For six participants who were selected in the application process, the adventure of a lifetime will soon begin. Together with the experienced Transalp crew, they will set out to cross the Alps on touring skis and enjoy the most beautiful descents. What they experience it, you will see here every day from April 4 on.
DAY 1: From St. Moritz to Preda
After a year's break due to corona, we start the eleventh Fischer Transalp 2022 today. Together with six participants from Italy, France, and Austria, we begin the ascent through the Suvretta da San Murezzan. The seemingly never-ending valley leads us to Fuorcla Suvretta at 2,966 meters.
Now follows another energy-sapping climb to Fuorcla da Chembels. If you want to go ski touring at an altitude of over 3,000 meters, you should be well trained. Luckily for us, we are ready. That's why the second descent of the day is a complete success: Perfect powder snow, sunshine, a cool group, and enough remaining strength to put a big grin on our faces.
Now, after more than 20 kilometers and 1,700 meters of altitude, we set up camp for the night in Preda and hope for more brilliant days like today.
Highlights from Day 1 of TransAlp 2022
DAY 2: From Preda to Davos
Chants is a lonely little village, uninhabited in winter, at the far end of the Val Tuors. It’s also today's starting point for the second stage of the Fischer Transalp 2022. Even though it is now April, the snow masses do not allow our vehicles to reach this "Dörfli". So we already have 5 kilometers and 350 meters of altitude in our legs when we stand in the middle of tiny Chants, and no one is seen except us.
Three options have been announced by our mountain guides this morning. Now, in the middle of the Dros Val da Ravais, we decide to follow the safest route. Snowfall and very warm temperatures make today's tour dangerous. Visibility is partly limited to 20 meters, and the snow is soft and deep.
From Bergüner Furgga, a pass crossing at 2,740 meters, the group tours over broken hard snow down into the Chüesalp valley. In between, however, we find very good snow conditions. The sun also peeks through the dense cloud cover. Tonight we are in Davos and look back on an exciting day. Joy and sorrow are often not far apart while touring in the Alps.
Highlights from Day 2 of TransAlp 2022
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DAY 3: From Davos to the Pischahorn and down to Klosters
Today we thought we’d start with 700 meters of altitude on the ski lift towards the Pischahorn. However, the Swiss ski lift operators have already put their feet up for the season and so plan B comes into effect: Start in Dörfji!
With the lift this distance would be done in five minutes. On foot, or in our case, on skis, we tour one and a half hours up to the mountain station of the Pischabahn. It‘s not so bad for us, there isn’t a single cloud in the sky, the panorama is breathtakingly beautiful, and the ascent is actually entertaining. At 2,593 meters, we overcome the Pischagrat and advance into a side valley that bears the name "Hidden Pischa".
From here, our objective is not far. We reach the 2,980-meter-high summit of the Pischahorn via a snow flank that steepens up to 40 degrees. In such terrain, hairpin turns must be mastered with absolute confidence. Mild temperatures and unrestricted distant views invite us to linger for a while.
Now we finally start the descent. With a view of the Bernina Group, Silvretta, and Piz Kesch, we enjoy the first turns in the direction of Mönchalp. Short steeper gullies alternate with wider terrain. In the upper part of the descent we still have to fight with broken slush, the further we descend the better the snow conditions become. Back in Kloster, we can look back on some brilliant turns in the best spring snow. Now we are hungry - for more.
Highlights from Day 3 of TransAlp 2022
DAY 4: From Klosters to the Silvretta Hut
Raindrops patter on the roof of our lodge in Klosters. The alarm clock rings for the second time as we finally find the motivation to get out of bed. Yes, the fourth day of the Fischer Transalp 2022 is off to a sobering start, and we already have more than 4,000 meters of altitude in our legs.
Today we want to reach the Silvretta Hut at 2,337 meters. Is this even possible in the current conditions? Our mountain guides don't know for sure.
From Monbiel, we carry our skis for two kilometers until we reach the first remnants of snow. In the meantime, the sun has penetrated the dense rain clouds and at the end of the valley, which bears the strange name Usser Rüchi. The temperature in the sun feels like a summer day.
We cross into a snow-filled creek bed. From here it goes over countless, steep hairpin bends in the direction of Galtürtälli. Despite the difficult climb, the mood is good. It seems as if we will reach our goal for the day.
But suddenly the sky thickens again, and the competition against time begins. As the first snowflakes fall, we reach the Silvretta hut! For this night we find shelter here, but the weather forecast for tomorrow does not bode well.
Highlights from Day 4 of TransAlp 2022
Day 5: Back to Austria
Hut nights are always a highlight at the Fischer Transalp. Cozy parlor ambience pairs well with often special food. Besides, you usually don't sleep very well in the famous mass camps. So it is this time at the Silvretta hut at 2,341 meters and therefore the need for conversation at breakfast is still limited.
We have big plans for today. The Silvretta glacier is right on our doorstep and should show us the way back to Austria. The weather also seems to agree with our plan. If someone had told me last night that we would be marching across the Silvretta Glacier today in sunshine - I wouldn't have believed it!
The Egghornlücke is to be our "loophole" into Austria. The last one hundred meters of altitude are steep. Peter, our mountain guide, spurs ahead. But after a few steps it's over. The wind-blown drift snow of last night makes this flank too dangerous today.
So we try it after all over the Silvretta Pass and over the subsequently steep saddle, which bears the name Fuorcla dal Cunfin and leads us to 3,043 meters. The last 50 meters are so steep that we have to attach our skis to our backpacks. At the top, gusts of wind of up to 70 kilometers per hour whip us in the face. We have to get out of here fast!
Finally back on Austrian soil, we descend over the partly mighty Ochsentaler Glacier to the Wiesbadener Hütte at 2,443 meters. After a short refreshment we start the last ascent. The weather worsens and makes it difficult to find the way - but we make it. At 3:00pm we reach Galtür, exhausted after a long day.
Highlights from Day 5 of TransAlp 2022
DAY 6: Galtür to St. Anton am Arlberg
The last touring day of the eleventh Fischer Transalp 2022 is dawning. Snowfall has colored the landscape in front of our hotel white overnight. The wind blows with gusts of up to 70 kilometers per hour. At breakfast, we make the decision to discard our planned route. After all, we want to arrive safe and sound in St. Anton in the afternoon and look back on a successful Transalp. Especially in such a historical place as Galtür, safety has the highest priority.
That's why today we use the Kappler cable cars in the ascent to reach the 2,605 high Lattejoch. Despite the freezing snowstorm that is up there, the mood is good. Luka plays music on his smartphone. Everyone nods to the rhythm, even if this is only possible to a limited extent evenly due to the whizzing of the wind.
From the Lattejoch, a steep flank leads us into the Malfontal. The last descent of the Transalp 2022 begins. The fresh powder snow of the last night makes this the crowning conclusion of an incredibly brilliant ski touring week. We cover the last meters to St. Anton on foot, there is no more snow here. We are proud to have mastered this "tour of violence" from St. Moritz to St. Anton am Arlberg. 100 kilometers and 7,000 meters of altitude! Cold, storm, sweat, sunshine, new friendships, breathtaking mountain panoramas - all this and much more.
Maybe you will experience something similar next year when it's called - Fischer Transalp 2023.