and eating ice cream 🙂
From the Finsteraahorn hut we walked along the Oberaargletscher and descended to the Oberaarsee where the river Aare begins.