Thursday, January 9, 2014

An Unexpected Winter Hike

We were set to go sledding on the second day of Christmas (December 26). Everything was set: sleds, snow clothes, even the hotel where we were supposed to spend the evening. But when we arrived at Silvretta Montafon, we were disappointed since the sledding track was closed due to very small snow cover. It hasn't snowed for quite a while.. It was snowing on that day though and up in the mountains, the situation was different. We went hiking anyway, since we were already there. It would be a waste of time, fuel and effort if we didn't go up the mountains to enjoy the snow right? 

And so hike we did. We took the cable car (Hochjochbahn) from the Hochjoch station up to the Kapell station and then started trekking our way down to the Middle Hochjoch station. It was a good thing that we brought one sled with us so the little one can sit when her feet get tired from walking. No one went sledding that day since it was closed but we still had some sledding fun every now and then during our hike. It was a 5 km long sledding course with gentle slopes, perfect for families and children and I can just imagine how much fun it would be if it was only opened. You also have a very natural setting, with a very beautiful pine tree forest in the background. On normal days, one can sled this 5-km stretch in as fast as 20 minutes but in our case, which was just walk, sled and more walk, it took longer. There was some good snow cover in some parts, especially in the higher area but as we trekked further down, we realized why they closed the sledding course. 

I think it took more than three hours and landing on my po for a few times before we finally reached the Middle Hochjoch station, where we stopped briefly at the restaurant to empty our bladders and fill our bellies with hot mugs of chocolate drink before we descended to the Hochjoch valley station. 

If you are interested in sledding at Silvretta Montafon in Vorarlberg in Austria, you may buy a day ticket at the Hochjoch station or online. It costs €23,20 for adults and €14,40 for children. 

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