A survey that went wrong

27 Aug 2011

Saturday 27 Aug at 09:06
A taxi had just dropped me at head of valley road
I am now setting off, dressed in shorts, up along stream at left


On the way up a summer storm developed.
There was cloud, rain, hail, 5 nearby lightning strikes,
then sleet followed by snow that buried all the path markers painted on the rock.


Some 3½hrs later I reached the hut
Cold and somewhat terrified
I changed and had a hot drink


17:08 Now warmed-up and in dry clothes
Looking out through a window in the St Pöltner Hütte


17:09 Outside the hut doorway


17:10 A German party relaxes in comfort
They are unaware a friend is now dead!


17:23 Storm abated - you can see down the valley now


17:23 Snow lies prettily on the hut platform


19:19 Rescue helicopter lands outside
Hut Warden's wife has supervised the landing
He follows her up from the helicopter


19:20 The Notarzt prepares to follow into the hut
She will announce the death of one person and the rescue of four others


Sunday 28 Aug at 08:08
The sun shines on the mountains


08:58 The German party air their boots and sit thinking


09:59 They set off down the path towards where their friend fell


10:40 The Hut warden's wife holds her baby to be photographed


15:49 An idyllic scene - looking down the valley
It is totally free of snow and ice


Monday 29 Aug at 11:04
I start down in the sunshine, after a discussion with Ramblers Holidays
Soon I will be leading on a tour in the heat and humidity of the Italian Lakes


11:18 The car park at the valley head appears below me
It is just beyond the lake


12:01 I take a last look up at the St Pöltner Hütte
It shows up clearly on the skyline


Click here for a fuller story of events on the first day