My unofficial plan however included a visit to the peak of Stol/Hochstuhl. In style of my latest planespotting adventure, I started to prepare mom for my detour a couple of days in advance, but I couldn't find much support for my idea. The more I researched, the more I felt confident to do it, and the more she seemed eager to keep me away from it. But I couldn't quite let the plan go...
After an early morning wake-up (I can, if I want), we found plenty of space on the upper parking spot in Rute/Bärental, from where a trail leads past meadows and forests...
... Until it starts to rise above the valley and gives first sights of the mountains.
Past poisonous plants...
... And less dangerous onesLots of Alpine animals to see, and slowly, the cottage comes to sight, too.
After a little rest, it was time to get moving again. Officially, the destination was still the Belščica/Bielschitza saddle, however I was still secretly rooting for Stol.
The wonderful thing about mountains? Their magnificence as such. Over stones and scree, new views open up at every corner...
Kozjak/Kosiak in the background. With a little more than 2000 m above sea level, it would be a rather easy option to hit the 2000 mark again after ages. However, I rejected a tour on its paths as I thought once I'd reach the Belščica saddle I would have the chance to continue to the *slightly* higher Stol, which happens to be the highest peak of the Karavanke/Karawanken.
Kozjak on the other hand lies in opposite direction.
After the saddle-part of the climb was done, the debate started all over again - me insisting on Stol, mom insisting on No. In a compromise, first was a walk across the blooming hillside, protected by the slopes of Vrtača/Wertatscha.
Sneak-peek to Slovenia, and one last unsuccessful try to continue the way towards Stol.
Back on the saddle. As Stol remained a no-go, I managed to get permission for climbing half way up Svačica/Bielschitza instead while mom and my lilttle sister would wait at the saddle.
Svačica ahead, Kozjak in the background. I couldn't deny my disappointment for a moment, but one can not remain mad for long with such beauty around.
The impressive northern side of Vrtača
And Poden/Bodental somewhere underneath
Of course I wanted to get the most out of the day, heading for the mountain top. I've climbed well past the first half of the mountain already, reaching the peak that comes before the actual summit. Being one who - if it is at all possible - does what they say, I actually did think of turning around to *technically* keep my promise ;) but in the end, I decided to do the final meters anyway.
Svačica/Bielschitza, 1958 m above sea level. When I first climbed it 2 yers ago, it was rather a spontaneous action of me and mom in response of mom's man teasing us we could never make it, not even the saddle. One look, and in a moment the decision was made: Off we go.
Looking back now, I still might not get the meaning of the words engraved on the summit cross.
Some more summit views, before heading to the saddle, where I'd face one single question: "You've been at the top, haven't you? I knew you'd do it when you took off." Uhm... Well...
Walking to the valley turned out to include a shower, because for the second time in the day, no one would listen to me - even though all I wanted was to wait 20 minutes for the rain to pass :)
Wonderful roots - and certainly not your regular birthplace
In the end, we were soaked through and through within minutes, but thanks to the sun dry again by the time we reached the parking.
Trophy of the day :)
~ to be continued ~