Ascent of Polinik on 2013-07-09

Climber: Lee Newton

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
    Elevation:9134 ft / 2784 m

Ascent Trip Report

On a family holiday to Kärnten, I had a day out to climb a decent peak. Leaving our hotel in Feld am See at 05.30, I drove northwest towards Lienz, then north up the Mölltal. About 7km before Obervellach I turned left (west) on a minor road signposted Teuchl. The road was in poor condition with gravel patches and huge potholes but still drivable in a normal car. On reaching Teuchl, the road does a hairpin right (signposted Alpenheim 3km) and descends back to the valley floor where there is adequate parking just before the hut itself. I chose this less common southerly approach as I carried no snow gear, and there was an unusually high residual snow pack for the time of year. The normal route goes from Obervellach via the Polinik Hut.

Leaving at 06.30, the path headed briefly along a forest road, before turning right, directly up a meadow (well signposted). With the summer vegetation already reaching my thighs in places and no real trial, this was an unpleasant start to the day. Within minutes my legs and boots were completely soaked and full of seeds, and there were also some aggressive cows around. The way was marked by little wooden posts painted red-white-red on top so not too difficult to follow, although later in the summer with even more vegetation even this could be a trial. After about 200m of ascent, the path crosses a forest road (not marked on my map - Kompass 49) and then turms left and enters the pine forest, where the path improves. On the way down I found a far better variation was to follow this forest road southeast to the valley bottom at Wirtsalm, a mere 10 minute walk further west than the point at which the "real" path 336 leaves the road.

After this point the path was easy to follow up to the final corrie below the summit. Just before this there was an unnecessary dogleg, which I ignored on the way down. In this corrie there was still substantial snow, which made the going more difficult, before the path cut right up towards a ridgeline and then steeply up to the summit ridge shortly before the actual summit was reached at 11.15. The views were intermittent to the surrounding valleys due to the thunder clouds already building. A friendly local lad called Tobias arrived at the summit just after me, and we descended most of the way together, giving my German a good workout with his unfamiliar Austrian accent. I had struggled a little on the last few hundred meters of ascent but my downhill muscles were working just fine and I got back to the car in just over 2 hours. The drive back to the hotel was quickly accomplished, and a swim in the cool Brennersee soothed my aching feet.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:5266 ft / 1605 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.2 mi / 10 km
    Route:Path 336
    Trailhead:Alpenheim Hut  3868 ft / 1178 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Overcast
Humid, pre-Thunderstorm weather
Ascent Statistics
    Time:4 Hours 45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 30 Minutes

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