Ascent of Grosser Buchstein on 2012-09-07

Climber: Martin Richardson

Date:Friday, September 7, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Grosser Buchstein
    Elevation:2224 m / 7297 ft

Ascent Trip Report

Hidden in the trees off the road is a car park for the Jonsbach train station which is across the river Enns, that can be crossed by a wooden bridge. Inexplicably, there is a no cycling sign which prevents using an unpaved road (continuous red line track 608) that gently rises through the forest on its way to an alternative (and more popular)starting point at Gstatterboden. At Rauchboden track 641 turns off uphill towards the Buchsteinhaus hut (1546m). This is a steep, long track that is generally quite easy walking - at the steeper moments it traverses back and forth across the slope. Much of the time the track is in mixed woodland with occasional glimpses of the summits of Gr Buckstein and Hochtor across the valley.
On a number of occasions, it is impossible to avoid the huts and refuges as the tracks literally go along the verandah of the huts. Buchsteinhaus is no exception to this, so you have to walk the gauntlet past the people who always look to me that they have already been to the top and back and regard later comers like me as lazy. Still, it is a chance to have a cup of tea and hang my buff on the back of the seat to let the sun dry out the sweat it has accumulated.
From the haus the track becomes one for 'steady steps'. The trees become dwarf pines and the path is steep and scree filled. Nearer the top there are three options - the klettersteig (via ferrata), the climbers route and the 'normal' way - all are steep. Most people go up the klettersteig and down the normal. So, why should I buck the trend on Buchstein? I am not totally convinced that is the best way round - it could actually have been easier in reverse - because there is just less helpful metal on the normal way.
The summit ridge is a walk not a scramble, for once. And, there is another of those flipping metal crosses on the top. As ever, I filled in the logbook.
And then found my way down.
Despite the torrential rain the previous day, the stream bed coming off the hill was absolutely dry. However, on the way up I had seen that at some time the stream had quite damaged an unpaved road used to transport supplies to the haus. I assumed that this had been like that long term. On the summit looking down I could see there was someone in a yellow vehicle way down the mountainside, but didn't really give it any thought. On the way down, at the point where the stream crosses the road it had been fully restored. Then it occurred to me, the previous day's rain had caused the damage and that the restoration is probably a routine that is often repeated.

For pictures and context, see my blog 'Went up a hill and came down' at:
Gr Buchstein >
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