Ascent of Daniel on 2011-06-20

Climber: Nick Down

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Monday, June 20, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Elevation:7677 ft / 2339 m

Ascent Trip Report

Unseasonal storms derailed a long weekend in Ehrwald aiming to see the traditional mountains in flame celebration (postponed) and walk the Zugspitze (summit covered in unstable snow). The Daniel was irresistibly framed in my window at the excellent Alpen Residenz, so I set out from the car park below the Panoramabad in Lermoos. A track climbs steeply through the forest to the Tuftlalm, although the winding vehicle track would be a better bet in wet conditions (better still, save the Daniel for a dry day, for reasons which will soon become clear!). Refreshed by a drink at the Tuftlalm, looking across the valley to the Zugspitze, Sonnenspitze, Thaneller, and an array of equally spiky peaks, I set off through forest glades that gave way to dwarf forest interspersed with limestone crags as the path wound up a ridge onto the Upspitze summit of the Daniel. Snow patches appeared as it steepened across the screes below the summit, before levelling out above an almost vertical corrie back wall and following the summit ridge to the mountaintop and, just beyond the mountain top. Divorced from its surroundings, this nearly level section would be a breeze; factoring in the need to divert over steep grass to avoid snow, edge round snow and unstable scree, and walk the tightrope above the corrie and along the summit, it persuaded me to tackle the final section with adhesive concentration of a particularly risk-averse limpet. When I arrived, the summit was already occupied by, of all things, a solitary ladybird. The view across serried ranks of snow-topped peaks was exceptional, and contrasted pleasingly with the profusion of flowers encountered all the way to the summit, including clumps of forget-me-nots flowering amidst limestone boulders just below the snow line.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles

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