WMC's diary pages, 2001.

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See-also: http://www.wmc.care4free.net/diary/.

July 2001 [Innsbruck/Stubai]

Sun 1st

To Ma's for day. Arrive 12.30.

Around the lunch table Toby sleeps.

House alarm.

Rob phones.

D to ma (who is in paddling pool): 'you've got big baggy knees'.

Back via J+J: pick up some bee stuff: J will burn rest.

Mon 1st

Talk.

Tues 2nd

Swim 27.5, 28.5, 28, 30 (impeded). Arj, cb1. Pick up schillings. Borders for tasg. Astro lib to return nas 1975. Home. M+D haven't been out. Hot: shower.

Cordial. Read a ttte with D. Paint in shelf alcove. My plastering *is* rough. Cut main lawn. Tidy bee stuff into newly-put-into-shed white boxes. Another ttte. Cook (potatoes).

Soir: kill demon. Plant out leeks. Onions seem to be ripe. Gp expenses: forms are crap. Read through talk.

Wed 4th

School brass does just about recognisable rock-around-the-clock.

Work all tied up: paper rev with tlc; vacs meeting. Leave early (11:30) to get back & pack, await H+C (she is there ahead of me) & pick up D from pre-school just after 12. Then we're off in our car to the sea-side: old H. Its a very hot day. Arrive just before 2: cafe first, then to beach. Out of the dunes its windy, though we don't realise this at first.

Three bottoms, one clothed D+I dig: H rushes into the (distant) sea with C. We follow. Surprise: it is warm; lie down in shallows & little waves wash by. D doesn't want to come in: says its cold: but wind makes it colder out than in.

Picnic. Build big sandcastle. Wind forces retreat to dunes. Leave 6: stop at Hilgay but they're not serving :-( sit by river & watch kids jump off bridge. Back 7:30 ish.


Thurs 5th

Work: talk, skip yoga to get another 2 slides. Home: brief rest, feeling rushed, cycle to Dr P's. GP forms. Quickly put super (with only 2 frames, time pressed, I must sort out my stuff) onto hive, which looked full; GP agm till late. Pack till later.

Fri 6th

Work: print out talk. Printer jam panic. Pick up D from school sports day: buy cake each. Home: M back. Finish pack: unwisely add crampons ;-). Water plants.

Off: via bas to deposit nw's hackers dict. Station: 3:15 cancelled. Bollocks: it will be tight. Cafe with M+D. D has i'c'm but wants drink too: brief tantrum. But then all is well. Catch 15:30 'semi-fast': wave bye. Past time reading Krinner on nudging. We're on time, 16:32, & into main st. By dint of running, & passable tubes (there at kc; 4 mins wait at oc) get to check in 1 min before nominal closure at 16:55: only 23 mins across: good going. V hot u'g'd. Cool in es. Phew.

Sit; read (or try to) unep 'stories'. Hmm. Bar for coffee. Try to find phone: its gone :-(. Hey ho. Watch construction work go by: D would like it: diggers, scrapers, big trucks, cranes... grauniad, 't organic way', & Algis Budry #1 passes the journey, mostly in the inter-comp seats: more space.

Paris Est (a novelty to an Austerlitz/Lyon man). Hot in the metro, too. I'm pretty sure I could have walked, had I known the way, its not far. Cafe is busy, no biere yet, but nor is there a p'form for my train: I have 1/2 h.

Sat 7th

8:45: 10 mins to Munchen. Tickets & passports returned. A stork - 2 - elegantly pacing a field. Scenery not english. Why? Too open, too wooded? No fences. Houses mostly painted white. Fields often strips s'corn/pots/wheat/grass.

Hmmf: so much for famed efficiency of kraut trains: we are in Augsburg when we should be in Munich. Perhaps we can blame the frogs.

Read mm5 as we go along: so lazy with figures. Arrive 10 mins after my Innsbruck train has left, but!, its international & has been held as a connection. & its on the same p'form. & its a/c. Hurrah for DB! Otoh, my carefully brought 60dm are of no use to buy b'fast.

Hmm. We're sitting in Kurftein. Why? Look at Jck's maps: Franz Senn, Regeneburger, or Sulzenau? Probably fs on Howards rec.

German ticket collectors badges say 'herr knogel' not 'jim'.

A heron on a shady riverside. Mountains are coming. Jenbach. At some point we have crossed into Austria.

Innsbruck. After some effort, station people offer opinion that lockers only work for 24h. But not sure. Anyway, change far-away hotel Charlotte for nearby (& even closer to conf) Engl. Down 1 star. Walk there (20 min) & leave xs kit: not much, though. Bus is at 14:05 (missed 12:05 due to train late & not going straight there).

Bus: even as I get on I vacillate: fs or r? But fs is more sensible (r probably assumes doing the r->fs tonight). 54 sch: I'm still not up on the money: its about 2.50 for 1h trip. Beer was 32.

Sun in I. Slight rain in Fulpmes. Looks grey ahead. Not so slight in Neustift. And in Milders, it pissing down.

Returns:

falbeson (r hut) 12:06, 13:06, ..  16:06, 16:56, 17:41.
Milders (br) 7:22..16:22, 17:12, :57, 18:19, :39, 19:19, 20:15, 22:13.
Rain is but shower. Walk 20 mins (river then road) & virtue is rewarded: 2 nice locals stop for me (sans asking) & take me a fair but unknown way up. Walk further: roads paths: rain heavier umbrella: to small dorf: possibly Almberg. Quiet dark Jagerstube. Cafe. I have only eaten some broadbeans, apricots so far & drunk little. 4:20. Cheese platter redresses this. Outside its steady: water pours from the gutters.

All very tirolean inside: wooden walls, small windows, candles, stuffed marmot, antlers, cross, old rakes, carved face, yodel music. Etc etc. Rain lessens.

Order another coffee & a cake. This is in fact Stocklenalm (1600). I have 550 to go.

Off 5:15, light rain fading. Past Ober'Iss, scorning cable for my pack. Feeling burst of energy from cake. Pause 6:00 in joint fog from mist & sweat on glasses. Cows tinkle, flowers blossom, streams run white down the hillside (unlike pyr).

6:30. Alpeinalm resto bypassed. Mist. Cows. Arrive 6:45: correct. Leave boots, axe, etc in shoeroom (all organised, & *warm*). Helpful hut man in common room sees I'm lost & explains stuff. I'm in 'box 2' in the matrazenlager (dortoirs) which are right at the top.

Go for quick walk after dinner but its foggy. Write (& post) card to M & D.

Route planning: no-one has done my route for a week & there is fresh snow. Consult cd rom maps of crevasses. Other routes poss.

IP postcards! To M & JT. Bed at 10.

Sun 8th

Up 6:30. B'fast (85). Trace map & mark crevasses (g: spalten?) from cd. Off 7:45. 4th off, by boots? Sun+cloud, base 3k ish. Fine views.

Path split to R'spitze 8:50, lake :55. Half snow-covered. Alone. Path v well marked: paint every few m or so over boulder sections. Broken cloud still: 7/8 ish.

Col 9:35. Choky, apple, water. Cloud 3100. Cold: put on longs, jumper & coat. Have left gloves in hut :-(

View from col to Lisenser Ferner Kogel (right); Rotgrat Spitze (mid-right); Lisenser Spitze (Left); Pratige Wand (rock band at R under LFK). Actually taken on the way back, when it was sunnier. Off 10:15, after descending a little, putting on crampons (favourite trick: adjust them, inconveniently, on snow, rather than at hut. Get out axe, set ski-stick to 'long', & we're off.

Cross LisenserF glacier safely (ie, not only did I not fall in a crevasse, I didn't risk doing so), followings steps initially, leaving these to cross, poling every step. Until about 1/2 way across when it became obvious it was safe: there are crevasses, which a mouse might just squeeze down, which are clearly seen. Try to dig into one with axe: can't. Foot of Pratige wand 11. A few snowflakes. Crampons off.

Off 11:10. Path faint but ground easy. Top :20. Isard footprints. Snow continues. Consult map & guide. At 3045: 150m to next col; 100 then to summit, which appears to be in cloud. Crampons on... off 11:40.

Self in beret in minor snow, at top of LFK (the wire you can
see behind me is part of the summit cross) To col: eh its steep down far side: 12:20 (hey, I should be at the top by now), slow going up soft snow, encouraged by sight of summit cross. Leave crampons & axe. Off :35. Summit :50, fairly easy scramble. Light snow sets in. Rest. Write name in book: last was 5th, then 29th. Where are all the Austrians? Views down, then cloud thickens.

Cloud in no hurry to improve: head down, 1:05. To col :20. Can no longer see RotGS: will climb it if vis improves.

LFK from towards the E summit of the RGS; you can just see the summit cross. Summit (w) Rotgrat Spitze 2:25, having mistakenly tried the E summit which would be dodgy alone but ok with rope. Skies clearing; sun. Numerous photos inc straight down w.

Back to col 3:05, straight back, top of Pwand 3:15, stop to squeeze out socks. One day I will learn: gaiters. Off crampons. Leave :30, down :40, easier once find cairns. Sun! Take off coat. Inspired by tracks, head up Lisenser Spitze: am I not alone? No! They are Isard tracks.

Slowly now: walk in 100 paces bits. Rocks 4:25. Viz good: one hint of thunder. Leave sac. Top :40, heart rate alarming, barely energy to pant (so it felt). Splendid views, esp as cloud is now at 4000-ish. N to Pwand, LFK & RotGS (can now see W peak is slightly higher) which look like 1. W is big valley with hut (Westfalen). E is Lisenser Ferner glacier then wall of FS hut valley then far peaks. S is head of branch of LF glacier &, closer, nice looking snow slope tricky looking ridge (to Brummenkogel). Quiet. Distant roar of rivers: all are in spate.

Panorama from the summit of the LS
Book (write name) confirms this is Lisenser Spitze 3231. Views so good am reluctant to leave. Off at 5. Down :05. Drink. Eat last choc: I deserve it. Off :10.

To Rinnen-col at 6, charging along not worrying about crevs. Had to go back 210 paces to pick up camera case. Argh! Gorgeous views back to my summits: I have climbed the 3 big peaks visible to W. But I'm not going to do the Rinnen-spitze. Sun emerging. Mountains look better in sun. Below: weird tracks on glacier: mating Isards? Photo.

Franz Senn hut in last light, looking out over the valley far below Hut 7:25: rush: dinner stops 7:30, & I'd been promising self knoblauchsphagetti all the way down. Still time to stop at lake & take refls, & put foot in water, but its soaked anyway. Small lake lower: ponder island of sky in dark earth: photo (inc rainbow) - am I not dedicated to my Art?

Gasp bier gratefully. Days climb: (3198-2147) + 100 + 250 (ish) = 1400. But snow is harder.

Dinner. P'card to M. IP card to M, hkr, jck. Tomorrow: Schrankogel, or at least that direction. Remember sunglasses! Hut is quite crowded: had expected quieter after w'end. Noisy! But hut sadly lacks real climbers: no-one up RuderhofS for a week. Etc. Most are walking to other huts. Meet an Angle.

9:45: its pouring outside but I don't care: I'm inside! To snug box 2: rain on roof.

Mon 9th

Early morning snorer & talkers helps me wake (so I'm not as tired as I might be). Brekkers with 2 Angles wot had done Wildesturm y'day, Stubai regulars (I can see them now, I'm having my hour-break most of way up valley-head moraine, they are a little below with full packs heading for Amberger). Off 7:35, boots not quite dry, pain in left outer ankle soon fades. Flat valley, braided torrent, look up to glaciers, lovely. Slog up moraine, resting now 8:35-50. Take off boots to dry feet: have forgotten insoles. Hey ho: I do have my s'glasses.

Sky clearer than y'day: 5/8? And base higher. Vis good except small cloud has just come up valley to say hello.

WildesTurm turn-off (arrow & sign on boulder) 9:15. Stop 5 mins to rest & build a small cairn over my poo (sorry). Ahead, 4 folk head up glacier, until obscured by naughty & hopefully temporary cloud. Off :25.

Down onto glacier :35. Can I catch 4 ahead? They have a long lead but are slow.

No. Get close. Top of rise/level with top of icefall/first crev on route, 10:10. 4 bods are head'ng up W. Time for crampons, axe, & 'where exactly am I going?'

Ok, they are for the Wildegrat Scharte (pass) & so am I. Sunglasses, gloves, long trous, sun cream: time for off: 10:35. Snow firm. Cold, windy out on big basin.

My humble self again, taken at the col WgS 11:10 (3168): I have caught my 4. Warm on this side of col, so rest here: 5m over, chill wind. Micromet! Fine view of possible peak, Schankogel (3496).

Angles catch up, & another 4. Off down col (50 scree/mud) :45, as lead 4 head onto glacier, roped. Looks like they are for the SK too (no: they are Ambergers). 12:05. Stop to take off jumper as 4 head up E ridge & I will try NE face. PD-.

1:15. After about 1h of intense stupidity (sorry fee) & some fear I am back 'safe', ie on snow, after wurbling around the E face. Urgh. Soft snow forced retreat from NE. Cross bergschrund with diff then find self... where? Try climbing up & l but becomes scary. Desc diff to snow.

More traversing/ascent, & I am now on the real E ridge, complete with reassuring path & paint dot. Below, 9 probably A->FS. 1:30. Deadline: top or close by 2:45.

Rest :40 5 mins. A's are returning: does no-one here climb? It is *so* much easier on a path: they choose the easy route, yes, but its so much less stressful too.

Pass scafold pole (for abseil?) above steep section: tries nerves. Short snow slope to little dome poss 100m from summit, 2:30. But I can't see cross, and above is sort-of-ok-but-worrying snow slope (the top of the NE face I guess) that my worn nerves don't like. So I stopping here. Prob 3400.

Head down :45, to pole :55. Drink, eat. Clouds holding off. Back down past yucky bits to 'path' 3:15. Down, stepping slowly & carefully, to junction of FS-A path :25. Lie down in sun. Take off boots & wring out socks.

Take photo of self standing on head with E ridge behind for Janet. Off :55. Ahem. Watch stopped: wind. Its actually 4:20. Col at :55, scree no fun. Wait for ages for sun on S. Off 5:35.

Glissade on steep bits. Path on moraine 6:10. Good. Hanging glacier on far side. There is probably a way to avoid the 100m moraine-to-glacier: go right down glacier snout & joint valley there. Probably sensible due to various gl's retreat. At some stage have lost metal point from s'stick.

Valley :55. Hut 7:25 (again). Lovely evening. Valley is beautiful: small streams through buttercups. But dinner is welcome: 3 big (2") nudelen + salad.

Yum.

P'card to M. IP card to m, tlc, helen (if I remembered her address). Drying room even has box of scrunched up re-used newspaper to put in boots.

Days height: 1250 (if I did get to 3400) + 100 (glacier to moraine) + 100 (back up to scharte) + 50 (or more; on ne face etc): total 1500. And it feels like it. Will go to bed early. Quick look outside. Chill. Comedy of people standing alone talking to handys.

Some notes: handtowels in toilets; showers warm or tepid; friendly; good english.

Tues 10th

Time to go down. B'fast, pay 3 nights (3x200) off 8, bye bye hut. Sunniest day yet (oh, it would be too hot on the glaciers...). To Regensburger, path contours extensively, views down tal. Meet goats: photo for D. Camera batteries low. Pause 8:35 to fill bottle from stream. Path ahead bordered by rhodedendrons.

My moustache is now long enough to lick sweat off.

To little plateau (probably die platzen, 2247, or a bit lower (oh dear, I havent climbed much)) 9:35, stream, pools. Above, scree. Rest.

Top, 2706, 11:05. Last 200-ish up snow slope (inspired by 2 coming down) avoiding long path detour. Wussy Austrian party doesn't even go down it. Food. Wait 15 mins for good photo down valley: clouds won't cooperate. Reputation of Os is saved: 2 come up snow, & 1 even comes up the S side which has a 10' wall. Cloud wizzes up col from S.

As soon as I start off :55 (down wall, which I hadn't intended, since challenged) cloud clears.

Long-earred sheep. Down fossil moraine crest. Path junction 12:25. Views down valley; W to Reg. hut, big w'fall. Easy contour to R hut (or Neues R as it is officially, old being in Sudtirol), arrive :45 ish.

Smaller & cuter than fs, eg Mme wears modern version of trad costume. I have bier ('adambrau: das tiroler bier') & just-cooked apfelstrudel. Write/draw card to M: no IP though.

Hut appears to have own hydro-power system & little dam. Also (like fs) cable hoist.

Little bier-sleep. Go look up valley a bit: another dam; river; flat up to moraines & scree: above, RuderHS & OstSS. Sit on whaleback & await cloud-free: tantalising.

Falbeson A.H. 3:50. Buy pint of ?fresh? milk, poss from cow I photoed earlier. Trad wooden building, superb views up to NR hut atop its wall + w'fall + peaks above. Tiny hydro plant. Kids play in meadows full of buttercups. Chocolate box, thats the word. But just down they are building new ?house?garage? & there is an inactive digger. Which implies a road down - unless they flew it in?!?

Leave 4. Road/track for 15 min then path goes down, occaisionally re-crossing. Shady pine forest. Down :45, presumably in time for :56 bus. Opposite is 'waldcafe'.

Bus dead on time but standing only & my sac isn't friendly. Eventually get seat. Off 6 at 'heiligeiststrasse'.

Pass by MariaTheresia: leave note for jck. Register. Hotel. Shower. Back to congress: mail M: find 2 johns + vdb at the 'icebreaker'. Drink, then off for curry near me with 2xj & Gunter H. Good curry - & cheap. After to hotel, watch some tv (tech stocks still falling), sleep.

Wed 11th

Conf starts. Brekky (in Engl), at first think them el-cheapo but realise I've sat in a used place hence only 1 jam left, etc. Conf tiring. Lunch at pizza cafe slow but good: jt/brad m. A'noon enlivened by cosmic ray session. Now in cafe-conditorei marking tomorrows prog: must leave to meet others for dinner.

Do so: trad aust chosen by GH. Talk mostly work: todays stuff. Then hotel.

Thurs 12th

Wake early to bells of nearby church: street is quiet. B'fast 7.30. Allow hotel to write down my p'port #: why do they want this?

Make it to conf by 8. Quick mail to M then Prez's lecture: biogeo coupling in ocean. Not really anything new. Then std lectures (Pielke at lunch time). Time in pm to look for maps (yes) & guidebook (no).

Finish 5. Put 1st card photos onto jt's potable. Hotel, shower. Back for mail: in q now.

Sit in cafe, do unep rev. Walk off towards jck hotel (dinner meet point) & get accosted: jck + dutch in cafe. Dinner as a large party in pizza parlour by river: good. Phone M from box.

Fri 13th

Thin day: a few talks a.m. Hotel, pack, wander slowly through town, cafe, phone M since to diff hut (last min decision: convenience of known outweighed by delight of new.

Bus notes for sun soir: Last down s'nau 17:33 n :37. Later at volderau.

3:15 set off just above Ranalt. Prev heavy rain as we came up in bus now v light. Cloudy.

4. To Bsuechalm, rain for last 5 mins now heavy. Shelter in tiny chapel. Walk up mostly on gravel road. Off 4:20, rain eased. Small hay stooks. Take off t-shirt a la H: its hot.

Up in lightly precip mist. Rest 5 at 5 when bench invites me. Passed by 4, the last of them *carrying an umbrella* - I am not alone! Rest 10 at 5:35 under o'hanging boulder. Guess am at 2100 (hut 2280) but can see only mist.

Stop to inspect a salamander (stop you! Inspection! Show those paws!) (wierd beast, matt black, like made of rubber) & am nearly o'taken by oldies. Obliged to put on speed. Previous height guess correct: hut looms out of mist at 6. Smaller than fs or nr - about 1/3 size of fs - & more 'mountain-hutty'. Pictures of Nurnburg. 4 who o'took me collect sacs from the lift - so o'take doesn't count ;-) - & I rest a moment outside to cool down. No boot room - but a rack in corridor. In gastestube a big ceramic stove - as had fs - is not on. But room is warm. Am assigned bed 21 & get a bier. Food order taken: all is in order! There is a powerful smell of bacon but I am assured of veggie.

Wrong on several counts: there is a heated boot room, & the hut is about 2x as big as I thought.

Cold shower but not triumph of the will - didn't get all wet.

8.30: cloud clears, mostly. Walk a little out & up (over snow: cold toes): photo back to hut & beyond. Man explains mountains to ?8?y old: hopefully me & D (M is inside with tea) in a few years. Peaks behind hut (to S) catch last of sun as cloud clears: perhaps why they are Feuerstein.

Back inside for last drink (p mint tea) before bed. Reading Algis B. Feel a bit sad/alone: where is M?

Sat 14th

Sounds windy o'night, but o'wise fine: little snoring. Some wake 4-ish (one throws his blanket on me, outrage), I rise 6. B'fast (74). What sort of day? From inside seems mostlly clear but wind moans. Night katabatic?

Off 6:55, just before sun reaches hut. I am for the Wilder Freiger. See large party (4+oldies?) disappear ahead. Windy, ugh. After 10, reach sun. After another 10, little rest: not tip-top this a.m.

Rest at 8: just about to Seescharte 2762 so slow but not very. Have 3 choco-leibnitz volkorn. Am in sun but wind still chill: cloud at about my height on peaks S, & wind blows it N where it dissipates. But it may be thinning. Cream & coat on. Off :25.

Get to SS few mins later. Someone coming up from S hut. Another rest :50: nearly catching up with large party provides excuse. I'm not in a hurry (am I?).

Flowers: daisies, purple frilly bell things, pink pincushions.

Yet another rest 9:10, on cloud-grounds. Large party somewhat above, winds strong. 3 bods descend. Now 2 others come up: this mountain is popular (good).

Yar :50 at 3000 at small shrine on ridge just above Gamsspitze. Cloud is v slowly retreating up, so I rest in sun. 1/4 moon above cloud.

Stop 11:30 at small abandoned (frontier?) hut, perhaps at 3392. If so, good. Have climbed in cloud on featureless snow last hour, fortunately following tracks.

Arrive just before 12: I know this 'cos there is a big cross (no book) & no more up. But vis still poor. Eat a choco-L & prunes. Yum. 3 others descend S face rather tentatively. At :15 my sloth is rewarded with a brief clearing but now gone. I think I'll await another: I have 2 ways down.

Decide to go 'interesting' way rather than reverse route: ie via Muller & Sulzenau ferner. So at :40 start off down, following footsteps, SE, with ridge vaguely seen to R. Takes longer than expected, but only 'cos I didn't look at map properly, arrive 1:10, still in cloud. Surprise: its a working hut, Italian. Johns book says it is ruined. But that was publ 30 y ago [small note in book says hut being rebuilt in '73]

Leave 2 (I could stay, & do W Pfaff & Z tomorrow. But don't fancy all pm in cloud). There are 2 kids there - 6/8 - resident? W/end only? An unusual life. Hut has a vertical axis wind turbine.

Ahem. In thick cloud, & slight confusion of meeting Italian party, I have gone S not N. Careless. Compass confirmed this but I 'knew' I was right. Realise error only when get to non-existent rocks after 1h. I could go on, to diff hut. But no. Turn back 3. Base of couloir :55. Can see! Undeastand mistake. Down (very yukky scree-crap-rocks-bad cable. There was a newer way) to glacier head 4:45. Off 5. Down to Blaue Lacke (which is) quickly. Idyllic place for a rest. V quickly get in - & out. Sun warm. Snow comes down to lake. Above: scree, moraine, glacier, peaks, clouds. [Parents & kids arrive lower down lake. Kids throw rocks: D would. Man goes in, more than me, but not long]. 6. Time for a bier.

And so to hut. Sun has gone, though it remains higher, & the valley is an inspiring sight. So I won't 'bestellen in der stube bitte' just yet. Clouds *still* over the higher s'ward peaks.

Dinner: milk, then bier. Soup, then pasta-ish stuff with cheese. Cards to M, Ma, M+J. Coffee, & valley-bought twix carried over the W.F.

So: to bed: and still haven't decided between easy & hard day tomorrow. The weather may decide for me.

Sun 15th

It and my laziness does. Also snoring-for-austria by some hero o'night. Weather doesn't 'feel' great from my bed, & when I look y'days clouds are still up there. Brekkers muesli for a change. Then sit outside. Brief rainshower, brief sun. We shall see.

Decide on Grosse Togler, 29xx, which gives the best views of Zuckerhutel (haha, when it isn't in cloud). Delayed by 2 showers & deceived by my watch, arrive just after 2h. Good views of hut, lacke, glacier, etc as climb. Once on ridge see down to ski lifts, & across to RuderHS.

Cross is to Peter Hofer, 1966. Not god. Sit for a while, hiding from wind, but then descend top ridge to start of down section, find a nice hollow in the flowering grass, & rest. Warm enough in sun, cloud & drizzle as the wind blows over me. In fact I rest/snooze/watch the opp mountains & cloud for about 2h. In that time, mountain-cloud stays constant in head of Sulzenau ferner & where Z is, while 'free atmos' cloud comes & goes.

Then descend, back to hut before 2. Just before hut, thunder. Away from S hills, sky clears, but still showers at hut. Leave 2:55.

After good start (rainbow) it gets wet - umbrella out. By 1/2 way house (S'alm; 1841) its widdling. So inside for milk. Off :50. Carvings! Turn head for one gate; lift pipe for other.

River so high it is washing banks away: tree trunks held by wires are arranged to protect.

Down I go, through rain & forest, anti-beavering as I go.

There is a big w'fall below S stop, seen from bus. Should I have walked down? No I'm tired.

Back. Email. Shower. Out to dinner: quiet curry. To Shere Sahib. Odd place - perhaps quite genuine. But meet jt!

& so to bed.

Mon 18th

Wake late: 7.30. Rain all night. River is now 2 stones higher on bridge pillars o'night: about 2', & river now more brown than grey.

Conf. Discuss w'end with jck. Good talks am. Pizza lunch jt. Rain. Driftwood down river.

At 4:45 to theological inst for radiation. They either have more money or taste than elsewhere: their doors are beautiful. But the signposting is poor: happily wander lovely courtyards.

Jck leads me to stuffed-animal shop. Ermine is most expensive: os 5000.

After that wander around the tourist shops. What would D like (or M?). I may have to guess. Or get nothing ;-).

Since have time, chech trains back to Munchen (is Klaus still there?):

12:58->15:54
13:50->16:53
14:37->16:30
15:50->18:54
16:37->18:30
Now in espresso bar. Fountain outside: why are dragons female? Go to loo: when flushed, arm/pad comes out, & seat rotates against it, cleaning self!

Meet outside jcks hotel: Dave B, Hose C & John. JT off with the executive. End up at the curry place again: good. DB points out that everything is os98. After to nearby bar for a round (of coffee) then to bed.

Tues 17th

O'cast but not actually raining. River less high. Today starts sesh 2.3: modes of var of polar clim.

17:05: earthquake?!?

7:15: talks finished inc my arduous duties as chair for last, long, session till 6. After that discover the wonderful web/mail/photo thing that I've ignored all week & send a card, in fact several.

Weather now fine, a lovely evening, long light on the mountains & the massive rolling roiling river. Must go off to dinner meet.

Manfreds sheep quote is from Thomas Love Peacock. They don't quote lines 3&4 on the english tourist poster!

Dinner at Ottoburg. Good food & not expensive but slow (or was it? E'one said so but we were in no hurry). In famous company: Comiso, Overland, Lettau, Bromwich, 2xJohn.

Back to hotel, run though talk, spot one rogue piccy. Ok. Watch some tour de france.

Wed 18th

Last day. Up early (I talk at 8.30, my 1st invited), pack, b'fast, check out (os 3100). Sun. River lower: smooth silt covering appears.

To conf 8:15, a little nervous, but talk goes fine.

Swap piccies onto jt's pc: now have a free card.

Lunch with jck: jt is off being executive: in pizza by inn, sitting by river. Good. Talk sci+pers+hills, which rise just over river. J happens to mention alt train to M via Garmisch: good idea, I have free time.

Buy M pressie (hut calendar; good (I hope) idea copied from J). Wander, vaguely towards st. Snap a few deletable piccies for M. Rain starts. Coffee. Photos of dragons. Dawdling & not watching time so have to run for train. Ok. Train climbs valleyside.

Munich. Last time I hurriedly ch trains. Now I have 2h. Confirm train; browse int'l press (Portillo down...), buy D some choc l'birds. To resto, which I correctly guess is not ss.

Thurs 19th

6.30 a.m. Up, wee, get p'port back. Outside, sunrise over open cornfields & woods. A station: which? We are due in at 7. And so we are. As I leave, fall into conversation with the older woman I was sharing the couchette with (fear not, there was a young man on the top couch to act as... whats the word?) & she was off to do the pilgrim route (which she called Jakob) to Compostelle... ah, which is St J.

Walk to Nord, since its quicker than metro. Verify train then pick small cafe round corner & am rewarded, inevitably, by him not having a pd available so I get to sample the dread biscotte. However, that plus a large cafe is but 32f, & M. wishes me to tell my copains that it is pas cher (nice to be back where I converse in the language, however haltingly), so I hereby do, in the brasserie de la gare, rue du faubourg st-denis. I assoc 'faubourg s-d' with wealth... or maybe just f, or maybe that should be st-germain, from marcel. Anyway, its seen better days (haven't we all? No!). Thence to train, which now takes me home. I have bought 'la vie du rail', which has a cover on ice-3.

Thence to C (11:30) & get bus in to centre. There I may sit, or get p+r & walk home, poss via work.

Lunch Borders with tasg. To bridge st for p+r but they're digging it up hence buses re-routed... where? Anyway, to main stop in rainshower.

And so home, via bas. A'noon tea with M & then she fetches D & we are happy to see each other.

Fri 20th

At home with D pm. Quiet soir: look over some pics.

Sat 21st

Swim 27.5, 28.5, 2x29.5.

Pleasant to be back in cb1. I didn't really get on with austrian cafes - I prefer the somewhat more homely french approach.

Meet M+D for lunch at Yippee. Good. Then with D all pm: w/s (childrens, then cafe, then me in cafe & D down in cafe), rs, pool, cb1. So: a whole day in town. Back, stopping to look at punt river, cars on m'way, & cricket match at coton: we watch for a while & I try to expl rules.

Sun 22nd

D likes to know the names of songs. This a.m. we're listening to 'stop making sense' album, & the first song is 'psychokiller'. D: is the killer in a bicycle?

Mon 23rd

Work work work...

Tues 24th

D up early but is happy by self: orders me to stay in bed. Ok.

Town, looking for profanisaurus. Get puncture on way in, argh, change tyre at ben h's. Buy ipcc 2001 at cup. Fail at borders, w/s (tasg), el-cheapos, heffers p'backs. But they say main h's has one. Cb1.

[ahem. well, this is now being written on the 30th after rather a long break. I've felt a bit tired, its been hot, etc etc]

Wed 25th

M's b'day. Happy b'day M!

Work as ever. Back home briefly for lunch, check bike over, pack bike bag, and head back to BAS to start Howards triathalon.

As ever, a great event. I do better than usual: officially, I win it (winning none of the events, but first back amongst those who did all events). Weather good. Lake warm, but with a cold layer 3-4 feet down and occaisional cold pools. Only 5 of us did the whole swim (me, HKR, Russ, DGV, Adrian) so despite crawling essentially the whole way (b'stroking occaisionally to get bearings) I come out just ahead of only H and Russ. So, I start the run 3rd last; H, Russ and Bob pass me just before 1/2 way. But I'm still in touch as we go over the bridge (normally I'm lost by here) by mantleshelfing up to save 30secs. Through Holywell, I'm still running, and finish without walking, about 5 mins last. Cycles start off en bloc, and after a litttle uncertainty (H's bag wobbles) the pace hots up. I stay in touch with the leaders until perhaps 2/3 way round, but then have to let them go ahead. So, I limp back, knowing H and Russ are behind me somewhere, and to my surprise they don't o'take me before I get home, H coming in a minute later.

Back chez H is dinner (excellent) and various of Annes friends. H obliges me to cool off in his river, then "shower" from the hosepipe. Dinner. Rest. Ahh: have to lower gently into a chair, the top-back of my thighs is weak.

Thurs 26th

Get up not-too-slowly; better than usual.

Work all absorbed into PolesOnFire cutting to 1400 with DGV and GM.

p.m.: Get penguin towel at RS, after looking all over for union jack. Heffers *does* have profanisaurus, excellent. But FitzBillies are out of SacherTorte.

Fri 27th

S's leaving do: to town at 9 to get 2 SacherTorte: this makes me hot as the day is sultry. Wrap stuff at work, print out curry pictures, etc. The "farewell" passes off well, I think. As I leave S is trying to download her email onto CD-rom...

p.m. with D: visit C+H, by bike. Hot. All slow.

At 6:15, Kirsty comes to D-sit, and M and I cycle off to Madingley to the 3 horsehoes, for M's delayed b'day meal.

Late: cut out "emily" and finish off "emily" letters painting.

Sat 28th

Early: finish sanding down "emily" backblock; use furniture beeswax as a coating; D wants to wax the chairs.

To London for T+E's 3rd and 1st b'days, respectively. Stop via G toyshop to get Thomas some building blocks. Then get 1:15 to London and arrive just in tme 2:30 at Corams Fields: an excellent place for a young childs party. V hot though, especially since we were good and cycled in. M and I collpase and drink drinks; D more active. A good time: D+A, of course, but PSH there too. And Errol. My "emily" appreciated.

Home in time (or rather, somewhat late) for D's bedtime.

Sun 29th

Quite day at home, which we all want.

Mon 30th

M'a on hols so I do D a.m. and M does p.m. Get vn4.5 working (together with some work soir) at Manchester. Splendid.

Paint wall-behind-radiator in kitchen, with D's help, so to speak.

Day warm but not absurdly hot as recently; some cloud midday.

Tues 31st

Swim 40 in honour of H's tri in 30.5. Cb1: Squeeze (replacing John Denver, thankfully): up the junction is astonishingly good.

Ma got M a cd of sea-shanties for her b'day: good. One is about the loss of Franklins nw passage expedition (not a shanty in fact) & is sad. D was v moved by it, nearly to tears. Probably the first time he has shown 'vicarious emotion'.

D: 'there are many bottles of beer. Thats because grandad needs lots of beer'.

D (at dinnertime): 'my tummy needs some beer'.

Tasks today: my towel ring; move mirror up; hand towel ring; 1 shelf support by soilpipe; scrub toilet. Also made buffers for ttte.


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