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Again at Mt. Sonnblick, but this time I am here in winter together with some fellows of my university. The goal of this university course was to dig snow profiles and to make probes at the glacier, in order to calculate the mass win of the glacier in this winter.
Because of this fact, I don't show you classical skiing tour photos on the following pages. But for all skiers I will give you also some information about the skiing tour onto the Sonnblick.
The starting point is the alpine refuge at Kolm-Saigurn, at the end of the Rauris valley. The first part of the route leds you along the summer path to Neubauhütte (2176m). Then you have to follow the valley right of the hut to the glacier (most of the time you will see enough tracks). Then you have to climb the slope on your right to Rojacher Huette (2700m). At Rojacher Huette, you have to decide if you want to go the easy route over the glacier (see red route at the map) or if you want to climb the ridge behind the hut directly to the summit (orange line [map]). If you choose the route over the ridge, you have to make a steep passage to the upper part of the glacier, before the ridge gets too steep. This route is only possible when you have good snow and weather conditions.
Accommodation at Mt. Sonnblick:
In summer you can sleep at the hut of the Alpine Club of Austria (Zittelhaus) but in winter this hut is closed. There is only one "winter-room" open, where you can sleep (in a little stone hut in front of the observatory). There are no sleeping facilities at the observatory. If you need hot water, you can go into the observatory, where the observers can provide you drinking water and if they have not too much work, they can give you something to eat or a breakfast.
The easiest descent is along the ascent. If you want more steep slopes, you can choose some of the steep grooves at the East part of the glacier (see blue and green lines at the picture below or blue lines at the map). The steepest slope is at the last (green) groove, but you may have difficulties in getting there through the rocks in the upper parts. Be also aware of avalanches, especially in this groove.
From the middle part of the glacier, you have two possibilities of going down to Neubauhütte. The first possibility is directly down from Rojacherhütte to the end of the Glacier. The second possibility is a nice ski run at the icefall between the middle and the lower part of the glacier. This route is only possible in spring, where the crevasses are covered by 4m snow (green line at the map).
From the end of the glacier you have to follow the valley until Neubauhütte. From there you have again some very nice runs down to Kolm-Saigurn ... but keep right, if you don't want fall down from some steep rocks short before Kolm-Saigurn (watch the tracks)!
Other skiing tours at Sonnblick:
Another very popular tour is from Heiligenblut trough the Kleine Fleißkees (glacier) to Mt. Sonnblick. But one of the nicest skiing tours is from Sonnblick to Mt. Hocharn. You have to ski down the Kleine Fleißkees to the Zirmsee (lake) and then climbing up to Goldzechscharte (pass) and from there up to Hocharn. From Hocharn you should have some of the nicest ski runs in this region, down to Kolm-Saigurn.
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